The Team

Meet our fantastic teachers!

Showshack Dance, Drama and Singing teachers are fully qualified professional artists who have worked and performed in the theatre, film or television industry. Our teachers use their valuable knowledge gained from their experience making Showshack an interesting and vibrant place to learn. All Showshack teachers are fully DBS checked.

Maria Morrison LAMDA Drama and Singing Teacher

Maria Morrison

PRINCIPAL and LAMDA Drama & Singing Teacher

Originally from Scotland, Maria moved to England to attend Hurtwood House School before training for 3 years at the Performance Preparation Academy in Guildford gaining a Diploma in Musical Theatre. Since her training she has toured in the Scandinavian production of Saturday Night Fever playing the part of Flo Manero. She has also been in various pantos such as a chorus member in Cinderella at Guildfords Yvonne Arnaud Theatre and Jack and the Beanstalk playing Flunkit at the Bedworth Civic Hall.

Alongside her professional stage work Maria has also dedicated her time to teaching LAMDA in both Acting and Musical Theatre and now has almost ten years of experience to offer her many students.

Since joining Showshack in 2014 Maria has become a huge hit with all our students and enjoys working with them to develop their confidence and improve their acting techniques to become an all round performer.

Pauline Thomson

Pauline Thomson

Founder

Pauline trained in Scotland and performed her first professional show in a Scottish Repertory company based in Ayrshire in 1976. After moving to London, Pauline performed as a dance, actress, choreographer and director. Pauline set up Showshack in 1995 and has put all her energy into providing an extra curricular Theatre School where children are taught by professionals and can be qualified in ballet, dance and acting standing them in good stead for college, university or performing arts schools. Pauline has taught on musical theatre and jazz courses at The Laine Theatre Arts School, GSA and Elmshurst Ballet School where she taught for eight years. Alongside her teaching career Pauline’s television credits include The Gift, Marmalade at Work, This is David Harper, Beadles About, The Bill, Eastenders, Bruce Forsyth’s TV series, Mike Yarwood and a leading role in Extra which won a Scottish BAFTA award. Theatre appearances include Funny Girl, A Bit On The Side, Sinbad the Sailor and Aladdin to name but a few. Film credits include Princess Caraboo, Top Secret, Master Ballantrae and The French Lieutenant’s Woman. Pauline directed and choreographed many national pantomimes in the UK working with many well known celebrities along the way. Commercial choreography includes, Redken, L’Oreal, Capital Radio, Coca Cola, Motor Fair, and TV commercials for Daz, Lenor, BT, Tennants, Vauxhall, The Halifax and the Daily Express. Pauline is still seen today on Culture Club’s Karma Chameleon video!

Showshack - Dance & Performing Arts Academy

Elle Branch

Musical Theatre Director, Vocal & Acting Teacher

Elle achieved her BA degree in Musical Theatre at the highly acclaimed drama school Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. Elle began performing from a young age, and as a child appeared in Eastenders, Inspector Morse and Holby City. Her passion for Musical Theatre grew after several years training at Showshack Theatre School, where she achieved high levels in Dance, Singing and LAMDA. Whilst studying for her A Levels at Hurtwood House, she continued to develop her training, which lead to her gaining her place at Mountview. Elle has been cast as leading roles in Musical Theatre Productions such as Parade, Little Women and The Drowsy Chaperone.

As a professional performer Elle has been fortunate to be cast as Lead Vocalist on various Cruise Lines including P&O Oceana, Aurora & Azura, Costa Serena and Holland America. Elle is recently returned from a hugely successful contract on board P&O Azura.  Elle has been working for Showshack since 2009 and has had the pleasure of Directing Showshack Elite’s production of Fame in 2019 and West Side Story in 2021. She also directed Showtime 2015 and Produced The Greatest Showcase 2018 and the 2023 Showcase.

Most recently Elle was appointed Head of Drama at St George’s Junior School, where in addition to teaching curriculum drama she also directed a production of Matilda Jr the Musical.

