Ray Sesay

Ray has worked as an Actor on TV/Film and stage. More noticeable roles include Doctor Who, Endeavour, RSC. He graduated from Bristol Old Vic Theatre school in 2017. 

In 2018 Ray was the co-founder of Artfidence, which was set up to introduce life skills and build the confidence of pupils from a less fortunate backgrounds through drama. Ray is passionate about demolishing the systemic walls built to exclude those from a lower socio-economic background into the industry.

Debbie Korley

Debbie Korley is an actor, practitioner and mentor.  More recently she has had the opportunity to record audio with her home set up, particularly BBC Radio drama’s. During this time she has also collaborated with many drama schools online. Just before the pandemic she was involved with the winter season RSC Swan Company and has worked with a variety of Theatre Company’s and on screen.

Abbi Greenland

Abbi is one third of physical theatre company RashDash. She is an NSDF alumni, having made and performed Strict Machine and Never Enough while a student at The University Of Hull. 

Shows include: Hole by Ellie Kendrick (Royal Court), Future Bodies by Unlimited and RashDash (HOME, Manchester) Three Sisters by RashDash (Best Touring Production, UK Theatre Awards, co-production with Royal Exchange Theatre, co-commissioned by The Yard, Tobacco Factory Theatres, The Old Vic, MAYK and Cambridge Junction), The Darkest Corners by RashDash (Transform Festival 2017), Two Man Show by RashDash (made with Northern Stage and Soho Theatre, Edinburgh Fringe First Winner 2016, Stage Award for Acting Excellence).

Grace Smart

Grace was the overall winner of the Linbury prize 2015 and regularly collaborates with the Lyric Theatre, Belfast.

Set and Costume design includes: My Beautiful Laundrette and Memoirs of an Asian Football Casual (Leicester Curve); Good Vibrations (Lyric Theatre Belfast); Killer Joe (Trafalgar Studios); Shebeen (Nottingham Playhouse, Theatre Royal Stratford East); The Colleen Bawn (Lyric Theatre, Belfast); Postcards from the Ledge (Gaiety Theatre, Dublin); World's Wife (Welsh National Opera); East is East (Northern Stage, Nottingham Playhouse); Mighty Atoms (Hull Truck, Hull City of Culture 2017); Normal and Blasted (90s Season at Styx, London); St. Joan (Lyric Theatre, Belfast); MERCY (Theatre Deli, Sheffield); Here Comes The Night (Lyric Theatre, Belfast); Bar Mitzvah Boy (The Gatehouse, London); A Doll’s House (Dissolve theatre, The Space); Object Love (Dissolve theatre, Vault Festival); Costume design for Shopping and Fucking (Lyric theatre Hammersmith).

Future Credits include: End of History (The Royal Court); One Night in Miami (Nottingham Playhouse and tour); God is Chaos (The Drum, Theatre Royal Plymouth)

Grace writes a regular column in The Stage about her experience of being a set and costume designer.


Nima Taleghani

Nima Taleghani was born and brought up in North London and is an NSDF ’13 & ‘14 alumni. He studied English Literature at Warwick University, which culminated in submitting a fifteen minute ‘Othello Rap’ for his Shakespeare exam. He then went on to study An MA in English at UCL. He has a PhD in getting out of trouble.

Recently he performed in Cyrano De Bergerac at the Playhouse Theatre in the West End, transferring to New York in the Spring.

Theatre credits include, Macbeth (Royal Exchange); Armadillo (Yard Theatre); Romeo & Juliet (RSC); The Merry Wives of Windsor (RSC); Laika (Unicorn Theatre); The Plough and the Stars (Abbey Theatre’s Ireland & U.S tour); The White Whale (Slung Low).

TV/Film/Radio credits include, Hatton Garden (ITV), Dublin Old School (Element), 90 Minutes (El Capitan), Casualty (BBC), Love is Not New in This Country (BBC).

His workshop leading is undertaken with an emphasis on empowering young people to find Shakespeare accessible and combat elitism. Nima has run workshops from The American Repertory Theatre in Boston, Massachusetts to Company3 in Islington & the ‘Barbican Box’ project with Slung Low and affiliated schools & colleges in East London.

He has also worked with the Royal Court’s young writers on Writers of the Unexplored and Hackney Empire’s young writers on Writer’s Room.

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