Who She Teaches…..

Performance Practice:

Ursula has over twenty years’ experience of working in Universities, Colleges, Schools and Youth Groups as a Lecturer, Teacher, Personal Tutor and Workshop Facilitator. 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 and a Licentiate in Singing with the Royal School of Music.


Ursula lectures and hosts practical workshops on Storytelling and various aspects of Performance Technique including Acting for Camera, Audition Technique, Brechtian Theory, Casting Technique, Shakespearian Verse, Stanislavski and Vocal Technique. Her clients have include: The Royal Shakespeare Company, Opera North, Salford University and Blackpool and the Fylde Performing Arts 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. In 2006 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 hosted dozens of interactive sessions on themes ranging from The Shakespeare Schools Festival to Anger Management, Bullying, The Environment, Identity and World Book Week. She regularly facilitates workshops in educational institutes across the UK and beyond, either as an independent practitioner, or as a representative for Dream On Productions, The Settle Stories Team or as a Schools Speaker for Compassion in World Farming and takes a particular pride in engaging Special Educational Needs and English as an Additional Language students as effectively 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 that they can convert into their written work.

One to One:

Ursula first became associated with the LAMDA when she began tutoring in Singing, Speech 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 Film, Television, on The West End, Radio or on the Folk Festival Circuit; as well as for careers in Education, the Therapeutic and Community Sectors. Previous students who are now working professionally as artists include: Lisa Marie Ashworth, Beckie Bartram, Simona Bitmate, Jack Hartley, Amy Kakoura, Tilly Sutcliffe & Ashley Woodhouse. 


Most of Ursula’s students choose to stay with her long term to build their confidence and improve their communication and expression, 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.