Who She Is….

Ursula is very different, brilliant and rather fantastic… (Martin Carthy MBE)


Ursula is a unique force in storytelling. She brings her stories and the characters within them to life in an honest, enthralling and thoroughly entertaining way. Her warmth, wit and compassion shine through every performance. She is an absolute gem. (BBC Folk Awards Best Duo Finalists 2017, O’Hooley & Tidow)

Ursula dancingUrsula Holden Gill is a one woman tour de force; Storyteller, Myth Maker, Comedienne & Curator. An award winning Actress and familiar face on screen, for the last decade she has established herself as a unique and pertinent storytelling talent, both in Britain and beyond; winning audiences over in Belgium, Ireland, South America & most recently China. Working across the theatre, festival, education and community sectors alike, to date, Ursula has generated firm links with institutions such as Action for Children, Opera North, Settle Stories, Social Services, Dream On ProductionsThe National Trust. From her stunningly characterised adaptations of traditional folk and fairy tales (and especially the Witching Tales of her native Lancashire / West Yorkshire border) to her signature streetwise, savvy, self – penned originals, Ursula is well known to make her crowds laugh and cry, think, reflect and roar again; all in the space of half an hour… a shape-shifting scallywag. Truly one to watch!

Ursula plays shuffle

In 2012 Ursula was voted Best Newcomer at The British Awards for Storytelling Excellence.


Ursula became a full time Storyteller, Writer and Educator in 2009 having been made a resident member of the Hebden Bridge based Shaggy Dog Storytellers in 2007. Prior to this she worked as an Actress in Film, Television, Theatre and Radio and as a Guest Lecturer and Workshop Facilitator specialising in Shakespeare, Vocal Technique and Storytelling.


In 2006 Ursula was voted the Most Popular Soap Actress in the UK by TV Choice Magazine and was further shortlisted for a National Television Award for her portrayal of Alice Dingle on ITV’s ‘Emmerdale’.

Ursula Holden Gill should be basking in glory after delivering one of the most powerful and haunting performances in TV soap history. Her portraya of cancer stricken Alice Dingle has been showered with plaudits and could scoop her the most popular Actress gong in this weeks’ glitzy National Television Awards. Jon Wise for ‘The People’ Newspaper, October 2006 .

Joining forces with one of the most long-standing and highly regarded storytelling clubs in the UK presented Ursula with a platform to transform her skills in characterisation and movement, her passion for song and folk music and her extensive experience in working with young and vulnerable people into something unique and genuinely heart – warming; or as the directors of Cape Clear International Storytelling Festival put it: “At once poignant, yet as daft as a brush”. Needless to say, Ursula has never looked back….

blue feathers

Click here to meet the Lady herself


Ursula is an enchanting, highly engaging storyteller. She takes her audience on an absorbing journey of laughter, wonder and surprise. A consummate professional; one who responds to any situation with humour and character. A treat and highly recommended. (Joanna Blake, Development Producer, BBC Writers Room)