Judith Amsenga – Chief operating Officer
Judith is an actor who graduated from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA, BA Hons) in 2008, after which she appeared in various off-west end, international and fringe productions. Her latest performances include Mike Leigh’s Mr Turner, Bold Tendencies Festival, Merge Summer Shorts and Theater Utrecht. She also works as a voice-over artist and has a production company, Back’s Broke, with some of her yearmates from LAMDA.
In 2009, she founded the Nursery with Robin Steegman and Jules Munns, and is now responsible for its day-to-day running. She also (co)organises and runs the Nursery’s flagship festival, Slapdash International. Judith has extensive experience in the organisation and running of public and academic events, both in the UK and the Netherlands, where she worked for TV (NPO), museums (Amsterdam, Delft), magazines and the University of Utrecht.
Jules Munns – Artistic Director
Jules Munns is one of the UK’s most active and prolific improvisation performers and teachers. Since graduating from the Guildhall School in 2008, he has performed with groups including Sitting in a Tin Can, the Maydays, Music Box and Impromptu Shakespeare, as well as playing in shows including the Playground, Men with Coconuts, the London 50-hour Improvathon and . His two-person show Ten Thousand Million Love Stories has toured globally and Jules has performed around the world including in Finland, Germany, Pakistan, Spain, Portugal, Canada and the US. Jules is co-artistic director of the Nursery and the founder of Slapdash International, London’s longest running festival of improvisation. He has trained with teachers including Keith Johnstone, Patti Stiles, Mick Napier, Joe Bill, Rich and Rebecca Sohn, Jason Chin, David Razowsky and TJ Jagodowsky.
Jules specialises in emotionally-grounded, physical improvisation which leans towards theatre. He loves a Harold and a Deconstruction, as well as working with group dynamics in teams and personal feedback for individual improvisers.
Heather Urquhart – Co-Artistic Director
Heather trained in Physical Theatre but after graduation started her lifelong affair with improv joining Kepow Theatre with Kevin Tomlinson in 2004 and has been with the Maydays since 2006.
She has co-written a book on the subject of musical improv called ‘Sing it!’ and has a series of associated podcasts. Heather is also part of a two person improv team with Jules Munns. Their show ‘Ten Thousand Million Love Stories’ is a multi-character longform improv show around the theme of love which they took to the Improvised Play Festival in Austin Texas April 2013. Heather is winner of Foghorn’s UK Improv Smackdown 2013 and winner of The Latest Brighton Festival and Fringe awards Best female performer 2013. She compliments her improv career with acting, sketch comedy and singing. She has been a performer with Brighton’s satirical comedy sketch company The Treason Show since 2007, as well as a sometimes singer with the mercury music prize nominated Electric Soft Parade.
Chris Mead – Co-Artistic Director (Nursery Originals)
Chris’ first exposure to improv was at the Edinburgh Festival when he stumbled across Baby Wants Candy: The Improvised Musical by sheer coincidence. What he saw that night was so monumental it seared itself onto his brain. After years of stumbling through scripts and following someone else’s directions it became very clear that improv was his mothership. Luckily, Baby Wants Candy had forgotten to bring anyone to tear tickets for them. Chris seized the job and promptly watched every one of their performances for a whole glorious month.
Travelling back to London, Chris immediately started looking for a local improv scene, but failed miserably. This was either because they were hiding from him, or because the internet was less sophisticated back then, comprising solely of US military infrastructure and Hamster Dance.
Nearly a decade later, Chris was surprised to find a massive, thriving improv community had silently grown up around him, like ninja plants. From that moment on he threw himself into training like a man possessed. Chris has studied with Second City, The Annoyance and iO in Chicago, as well as teachers from Baby Wants Candy, Dummy, Crunchy Frog, Hoopla Impro, Free Association, Monkeytoast, UCB, Bad Dog and The Hideout Theatre.
He has performed as part of a regular team with The Ministry, 8-Bit, Music Box, Curt Hatred, Silly String Theory, The Cartel, Destination and Project 2 as well as making guest appearances with Grand Theft Impro, Hoopla, Baby Wants Candy, The RH Experience, At Home with Katy & Tony, The London and Liverpool Improvathons, Dad’s Garage and The Maydays.
Away from improv, Chris co-writes, performs and produces cult Doctor Who comedy podcast The Ood Cast, which somehow attracts thousands of listeners worldwide.
Jonah Fazel – Producer, Thursday Night Lights
Jonah is an experienced theatre maker and comedian and has appeared at in the West End as well as being a veteran of the London Fringe and Edinburgh festivals.
He has created work at The Battersea Arts Centre, Royal Court and The National as well as many site-specific venues and toured the UK as a performer, director and workshop leader and currently teaches Improvisation at The Nursery.
Jonah trained at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and the Webber Douglas Academy.
He has studied clowning under Philippe Gaulier, stand-up comedy under Logan Murray and improvisation under Keith Johnstone.
Stephen Davidson – Training Centre Manager
Stephen is the artistic director of Improvable, and co-director of Zeal: The Pride Improv Festival. He currently also directs QI: Queer Improv, and plays with The Verbs, house team of the Nursery theatre, in interdisciplinary ensemble Zootropic, and in twoprovs The Eh Team with Kit Harmon and The Happiest People in the World with Erick Castellan. Stephen teaches improv through Improvable, the Nursery, and Hoopla and is also a diversity officer for Hoopla Impro. He has studied improv through i/o Chicago, The Nursery, UCB, Hoopla, The Maydays, Music Box, Showstoppers, City Academy, Imprology, and with many visiting artists including Dave Razowsky, Bill Arnett, Tim Sozko, Heather Anne Campbell, Deanna Fleysher, and Lydia Hensler.
Stephen loves improv and one of the world’s most cheerful people when playing or teaching. He is also a musician and conductor, and when coaching both music and improv he prides himself on creating a positive environment so that players can perform at their best. Stephen likes his improv like he likes his partners; silly, clever, and emotionally connected.