Who She Teaches…..

Performance Practice:

Ursula has over twenty years’ experience of working in schools, colleges and youth groups as a professional performance practitioner. She holds fully qualified teacher status as a Drama and Dance specialist, a Licentiate in Speech and Drama Education with the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art, a Licentiate in Singing with the Royal School of Music and is an associate member of The English Dance & Folk Song Society.


Ursula has lectured and hosted practical workshops on various aspects of performance technique including Acting for Camera, Audition Technique, Brechtian Theory, Casting Technique, Shakespearian Verse, Stanislavski, Storytelling and Vocal Technique. Her clients include: The Royal Shakespeare Company, Opera North, Salford University, Blackpool and the Fylde College, St Martin’s College, UCLAN and Calderdale College.

In 2000 Ursula received a millennium Women to Watch award from Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council for her services to the voluntary sector, in the field of Children’s Rights. She has since established firm links with Action for Children, The Children’s Society, Calderdale Adoption Team, Calderdale Behaviour and Attendance Team, Henry Dancer Days, Lancashire Crime Reduction Initiative, Time Out Children’s Centres’ and Stonham.


Ursula Holden-Gill […] says teaching has always been [part of] her calling, despite a decade in show business. Last year she won Best Actress in a soap opera at the TV Choice awards and was shortlisted for the most popular British Actress category at the National Television Awards. […] But won’t she miss the glamour and riches of TV? […] “No,” she says. “I’m a country person really and not materially aspirational. I’m happier down the pub with my dog these days.” (Irena Barker for the Times Educational Supplement, March 2007)
Storytelling in Schools

In her capacity as a storyteller Ursula has presented dozens of performances on themes ranging from Shakespeare for Schools to Anger Management, Bullying, the Environment, Identity and World Book Week. She regularly facilitates workshops in educational institutes across the UK, both as an independent practitioner and as a representative for The Settle Stories Team and relishes engaging Special Educational Needs and English as an Additional Language students as much as she does mainstream.


Ursula’s extensive repertoire enables her to tailor her stories to suit whatever theme a school is keen to explore and because she has fulfilled a number of Storyteller Residences over the last ten years she is more than familiar with the National Curriculum for every key stage; from Nursery right up to Post Graduate level.

Ursula’s school sessions are practical, interactive and fun, celebrating the oral storytelling tradition and allowing students of all abilities the freedom to create and develop their confidence. In a classroom environment Ursula’s story sessions are structured in 50 minute intervals. However, if access to a larger space is possible Ursula likes to offer her Young Story Makers Workshop to schools. This runs for 90 minutes and has proved highly effective (particularly with KS2 and KS3) in providing students with a simple story making structure they can convert into their written work.

One to One:

Ursula first became associated with the LAMDA when she began tutoring in Singing, Speech, Storytelling and Drama at the Blackburn School of Music in 1996.  Since then, she has prepared generations of students for Professional Representation, National Youth Theatre Membership and for work in Television, the West End or on the Folk Circuit; as well as for careers in Education, the Therapeutic and Community Sectors. 


Most students choose to stay with her long term to build their confidence and improve their communication and performance skills, but others visit briefly, to attain a specific goal. All progress having essentially developed a life – long love of the arts. Ursula is a fully registered member of the LAMDA Teachers Association and tutors according to their public examinations syllabus; the one to one structure of her sessions enabling her to cater exclusively for individual needs. The syllabus is practical, enjoyable and challenging and is fully accredited, thus particularly appealing to those students keen to gain extra UCAS points.