Midlands AcAdemy of 
Dance & Drama - Est. 1967

David Wood OBE

David Wood - MADD Patron

David began writing as a student at Oxford University in the sixties. He wrote his first play for children in 1967 and has since written over sixty more. 

His repertoire is performed all over the world and include THE GINGERBREAD MAN (nine London seasons), THE OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT WENT TO SEE… (six London seasons, co-written with Sheila Ruskin), THE SELFISH SHELLFISHTHE SEE-SAW TREESAVE THE HUMAN (from the story he wrote with cartoonist Tony Husband), THE IDEAL GNOME EXPEDITION and THE PLOTTERS OF CABBAGE PATCH CORNER

His stage adaptations of well-known books include Dick King-Smith’s BABE THE SHEEP-PIG, Roald Dahl’s THE BFG and THE WITCHES (both of which played long tours and two West End seasons), THE TWITSJAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH and FANTASTIC MR FOXDANNY THE CHAMPION OF THE WORLD and GEORGE’S MARVELLOUS MEDICINE, HRH The Prince of Wales’ THE OLD MAN OF LOCHNAGAR, Michael Foreman’s DINOSAURS AND ALL THAT RUBBISH, Helen Nicoll and Jan Pienkowski’s MEG AND MOG SHOW(five London seasons for Unicorn Theatre), Philippa Pearce’s TOM’S MIDNIGHT GARDEN  (which Unicorn Theatre played on tour, in the West End and on Broadway) and Judith Kerr’s THE TIGER WHO CAME TO TEA. 

He was dubbed ‘the national children’s dramatist’ by Irving Wardle in The Times and published, to rave reviews, THEATRE FOR CHILDREN: GUIDE TO WRITING, ADAPTING, DIRECTING AND ACTING(Faber), co-written with Janet Grant, which has become required reading on the subject in the UK and the US, and is now published in China.

He directed many of his plays for his own company, Whirligig Theatre (founded with John Gould in 1979), which for 25 years toured to major theatres nationwide include Sadler’s Wells in London. 

Film screenplays include SWALLOWS AND AMAZONSand BACK HOME, which won a gold award at the New York Film and TV Festival 1991. Writing for television includes the series CHIPS’ COMICCHISH ‘N’ FIPSand THE GINGERBREAD MAN; and TIDE RACE, his filmed drama for Central Television and the European Broadcasting Union, has won several international awards.

For BBC Radio 4 he adapted Arthur Ransome’s SWALLOWS AND AMAZONS

He also writes children’s books; with Richard Fowler he has co-created novelty books including BEDTIME STORYMOLE’S SUMMER STORYMOLE’S WINTER STORYSILLY SPIDERTHE MAGIC SHOW, FUNNY BUNNY’S MAGIC SHOW and THE TOY CUPBOARD. He wrote THE PHANTOM CAT OF THE OPERA (illustrated by Peters Day).

David Wood has followed a parallel career as an actor, best remembered as Johnny in Lindsay Anderson’s cult film IF… He is married to Jacqueline Stanbury; they have two grown-up daughters, Katherine and Rebecca.

In 2004 he was awarded an OBE for services to literature and drama in the Queen’s birthday honours.

In 2006 he wrote THE QUEEN’S HANDBAG, a play to celebrate the Queen’s 80th birthday.  It was performed by an all-star cast in Buckingham Palace Gardens at the Children’s Party at the Palace, and seen live on BBC 1 by 8,000,000 television viewers.

 

Katie Bagshaw

Ballet Tutor

Katie started dancing aged 3 years old. She went on to gain a place at The Royal Ballet School age 11 and later completed her training at Elmhurst Ballet School where she graduated and gained a Level 6 Trinity Diploma in Dance age 19.

Throughout her time at vocational school she danced at The Royal Opera House in The Royal Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker, La Sylphide and Swan Lake.

Katie began working at the youth company Midland Theatre Ballet in 2013, and after finding her love for teaching she now works full time at The Lisayne Ballet School where she trains The Royal Academy of Dance syllabi to a variety of different age groups.

She is thrilled to be part of the MADD family over the Spring term!

Ryan Lee Seager

Musical Theatre & Jazz Tutor

Ryan-Lee Seager Actor/Director/Choreographer 

West End/Tour/International musicals include Fame, Blood Brothers, Rent, West Side Story, Guys and Dolls, Kiss Me Kate, Seussical, American Idiot, We Will Rock You, The Wedding Singer, Rock Of Ages, Sweeney Todd, Here Come The Boys ( Strictly Come Dancing) and also  27, Streets, Another Way all brand new british musicals. Rock Of Ages (Uk Tour) Resident Director/Resident Choreographer.  Fame (Uk Tour/West End) Associate Choreographer. 

TV credits include The Xfactor, Strictly Come Dancing, The Royal Variety Performance, Bo Selecta.
Tv Commercials Vision Express and We Buy Any Car.

Music Artists- Justin Bieber, Pixie Lott, Beverly knight, Paulo Nutini, Olivia Somerlyn, Kingsland Road, Anastacia.

Stewart Avon Arnold

Dance Tutor

Stewart was one of the foremost black Jazz and Lyrical artists of his generation and the original pioneer of Lyrical Contemporary Jazz in the UK, developing the genre from as early as 1979 to the present day and co founding the first jazz company in the UK called Jazz Theatre London (1980). Trained at the London School of Contemporary Dance, his dancing heritage originates with the Martha Graham technique, with the likes of Bob Cohen, William Luther, Jane Dudley and Anthony Van Laast as his teacher/mentors that have been his springboard from which he has developed his unique style and genre, consequently becoming one of our most acclaimed and sought after International Dancer Teacher and Choreographer. For many years Stewart has been constantly involved in a variety of top West End shows, including Wayne Sleep’s ‘Song and Dance’ as a soloist dancer. He was guest choreographer for Wayne Sleep’s dance company ‘Dash’ and danced/guest choreographed for the award winning BBC tv series “The Hot Shoe Show”, joint- choreographer on ‘The Wiz’ at the Hammersmith Lyric Theatre, and featured as a soloist dancer in Johnny Depp’s film ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’. Choreographing Pop promo’s for artists such as David Grant, Elton John, Kid Creole, and working exclusively with Kate Bush over the last 30 years. He also had his own dance series on Channel 4, along with Claude-Paul Henry, called ‘Streets Ahead’, and toured Europe along with Anthony Van Laast and Claude-Paul with their own Dance Company called ‘Souls in Motion’ and took his own concept musical ‘Dancing and Singing the Blues’ on the same European circuit directing as well as choreographing the show.