Faculty: Acting

Acting Staff

James Palm PGCE, MA  Head of Acting

James trained as an actor on the three year acting course at the East 15 School of Acting and the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, achieving an MA in Advanced Theatre Practice. James also has a PGCE in Drama from the University of Reading. As an actor James has worked at Shakespeare’s Globe, The Old Vic, Young Vic, BAC, The Gate, Channel 4, BBC, Thames Television, ITV1 and Independent Radio. James has taught, lectured and directed at: the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama; Arts Ed’; GSA; Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance; The Urdang Academy; the universities of London, Reading, Hull, Canterbury and Greenwich.   Read moreJames is currently undertaking doctoral research activities as a part of his PhD in actor training, due to be published in 2013. As a part of his research James regularly visits New York to develop his own actor training methods; his research is based on acting techniques taught at the Lee Strasberg Studio, Stella Adler Studio, Meisner Studio, Chekhov Studio, Atlantic Theatre School and The Classical Studio at New York University. James has delivered a number of research papers and international conferences and symposiums: Where do they come from and why?; A report into students entering actor training; The paradoxes of acting; Why do commandos lisp at night?: Embodying the diagnostics of Practical Aesthetics; The paradox of imagination and self-deception in actor training; Acting in good faith. Between 2001 and 2006 James was co-artistic director, actor and writer for the award winning theatre company Sob Ltd. As a writer James was finalised for the Oxford Samuel Beckett Trust Award in 2003 and 2005.

Liz May Brice BA(Hons), MA (Cantab)  Acting Tutor/Learning Support Tutor

Liz entered the acting profession at the tender age of ten, juggling television acting roles with school work, whilst also taking dancing, singing and acting lessons at Laine Theatre Arts, as well as touring with the National Youth Music Theatre to Japan and Edinburgh with Guys and Dolls in which she played Adelaide. At 19 she decided to read English at Cambridge University, where she took part in as much theatre as possible, such as The Cambridge Footlights and playing Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra. Whilst studying at Cambridge for her MA, she also began her professional acting career as an adult at Salisbury Playhouse, playing Mabel Chiltern in An Ideal Husband. From then on, a career in theatre, television and film grew.   Read moreHer extensive acting credits for television include: Black Mirror: Yuletide (House of Tomorrow), Moving On (BBC), Eastenders (BBC), Misfits (Objective), How Television Ruined Your Life (Zeppotron), Casualty (BBC), Torchwood III (BBC), Dead Set (Zeppotron), The Colour of Magic (The Mob Film Co.), The Bill (Talkback Thames), The Whistleblowers (Carnival), Peep Show IV (Objective) The Roman Mysteries (BBC), Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe (Zeppotron), Bad Girls (Shed), How To Watch Television (Zeppotron), The Robinsons (BBC), Hustle 1 and 2 (Kudos), NY-LON (Channel 4), Murder In Mind (BBC), Trust (BBC),  Stan The Man (Granada), Urban Gothic (Channel 5), Holby City (BBC), In Defence (Granada), Whatever/Comedy Lab (Channel X), The 10th Kingdom (Carnival), A Touch of Frost (Yorkshire), The Student Prince (BBC), The Stalker's Apprentice (STV), Chalkface (BBC), The News At 12 (Central), The Worst Witch (Central), Coming Through (Central). Her film credits include: Hard Boiled Sweets (Crikey Villains Ltd), John (Film and Video Umbrella), Alien vs. Predator (20th Century Fox), Function at the Junction (Artsouls), Resident Evil (Constantin), The Cut (Bliss), Truel (HLA/Film Four), The Last Minute (Last Minute), Fortress 2 (Carousel). And her other theatre credits include: The Fix (Union), Festen (Theatr Clwyd), Dumb Show (New Vic), The Cherry Orchard (Salisbury Playhouse), Crows (National Theatre Studio), Beauty and the Beast (Young Vic),  The Lady of Pleasure (Cambridge Festival Theatre), Stud (Cambridge ADC), Going Up (New End/Edinburgh Pleasance), Alice Through The Looking Glass (Jesus Gardens, Cambridge), The Misanthrope (Cambridge ADC), Cambridge Footlights’ Cinderella (Cambridge ADC), Cinderella (De Montford Hall, Leicester), Hiawatha (Yvonne Arnaud), Ariadne auf Naxos (Royal Opera House).  Liz is also an accomplished and experienced voiceover artiste, as well as motion capture artiste. Her interests also include film production, obtaining the Raindance Producer’s Certificate in 2011.

Claire Lindsay BA (Hons), MA, PGCE  Senior Acting Tutor

Claire specialises in directing and has worked in this capacity for various theatre companies since graduating with a BA (Hons) degree in 1998. Claire continues to study physical theatre and since 2001 Claire has regularly trained for extensive periods in India specialising in the dance-drama Kathakali and the martial-dance Kalarippyattu. In 2002 she undertook further intensive training at Exeter University gaining a Masters Degree in Physical Performance. Whilst continuing to work as a director and performer Claire has taught in a variety of universities and colleges across the UK before taking a full time position at Bird College.   Read morePerformance credits include the international director Phillip Zarrilli’s 2007 Singapore premier of Martin Crimps Attempts on her Life; Leads in Die Nacht and Blood memory (Dust Physical Theatre), The Seen and The Unseen (Phillip Zarrilli) and Njanalude Antigone for the Abhinaya Acting Company, India. Professional directing Credits include: Classical: A Midsummer Nights Dream (TITP London) Contemporary: Low Level Panic, Christie in Love, Jack, Peaches and Bombs and Blackberries (Corridor Theatre) and An Imaginative Woman (Shambolic Theatre, London), London Wunderground (Roundhouse, London). For Bird College: Verbatim; Bexley Voices, A Woolwich to Remember, Golden Girls, and A Happily Ever After. Devised Physical Theatre: Theatre is Dead! It Must be Love, Beowulf and Tereus. Forum Theatre: Charlie’s Tale and X-RO4DS.

Sarah Jane Bourne PG Dip RAM  Singing, voice and acting tutor

 Sarah-Jane Bourne began her training at theatre school from the age 7. During which time she worked as a child actor in professional repertory and regional theatre as well as national tours at theatres including the Belgrade-Coventry, The Hippodrome-Birmingham and The Derngate-Northampton. She went on to become a leading actress with the National Youth Music Theatre, completing her training at the Royal Academy of Music. SJ has worked extensively as a leading musical theatre actress in regional theatre, repertory theatre, and fringe theatre and in the West End.   Read moreRoles including Barbara, Billy. Victoria, Poppy, Camelot. Lucy, Nosferatu. Out of This worlds, Trial By Jury, Linda, Blood Brothers, Audrey, Little Shop of Horrors (for which she was put into the Musical Theatre pictorial Hall of Fame at the theatre museum). Lady Larkin, One Upon a Mattress, Reno Sweeney, Anything Goes. Frenchy, Greace. Mother, Elvis. Charity, Barnum. Princess Betsy, Ana Karenina. Woman 1 & 2, Side by Side. Woman 2, Songs for a New World. She has also played principal girl in ten Christmas productions. She has been involved in many workshops of new musicals and as a lead vocalist on radio and in numerous concerts and concert productions of shows. She teaches at Bird College in both the singing and acting departments. Specialising in the connection between the actor and singer and working on audition preparation. Other teaching work has included directing at summer schools and taking master classes. She was co-principal of Overture and Beginners with theatre manager Chris Jaeger (Worcester Swan and Huntingdon Hall).