Laura Hardie Dance and Performing Arts Teacher

Laura Hardie

Team Leader & LAMDA Drama/ Musical Theatre Teacher

Laura trained professionally at Redroofs Theatre School in Maidenhead and has a BA (Hons) in Musical Theatre from GSA (Guildford School of Acting).

Her performing career has included appearing in The Nutcracker (New Wimbledon Theatre) and Swan Lake (New Victoria Theatre, Woking) with the English Youth Ballet; numerous pantomimes at both The Princes Hall and The Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, and recently appearing in a short film, The Farming, as well as a major film, All is True, with Kenneth Branagh and Judy Dench.

Laura is passionate about musical theatre, having been with Showshack since she was 3 years old, and still loves being a part of the Showshack family. 

Jess Mackenzie Minis Teacher

Jess Mackenzie

Team Leader & Musical Theatre Teacher

Jess joined the Showshack team in September 2017. Following a successful career as a Royal Navy Officer, which saw a period of operational conflict in the Persian Gulf, she returned to her passion of teaching.

She qualified as a Primary School teacher in 2009 and specialises in 3-8 year olds, with a particular interest in Drama, Singing and Dance. A former student of LAMDA, ballet and tap herself she has performed in various roles in The Wizard of Oz, Grease and Chicago as a student and now leads the Mini Theatre School at Showshack. Jess also teaches Musical Theatre and LAMDA at several after school clubs in the Farnham area. 

Francis Fleury LAMDA Drama & Singing Teacher

Francis Fleury

LAMDA Drama & Singing Teacher

Francis is a Musical Theatre graduate from Performance Preparation Academy (PPA) Guildford.

Theatrical credits include Pantomimes at Yvonne Arnaud Theatre (Guildford), Theatre Royal (Nottingham) and, most recently, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves at Theatre Royal Bath for UK Productions.

Francis also worked as a lead vocalist in Spain performing six shows produced for TUI Family Life.

Showshack - Dance & Performing Arts Academy

Lizzie Cole

LAMDA Drama Teacher

BA Hons Drama & Theatre Studies, RSL Diploma 4.

Lizi studied at Royal Holloway, the University of London and has a consultancy background in Drama teaching for everyday performance – from corporate clients to the Houses of Parliament! Lizi’s degree focused on Dramathearpy and she began teaching drama in Early Years settings, teaching disability charities, boarding schools and Home Education groups. She has taken almost 300 children through their LAMDA exams including those with significant special educational needs. 

Showshack - Dance & Performing Arts Academy

Hannah Lodge

Performing Arts Teacher

Hannah has had a love of acting, singing and dancing from a very young age. She grew up in the area and even attended Showshack’s Saturday school!

Hannah trained in professional dance and musical theatre at Bird College, graduating with a BA Hons degree in 2019. She then continued her training at The Guildford School of Acting achieving a distinction in her MA Musical Theatre degree and graduating in 2020.

Since graduating, Hannah has worked professionally as a touring children’s theatre actor and most recently as a vocalist in Cyprus.

 


Hannah also has a passion for teaching and is driven to bring out the potential in every student. Whether they are wanting a professional career in performing arts or simply a creative outlet and a bit of fun each week, Hannah is dedicated to building the confidence and skills that will help them become successful in whatever life throws at them.

Louise Adamson

Louise Adamson

Dance and Musical Theatre Teacher & Party Host

Having danced from a very young age, Louise began performing when she was 9 in local pantomimes. She went on to train in the associate programme at the Royal Ballet School for 6 years in Covent Garden. She continued her dance training at Bird College, completing her degree in Professional Dance and Musical Theatre in 2018. Alongside her degree, Louise studied and took her exams in DDI teacher training. Since graduating, she has performed around the world on P&O’s cruise ships – Arcadia, Oriana and most recently Azura. She was also lucky enough to be chosen as a backing dancer in Elton John’s music video ‘Benny and the Jets’. Louise loves being able to share her passion for dance and to show the younger generation how much fun it can be!

