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Emma Cannon


Emma created West End in School’s dance workshops, with Mairi Cowieson. Emma graduated from the London Studio Centre with a BA (Hons) degree in Theatre Dance. Theatre credits include various roles in Eurobeat - almost Eurovision (West End & UK tour); Babette, u/s Belle in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (UK tour); Marty, u/s Sandy in Grease (Victoria Palace, London and UK tour); Margie in Follies (London Palladium); Patty in Grease (UK tour); Jill in Jack and the Beanstalk (Richmond Theatre, London); Principal Singer and Dance Captain on MV Oriana (P&O Cruises); Barbara Cook and Friends (London Coliseum), and various leading roles in pantomime. TV credits include: Fame School (Meridian); Blue Peter (BBC) and the Disney Channel for whom she has also choreographed. Emma has taught dance all over the UK and currently teaches tap and jazz at the Sylvia Young Theatre School in London. 


Craig Christie

Writer and Composer of Back to Before

Former teacher Craig Christie has worked for twenty years as the principal of No Mates Productions, creating original musicals in educational, community and commercial settings. His annual Children's Book tours have been seen by over 1.2 million school children internationally and are currently being developed for television. Craig is Australia's pre-eminent creator of original music theatre and his works include the acclaimed Eurobeat which has toured world wide including a season on the West End and the new musical Hey Florence which is currently touring the USA.

A full biography is available at



Mairi Cowieson


Mairi has created West End in School’s dance workshops, with Emma Cannon. She trained at the Dance School of Scotland in Glasgow, then in London at Arts Educational. Mairi was assistant Director on Beauty and the Beast, for the Reading Hexagon’s Pantomine season. She was Children’s Director on South Pacific, where she also played Nurse Dinah and understudied the lead (Barbican and UK Tour). Other credits include: Sheila in A Chorus Line (The Lowry Theatre, Manchester), Mrs Martini in It’s A Wonderful Life (New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich), Italy, Iceland, Greece in Eurobeat (Novello Theatre West End & UK Tour), Miss Bell in Fame (European Tour), Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang (UK Tour), Starlight Express (Germany), the workshop of a new musical of Sleeping Beauty (Sadlers Wells, London), Zsa-Zsa in the original cast of Love Shack (UK Tour) and Barbarella in Vienna.  She has taught at Mountview and Arts Educational, and in 2007 was Head of Musical Theatre at Newcastle College.

Mairi also runs her own very successful business as a children's party entertainer.


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Andrew Emerson

Writer of Aladdin 

Andrew writes scripts for some of the most popular shows on children's tv, including Tree Fu Tom, Tilly & Friends, Numtums and Rastamouse. He wrote the 2011 and 2012 pantomimes for the Hall for Cornwall in Truro, and last year's West End In Schools panto Dick Whittington. Andrew has also worked as an actor and singer, appearing in the West End production of Chicago and the first ever performances of Jerry Springer The Opera.


Ali Godfrey

INSET Leader

An experienced teacher and drama consultant, Ali has directed young people’s productions at Hackney Empire, The Tricycle and The Pleasance.  At the National Youth Theatre, she managed the Playing Up social inclusion programmes for two years, providing accredited acting training for young people at risk and raising achievement to 100%. She has successfully led Drama departments in inner London secondary schools where she  has significantly raised attainment in Drama, and she is an experienced GCSE and A’ Level examiner. She set up ‘Sharing Voices’, a theatre for development project  working with Tsunami children in Sri Lanka and has an MA with Distinction in Applied Theatre from Central School of Speech and Drama where she is now a visiting  lecturer on the MA Applied Theatre programme. She facilitates drama projects  working with young people from pupil referral units at The Roundhouse, and young  people at risk of gang affiliation with the Safer London Foundation and in schools for  Outspoken Arts. Ali is founder of Generation Arts, a company delivering acting and theatre-making projects for young people in the margins.

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Dominic McHale

INSET Leader

Dominic is a writer, director, facilitator and dramatherapist and has worked with theatre companies and marginalised client groups in prisons, PRU’s, homeless shelters, housing institutions and mental health settings.  Organisations include Cardboard Citizens, The Roundhouse, The Lyric, National Youth Theatre, MIND, Birmingham Youth Offending Service, Feltham Young Offenders and HMP Doncaster.  He is a lecturer on the MA Dramatherapy programme at Roehampton University.  As a writer, his work includes International Playwriting Festival winner The Resurrectionists, Trevor Loves Charlotte (British Association of Dramatherapists), Talking to Tallman (National Youth Theatre) and Victoria (Channel 4).  Having trained as an actor at Rose Bruford, Dominic has also had a successful stage and screen acting career, taking roles in productions at The National Theatre, Liverpool Everyman, Sheffield Crucible and the Young Vic to name a few and his screen work includes roles in Coronation Street (ITV), Bridget Jones’s Diary and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason.  He has recently been developing new material with theatre company Ridiculusmus and writing a new play exploring mental health for Blue Elephant Theatre.


Alex Silverman

Composer for Aladdin 

Alex is an award-winning Composer and Musical Director who has co-written three musicals and composed for 11 productions at Shakespeare's Globe.

He has written for plays at West Yorkshire Playhouse, Royal Court, Young Vic, Bristol Old Vic, Northampton Royal Theatre, Curve, Salisbury Playhouse, Oxford Playhouse, and 17 productions on Edinburgh's Fringe.

Alex has performed with Britain's leading jazz musicians, adapted and conducted operas, recorded with orchestras, and remains a busy choral director. Alex's work is distinctive for its playful approach, and his passion for engaging audiences with new sounds.



Blue Box produces or manages theatre productions, and also runs a small agency for creative people working in theatre, film and television.

In addition to West End in Schools our West End work has included multi Olivier Award winning Jerry Springer - The Opera, Eurobeat Almost Eurovision, Bat Boy the Musical, Round the Horne Revisited, Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens, Al Murray, The Pub Landlord, The Madness of George Dubya and Noises Off. We have also worked extensively in theatres all around the country including at the Edinburgh Festival where Eurobeat won the inaugural Best Musical Award. Our creative clients between them design set, lights or costumes in productions from the National Theatre to the Edinburgh Festival and compose soundtracks for theatre, films and television.