Meet the Teachers

Meet the teachers of our joint online The Nursery/Maydays venture and find out all about their improv background and experience. Besides these regular teachers we also welcome a whole host of wonderful national and international teachers for our Electives!

Juwel Haque

Juwel Haque is an improvisation teacher, actor, and director. He is known and trusted for being an innovative and insightful, supportive and delightful improviser and facilitator.

Juwel teaches beginners’ and longform improv classes and courses for The Nursery Theatre and The Maydays. He loves to help his students surprise and delight themselves and each other, offering safety, encouragement, and challenge. Juwel develops exercises and games that show and teach complex concepts in an easy and fun manner and is generous with his knowledge.

Juwel performs with absurdist theatrical long-form troupe Somewhat Theatre, the UK’s first all-Asian improv collective Comediasians, and in many other projects across a variety of styles, on stages across London, international festivals and online. He brings a wealth of experience acquired from a diverse performing career, including Theatresports and Maestro, narrative, genre-based, theatrical and Chicago-style longform. Juwel is grateful to teachers from Hoopla, The Free Association, The Nursery, The Maydays, UCB, iO, and the likes of David Razowsky, Patti Stiles, Joe Bill, and Armando Diaz.

He is the creator/director of Nursery Originals production United, an improv show with the spirit of a sports team, and his solo short-form act Player One, among others. A part of London’s improv community since 2014, he has served and worked in a range of capacities, for instance as a producer of Slapdash International Improv Festival, Theatre Manager for The Nursery, and producer and host of shows and jams.

Victoria Hogg

Vic is an improv teacher, player and business coach. She uses her Applied Theatre MA (Goldsmiths) in her day-to-day career and has studied under Keith Johnstone, at Second City, UCB and iO, and with many other international schools and teachers. She plays in various teams, is an AIN Certified Practitioner, a GPB Co-Founder and Brigadier, and coaches in a variety of settings from global businesses to local theatres. As a facilitator of our Kids & Teens Improv Clubs, Vic draws on her extensive experience of teaching improv in schools and training child actors. Vic has embraced online facilitation via The Offer Bank and currently runs her popular free weekly jam, DDG Improv (in its seventh year) on Zoom.

Jonah Fazel

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, where he also produces community events like our weekly Jam and the Garden Party.

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.

Lloydie James Lloyd

Lloydie James Lloyd is an improviser from Nottingham who performs with The Maydays and also with Rhymes Against Humanity – the improvised musical in Nottingham. He performs and teaches around the world and is the host of The Improv Chronicle Podcast, a documentary podcast for improvisers. Lloydie trained at UCB (New York), iO and Annoyance Theatres (Chicago) and with as many improvisers he has been able to find that keep his nerd-like passion for this artwork alive. In his spare time he sings, writes and collects nice hand lotions.

Rebecca MacMillan

Rebecca is one of The Maydays’ founding members and taught the very first Maydays beginners course. She has trained at iO Chicago. As well as the Maydays she performs with Impromptu Shakespeare & The Improvised Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, and in the past has graced the stage with Mothers Uncorked, BiteSize, The Treason Show, Voodoo Vaudeville & Fluxx. Combining improv with her degree in Latin & Ancient History, she worked for 6 years as a historical interpreter (improvising in costume as characters from history) with leading interpretation company Past Pleasures. Now based in Gloucestershire she coaches several teams and teaches courses and workshops in the South West and Midlands.

As a Maydays improv facilitator, Rebecca holds a QA Level 3 Award in Emergency First Aid at Work (RQF).

Chris Mead

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.

Currently Chris is also The Nursery’s Interim Artistic Director.

Jessica Mitolo

Originally from Youngstown, Ohio, Jessica Mitolo received her degree in Acting and Directing from Bowling Green State University. Since moving to Chicago, Jessica has studied, performed and directed at various schools and venues throughout the city. Her directing credits include Nostalgia Sucks: But It Used To Be Awesome!, Second Day Party Hair and Forty Winks. Jessica is proud to have worked as Assistant to the Director on Second City Mainstage production, South Side of Heaven. Jessica is also The Nursery’s Education Manager.

