key information

Date / Time: Friday 10th April 11.30am-12.30pm

Duration: 60mins

Venue: Online (via Zoom)

Practitioner: Kully Thiarai and Mike Alfreds

NSDF 20: In Conversation with Kully Thiarai and Mike Alfreds

Join directors Kully Thiarai and Mike Alfreds as they discuss their approach to directing, working with actors and the essential nature  of theatre.


Kully Thiarai (Visiting Artist) is creative director and CEO of Leeds 2023 – the city’s international year of culture. Having worked with prestigious arts institutions across the UK, Kully is renowned for her bold work exploring themes of diversity and community. 

Before taking up her position at Leeds 2023, Kully was Artistic Director and Chief Executive of National Theatre Wales. Her 30year career also includes being the founding Director of Cast – a £22 million performance venue in Doncaster and Artistic Director of Contact Theatre Manchester, the Leicester Haymarket Theatre, Theatre Writing Partnership and Red Ladder Theatre Company. She is a board member of the Manchester International Festival (MIF), The Art Foundation and Leeds based theatre company Slung Low. She is also an Honorary Fellow of Central School of Speech and Drama and a fellow of the RSA.


Mike Alfreds (Visiting Artist) was born in London, trained as a director at Carnegie Mellon in the USA where he lived for 8 years, during which time he worked for MGM studios in Hollywood and was artistic director of theatres in Tucson and Cincinnati. For 5 years he lived in Israel and was artistic director of the Jerusalem Khan Theatre. In the UK, he founded Shared Experience and ran it for 13 years. He was artistic director of Cambridge Theatre Company, renamed Method & Madness, and has directed for The Royal National Theatre, The Royal Shakespeare Company and Shakespeare’s Globe. He has worked all over the world, including China and Mongolia, staged over 200 productions and won awards both at home and abroad. He has adapted novels for the stage, devised performances and translated the texts of several of his shows. He maintains a parallel career as a teacher. He was a senior lecturer at Tel Aviv University and on the staff of LAMDA and currently teaches at several drama schools and theatre departments  He frequently gives courses on acting, directing, and storytelling which has become a strong focus of his work. He has written two books on acting, Different every Night and Then What Happens? which are on most theatre training syllabuses.


Watch this workshop live here: