UK (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama) Alumni News Roundup – Autumn 2022

This roundup celebrates a selection of Central graduates’ news and successes, covering alumni award wins and nominations, and their numerous contributions in all areas of stage and digital theatre, television and film, as well as in the wider community.

If you’re a Central graduate and have some news that you’d like to share with us, we’d be delighted to hear from you. Please email, or complete our ‘Update Your Details’ webform.

Tim Crouch’s production Truth’s a Dog Must to Kennel was named a Fringe First Award winner at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Dan Ellis was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) in Her Majesty’s Birthday Honours 2022. He recently expanded Jam Jar Cinema to a three-screen venue and established a social impact investment firm looking to tackle affordable housing, creating affordable creative start-up spaces.

Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu co-won Best Director at The Black British Theatre Awards for his work on For Black Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Hue Gets Too Heavy. Also nominated this year was Heather Basten for the Casting Director Recognition Award, and Mawa Theatre Company, which was co-founded by alum Danielle Kassaraté, nominated for Best Use of Innovation and Technology.

Andrew Garfield was nominated for an Emmy Award for his performance in Under The Banner of Heaven.

Hannah Jarrett Scott was nominated for a Stage Debut Award in the category of Best West End Debut Performer for her performance in Pride and Prejudice* (*sort of) at The Criterion.

Maraim Khundadze won Best Actress Award at The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival for her performance in A Room of My Own.

Isabelle Kirkham was shortlisted for the Positive Role Model Award for Age at the National Diversity Awards 2022, one of the UK’s most prestigious diversity events which celebrates the excellent achievements of grass-roots communities that tackle issues today. Isabelle co-founded Reclaim Care, a collective, safe space for care experienced people to exist together, she also launched a national organisation called “The Care Experienced Movement”.

Masjid Maatin was longlisted for a Verity Bargate Award 2022 for his play Friday.

Jasmin Mandi-Ghomi has been shortlisted for the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting 2022, the UK’s biggest national competition for playwriting, for her play, Allah in the Walls.

Neet Mohan was nominated for an Inside Soap Award in the category of Best Drama Performance for playing Rash Masum in BBC’s Casualty.

Shaoyuan Qi won the Second Prize at the Second international Theatre Academy Awards (Theory Awards) for research paper What Western Ideas Have We (Chinese practitioners) Diluted, Misunderstood and Missed in Intercultural Actor Training?

Clarissa Widya, Co-Founder and now Co-Artistic Director of Papergang Theatre, is a recipient of one of this year’s MGCfutures Bursaries. These bursaries exist to support theatre practitioners to develop their careers in the industry.

Opened in August

Andreas Ayling was production manager for Horse-Play, which ran at London’s Riverside Studios from 30 August to 24 September.

Gillian Bevan and Audrey Brisson starred in Theatre Royal Bath’s production of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods, which included deputy stage management from Maikel Bellanco, costume design from Antony McDonald, and sound design from Paul Groothuis, and ran from 17 August to 10 September.

Lucy Cohu starred in Donmar Warehouse’s production The Trials, which ran from 12 to 27 August, and included movement direction from Anna Morrissey.

Caroline Gruber performed in Chichester Festival Theatre’s production, The Narcissist, which included movement direction from Chi-San Howard and was cast by Amy Ball, and ran from 26 August to 24 September.

Natasha Harrison was movement director and choreographer for Ride, running at Charing Cross Theatre from 25 August to 17 September. Produced by Deus Ex Machina, the team included Emily Lunnon and current MA Creative Producing student, Jess Smith.

Rachel Sampley provided video design for Follow the Signs, running at Soho Theatre from 23 to 27 August.

Tegan Verheul starred in Morgan Lloyd Malcolm’s electric thriller The Wasp, running at Hen and Chickens Theatre from 4 to 6 August, as part of Camden Fringe Festival.

Chiara Virgilio and Jonny Peyton-Hill, co-founders of Homing Bird Theatre, an LGBT+ theatre company presented their first production Grey Area at The Pen Theatre, in Bermondsey, on 12 and 13 August.

Deborah Warner directed Phaedra and Minotaur, which included design from Antony McDonald and performance from Christine Rice, and ran at Ustinov Studio, Theatre Royal Bath, from 12 to 23 August.

Yifan Wu wrote Choking Game, a piece of new writing that questions the western-centric presentation of climate change and performative tokenism in marine wildlife conservation. The production included performance from Xinxi Du, and ran at both Clapham’s Omnibus Theatre, from 10 to 14 August, and at Bloomsbury Festival from 13 to 15 October.

Many of our graduates, students and staff were involved in shows at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival, running throughout August. Visit Central at Edinburgh Fringe 2022 for the full list.

Opened in September

Fisayo Akinade plays Reverend Hale in National Theatre’s production of The Crucible, running from 14 September to 5 November. The production also includes performance from Anushka Chakravarti and Nick Fletcher (Webber Douglas), as well as lead intimacy direction from Ita O’Brien, dialect coaching from Hazel Holder and Danièle Lydon, and company voice work from Shereen Ibrahim and Jeannette Nelson. 

Emma Baggott directed The Wonderful World of Dissocia, running at Theatre Royal Stratford East from 16 September to 15 October. The production included performance from Archie Backhouse, movement and intimacy direction from Angela Gasparetto, and set and costume design from Grace Smart.

Ben Buratta directed GROOVE for Outbox Theatre, which included performance from Jacob Seelochan and sound design from Dominic Kennedy, and ran at Shoreditch Town Theatre from 20 September to 1 October.