Showshack - Dance & Performing Arts Academy

Kate Webster

Senior Ballet (RAD) Teacher

Kate holds a Bachelor of Arts degree(BA Hons), in Theatre from Guildford School of Acting (GSA) after graduating from the Royal Academy of Dance in 2009 where she was awarded her professional dancers teaching diploma (PDTD).

Teaching experience includes degree level Ballet, Jazz, Tap and Contemporary at GSA, further supporting beginner and advanced pupils aged 8 and up at the GSA Saturday school. Kate teaches on the associate program at Central School of Ballet and has done for over 18 years. 

An internationally experienced performer, choreographer and teacher, Kate has worked with the likes of Cape Town City Ballet, Rod Stewart and Ashley Banjo from Diversity on stages in Europe, Asia and South Africa. She performed with The Royal Ballet and English Ballet for the 2012 Olympic Games closing ceremony “Spirit of the Flame” dance in front of a live stadium audience and worldwide television broadcast. 

Sivan Raphaely LAMDA Drama & Singing Teacher

Sivan Raphaely

LAMDA Drama & Singing Teacher

Sivan hails from South Africa where she is best known for her roles in TROY: FALL OF A CITY (Adrasteia, BBC), local TV drama THULA’S VINE (Patricia, SABC), MACBETH (Lady McDuff, TAC) and her original play FROM THE MOUTHS OF BABES (Her, The Market Theatre).

Sivan started her career in musical theatre where her most notable roles were Maureen Johnson in RENT (Showtime) directed by Anthony Rapp, and Scaramouche in the Asian tour of WE WILL ROCK YOU (Showtime, Lunchbox) directed by Ben Elton. Sivan has been nominated for over three South African FLEUR DU KAP and NALEDI theatre awards for RENT and FROM THE MOUTHS OF BABES. 

As a writer Sivan has worked on numerous SA TV series ranging from Drama to Soap. She was part of the SAFTA award winning writing team for work on HIGH ROLLERS and is currently developing her original drama series THE WOODS. Sivan has taught acting and musical theatre for over eight years, coaching various students into professional theatrical roles.

Laura Mullowney West End Professional Dancer

Laura Mullowney

Guest Musical Theatre & Dance Visiting Professional

Laura trained professionally at Elmhurst School of Dance & Performing Arts where she received a diploma in Musical Theatre, as well as her ISTD Associate (the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing). Her performing career has taken her on tour in the UK, Europe and around the world. She has extensive experience as a freelance dancer, choreographer, trainer and model for trade shows, television and catwalk internationally. UK theatre credits include Big the Musical (UK/Ireland Tour & West End); Cathy/1st Cover Gemma in the original UK Tour of Jackie the Musical; Ensemble in Singin’ in the Rain (Kilworth House Theatre); Choreographer for Aladdin (Tastic Entertainment); Ensemble/Understudy Wicked Queen in Snow White (First Family, Manchester Opera House); Ensemble/Understudy Fairy Godmother in Cinderella (Evolution, The Hawth); Ensemble in The Merry Widow (London City Opera, US tour); Ensemble/Dance Captain in Dick Whittington (Qdos, Kings Theatre, Edinburgh) and Ensemble in Abbadabbadoo and Children of the Light (BOP Productions). Laura also worked for Los Angeles based company Crystal Cruises as Dance Captain, Swing, Singer/Dancer and Artistic Director of World Cruise Entertainment, where she choreographed and directed shows, and assisted with casting and audition tours.

Having spent many years abroad, Laura is happy to be back in the UK where she continues to pursue a career in musical theatre as well as the health and wellness industry – Laura is a fully certified Personal Trainer and Holistic Lifestyle Coach. She is passionate about all forms of dance, performing arts, health and fitness, and loves being part of the team at Showshack where she can pass on her knowledge and experience to the students.