Jules Munns

After seeing Lifegame at the National Theatre in 2001, Jules Munns waited over five years before starting to improvise during his acting training at the Guildhall School. After graduating, he co-founded The Nursery in 2009 and was its Artistic Director until May 2020. He has performed with Music Box (5* FringeGuru and Remote Goat) and Friendly Fire before joining the Maydays in 2012. He is the director of Impromptu Shakespeare (5* Broadway Baby and Playstosee), which he also performs in and is one half of improv duos Ten Thousand Million Love Stories and Sitting in a Tin Can.

He has performed and taught at festivals across the UK and in countries including the US, Pakistan, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Finland. At the Nursery, Jules has directed ‘Magicked – the improvised Harry Potter’ and ‘Happy in their own Way’, as well as house teams Parkin and Dinner from Scratch. He has also taught applied improv at companies from Google to Unilever.

Jon Nguyen

Jon Nguyen is an improviser based in Norwich, UK, he believes that fun, connectivity and inclusion should be present in all improv.

He plays with Unbridled – A Nursery Original, The Dogface Allstars, Michelle – A Hoopla House Team, Wretched Hive Comedy, The Comediasians and The Improvised Play. He has appeared at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and taken part in online improv festivals, including Improv Comedy Bangalore.

Jon had training with Dogface, The Nursery, Hoopla, Dummy, The Maydays, Showstoppers as well as a myriad of international teachers from across the globe.

Jon loves improv and tries all variations from shortform, various formats, narrative, musical and any other style offered. He has fully embraced online improv and plays with people around the globe. Jon is a self-professed nerd and borrows techniques from Stanislavski, Brecht and Artaud among others to infuse theatricality into his improv.

Liz Peters

Liz Peters trained as an actress at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts and has worked extensively on stage and screen. She was nominated Best Female Performer at Brighton Fringe for Toybox, a musical comedy she wrote and produced, and has worked with British comedy institutions Newsrevue and The Treason Show, as well as in films, commercials and immersive theatre.

Liz travels the world performing and teaching improvisation and is part of Ohana – The European Improvisers Project. She is the creator and host of Unplanned Cabaret, performs with The Concept, The Bumper Blyton Improvised Adventure and regularly guests in other productions.

In addition to performing, Liz is a certified Embodied Facilitator and coaches people to have more impact and feel at ease in the spotlight. On her YouTube channel ‘Bonafide Human Club’ Liz shares tips from the fields of improvisation and embodiment to help people enjoy life more.

As a Maydays improv facilitator, Liz is enhanced DBS checked and holds a QA Level 3 Award in Emergency First Aid at Work (RQF)

Francesca Reid

Francesca is a facilitator for our Kids and Teens Improv courses. Francesca has worked creatively & therapeutically with the arts & young people for over 18 years. As a graduate of East 15 Acting school’s Acting with Community Theatre BA, she has run youth theatre sessions, holiday activities schemes & been the lead on longer term projects. These projects have been with S.E.N, Y.O.T’s/P.R.U & refugee groups to name but a few. She is a multidisciplinary artist using forms including improv, comedy, clowning & singing in her practice.

Jen Rowe

Jen trained at ACT Brighton and now teaches there on a regular basis. Her credits include dreamthinkspeak (Underground) and Fringe-first nominated Bite-size Plays. She has toured with The Foundry Group and played Ero in The Widow’s Tears for the Shakespeare’s Globe ‘Read Not Dead’ series. She is an actor, voiceover artist, writer and teacher, having worked with the BAFTA nominated Treason Show Productions and can be seen as a hula-hooping, crash-helmet-wearing starlet walkabout act for Twisted Dreams at various festivals.