Penny Dyer was dialect coach, Donato Wharton was sound designer, and Louise Quartermain was Assistant Stage Manager for Old Vic’s production Eureka Day, starring Helen Hunt, and running from 6 September to 31 October.

Tom Gibbons is the composer and sound designer for The Doctor, running at West End’s Duke of York’s Theatre from 29 September to 11 December, which stars Juliet Stevenson and includes performance from Daniel Rabin.

Alexander Gunnarsson was set and costume designer for Tête à Tête’s Fossils, Lies and Poison, which was presented at Cockpit Theatre on 7 September.

Hazel Holder provided voice and dialect coaching for Blues for an Alabama Sky, running at National Theatre from 20 September to 5 November.

Sara Kestelman starred in The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore, which included assistant stage management from Grace Kavanagh, and ran at Charing Cross Theatre from 26 September to 22 October.

Weronika Maria produced debut show, BECOMING Part I, an experimental piece of theatre, and the first instalment in a trilogy exploring cultural, political, and religious differences, and their impact on our daily lives. The production ran at Blue Elephant Theatre from 22 to 24 September.

Catriona McHugh was stage manager for Young Vic’s production Who Killed My Father, running from 7 to 24 September.

Clare McMahon wrote play, The Gap Year, a story about three women in their 60s who go on the adventure of a lifetime around Ireland, which ran at Belfast’s Lyric Theatre from 3 to 25 September.

Baker Mukasa performed in Shakespeare’s Globe’s production of I, Joan, running from 1 September to 22 October.

Tracy-Ann Oberman came up with concept for Royal Court’s production, Jews. In their Own Words, which ran from 20 September to 22 October and included performance from Rachel-Leah Hosker. The production used verbatim interviews to expose the roots and damning legacy of antisemitism in Britain,

Mercy Ojelade performed in Almeida Theatre’s The Clinic, running from 3 September to 1 October.

Vinay Patel reimagined Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard for a world premiere production that includes design from Rosie Elnile, voice coaching from Hazel Holder, and casting from Amy Ball. The production ran at Yard Theatre from 5 September to 22 October, and will run at HOME Manchester from 2 to 19 November. Vinay is also a member of the writing team of BBC’s Doctor Who.

Daniel Rainford stars in the UK touring ghost story When Darkness Fallswhich opened at the Grand Theatre, Blackpool on 15 September.   

Khadija Raza was costume designer, Emma Laxton was sound designer, and Jack Knowles was lighting designer for Regent’s Park Theatre’s production of Antigone, running from 3 to 24 September.

Rakhee Sharma provided movement direction for Donmar Warehouse and Tara Theatre’s production Silence, running from 1 to 17 September.

Zoe Spurr was lighting designer, and Beth Duke was sound designer, for an adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, which ran at Leeds Playhouse from 9 to 17 September.

Ayse Tashkiran was movement director, and XinXi Du was Assistant Director, for Dido’s Baran epic retelling of Virgil’s Aeneid, running at London’s Royal Docks from 23 September to 15 October, and including performance from Priscilla Grace.

Sam Waddington was lighting associate for Hampstead Theatre’s production The Snail House, running from 7 September to 15 October.

Kevin Kamara was assistant director and co-producer of Sus running at Park Theatre from 21 September to 15 October. The production included producer, and current MA Creative Producing student, Mischa Alexander, co-production and performance from Alexander Neal, and performance from Stedroy Cabey.

Opened in October

Audrey Brisson starred in a new staging of Jekyll & Hyde, running at Reading Rep from 10 to 29 October.

Rebecca van Beeck was co-set and co-costume designer for English Touring Theatre’s production of Handel’s rarely performed Ottone, which ran at Hackney Empire Theatre from 1 to 10 October.

Jamie Cameron performs in Good, running at West End’s Harold Pinter Theatre, starring David Tennant, and including lighting design from Zoe Spurr, sound design from Tom Gibbons, and casting from Amy Ball. The production runs from 6 October to 24 December. 

Hugo Chiarella is currently Resident Director on the West End production of The Phantom of the Opera, prior to this he was Resident Director for the UK tour of Les Misérables, and Development Producer for Fuel Theatre, overseeing a range of new works.

Lucy Cullingford provides movement design for Bristol Old Vic’s production of Hamlet, running from 13 October to 12 November.

Rob Drummer directed Addictive Beat for Boundless Theatre, which starred Boadicea Ricketts. This immersive show was part-gig, part-theatre, and ran at Dilston Gallery on 6 and 7 October.

Miles Henderson is currently making his West End debut playing Sky in the new cast of the West End’s Mamma Mia

Paul Higgins and Lillie Flynn both perform in Chichester Festival Theatre’s Local Hero, running from 8 October to 19 November.

Oliver Lidert performs in Propaganda: A New Musical, running at Belfast’s Lyric Theatre from 8 October to 5 November, and including co-production management from Adrian Mullan.

Carly McCann and Ben Grant, co-founders of Electrick Village, presented their experimental show, Borrowing Us, a cyborg-theatre piece about lost friendships, virtual connection, technology and the importance of memories, at Clapham Fringe on Sunday 2 October.

Toby Mitchell co-directs his company Tall Stories‘ production The Canterville Ghost, running at Southwark Playhouse from 11 October to 5 November.

Shereen Jasmin Phillips was co-producer and dramaturg for YV Unpacked: I Wonder If, which includes design consultation from QianEr Jin, and performance from Danielle Kassaraté. The production ran at Young Vic from 24 to 29 October.

Jonathan Tynan-Moss has joined the new cast of the West End’s The Mousetrap, playing Christopher Wren.