As an improviser, she has toured with Fluxx, performs with Impromptu Shakespeare, plays two-person improv (Two Seats Four Cheeks) with Lloydie James Lloyd and once won £2.38 during an ‘improv-off’ in a Ken Campbell workshop. She has trained at Secondcity and Annoyance, teaches Improv for Creative Writing and has two writing projects on the go: a sitcom pilot and a one-woman show about an SF writer. Her recent fringe runs in 2019, “Tiptree: No-one else’s damn secret but my own” have been a smash, with 5-star reviews pouring in from audiences, so yeah, she’s busy.

As a Maydays improv facilitator, Jen is enhanced DBS checked and holds a QA Level 3 Award in Emergency First Aid at Work (RQF)

Dan Ryan

Dan is a London-based improviser and coach, and currently plays in Nursery house team Parkin, and in Soundcheck, the show of amusing musical musings. After doing his first improv show in Slovenia in the late nineties, he co-founded Barcelona Improv Group in 2011, before joining Ripcord, London’s first freeform team, in 2014. His biggest passion is organic freeform as developed by Kevin Scott and ImprovBoston under Will Luera.

He has trained with the FA, the Nursery, C3 and Hoopla in London, and worked with instructors from American theatres such as UCB, Second City, iO and Annoyance, and European groups such as L’Oignon. He loves fearlessness and theatricality, and believes in the power of practice, practice, practice.

Joe Samuel

Joe is the Musical Director of The Maydays.  He is a classically trained pianist and violinist and is one of only a handful of professional improviser musicians in the world.  He has directed and played for a baffling array of improv troupes both in the UK and across Europe as well, as playing at IO in Chicago and being the musical director of Improv Festivals in Barcelona, Poland, Romania, Finland, Dublin and of course at the Maydays own festival.

Katy Schutte

Katy trained at Second City and iO Chicago as well as with teachers from Annoyance, UCB and more. She is a Funny Women finalist and winner of the Brighton Festival Fringe Best Comedy Show award.

Katy has performed with the Maydays for 13 years, spent over a decade as half of the two-woman longform show Katy and Rach, plays with sci-fi improv team Project2 and in the Destination podcast. Katy coaches longform teams and leads workshops in England, Europe and the States. She has toured with Fluxx, improvised musicals with The Maydays, Music Box and Baby Wants Candy and notably guested in the London and Liverpool Improvathons, Grand Theft Impro, Whirled News Tonight, The Armando Diaz Experience and Messing with a Friend.

Katy is also a sketch comedian, actor, writer and theatre-maker. She directed The Watery Journey of Nereus Pike, wrote and starred in Who Ya Gonna Call? the Ghostbusters fan-sical, is one of the Knightmare Live team and is currently performing her solo comedy hour Schutte the Unromantic.

Katy’s first book The Improvsier’s Way is out and available form all good bookshops and online at Amazon

“Katy Schutte is a leading light of the London improv scene and this book is just as warm, witty, compassionate and funny as she is. Distilling years of experience into practical exercises, these pages are a crash course in longform improvising which never dictates or talks down to the reader, but which constantly encourages, explores, questions and inspires.“
Tom Salinsky, The Spontaneity Shop

Heather Urquhart

Heather trained in Physical Theatre and then studied improvisation at Chicago’s I.O and Annoyance theatres. She improvises with the Olivier award winning Showstopper! The Improvised Musical and is a director and performer with The Maydays and former interim Artistic Director at The Nursery. Her duo improv show ‘Ten Thousand Million Love Stories’ has toured extensively around the US, Europe & most recently to Malawi. She has also co-written a book on the subject of musical improvisation called ‘Sing it!’

Over the last 3 years Heather was the representative of the UK in the EU funded Our Lives project, an international theatre project that brought together actors from all 28 countries of the European Union combining improvised theatre with the biographies and experiences of the actors.

Heather was winner of the award for best female performer in the Brighton Fringe & winner of the Argus Angel Award for artistic excellence.

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