MEET OUR TEAM
EMMA TAYLOR Emma has been the Artistic Director of the Canal Cafe Theatre since 2001. Directing highlights include; Lucky Stiff, (Whatonstage Best Musical Revival Nomination), Mamet's The Shawl with Scarlett Strallen, world premiers stage fright by Lynn Howes with Abi Titmuss, Marlon Allen's Number One Hobbby by Bea Roberts with Gen Swallow and Shamlet by Andrew Doyle. As a performer, stand out productions include the UK premiere of Tennessee Williams's The Fat Man's Wife directed by Russell Lucas, Sam n Emma In Pop Tarts and she finally got to appear in NewsRevue in 2015. Emma is also a recipient of an IARA Special Recognition Award, Fringe Report's Theatre Person of the Year Award and received the Guiness World Record on behalf of NewsRevue in 2004. She is also the author of The Pocket Producer available on Amazon - The Pocket Producer: How to Put on a Sell-Out Show in Edinburgh and Get Your Big Break.
Daisy is the General Manager and Programmer at the Canal Café Theatre and the Associate Producer for NewsRevue. Daisy has a varied background in theatre including producing, programming, administration and writing however her artistic credits are predominantly as a Theatre Director with over 5 years worth of work showcased in London venues. Highlights include Tristan Bates Theatre, Spotlight Studios, The Old Red Lion, The White Bear & The Bread and Roses as well as a 2017 tour to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with her new writing company The Others Theatre. Daisy is also a recent graduate from the Theatre Directing MA course at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts and sits on the script reading panel at Theatre503.
Shannon Steele is a Sydney-based Producer, Actor and Creative. A graduate from the National Institute of Dramatic Art and recipient of the UK’s Exceptional Talent Visa, Shannon is passionate about independent theatre, new writing and festivals. In 2020, as General Manager & Programmer of the Canal Café Theatre, she implemented the closure of CCT in line with pandemic restrictions and moved back to Australia and was instrumental in the creation of the NewsRevue Podcast in partnership with Artisitc Director, Emma Taylor. Shannon has continued as Associate Producer of the theatre from Australia and will return to London to produce the Australian Festival when border restrictions allow. Shannon has produced theatre at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, on the West End and Internationally.
Samuel is a London based theatre director and performance maker. He is particularly interested in making work around LGBTQ+ themes and experimental practices. Directing highlights include NewsRevue (Edinburgh 2018+2019), The Hired Man (Cadogan Hall), and Outside (The Vaults). He co-founded and performed with internet-cum-cabaret company Copycatzzz in their unique petting experiences; YAAASSSS and AUBERGINE. He has also been collaborator with the queer performance-ensemble Ponyboy Curtis, whose work has been performed at The Yard Theatre, Camden People’s Theatre, and The New Diorama. In 2016-17 Samuel was also part of The Fems, a queer bouffon clown troupe, and he has performed in various cabaret spaces such as House of Idiot and The Glory.
Azeem studied Stage Management and Technical Theatre at East 15 Acting School. Since graduation Azeem has worked with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines as a stage technician and progressed to a supervisor on a construction workshop. Azeem has been in theatre for over 10 years working in regional theatres including Edinburgh Fringe, West End and now the Canal Café!
Paul is an actor and director who also has over 20 years experience of teaching acting and directing. He trained under the late Sam Kogan, an acclaimed Russian teacher and director (alumnus of GITIS in Moscow under Maria Knebel, a student and colleague of Constantin Stanislavski). His professional directorial debut started at the Canal Cafe Theatre many moons ago directing a production of NewsRevue. Paul is the former Head of Acting at Kogan Academy where he directed over 10 plays and oversaw many students’ productions at various theatre festivals including Edinburgh and Brighton Fringe Festivals. He has also led workshops in acting for musical theatre at Borgarholtsskoli school in Reykjavik, Iceland. In 2017 Paul led a theatre directing workshop at the University of Zimbabwe, and in 2019 he returned to Zimbabwe to facilitate a directors mentorship programme at the Jasen Mphepo Little Theatre and the Zimbabwe Theatre Academy. As an actor he has toured nationally with Broadway Theatre Company (Golden Boy, UK, Ireland) and Sofa Productions (Checkov double bill, Shaw Theatre, Edinburgh and Moscow Arts Theatre). Other theatre includes Uncle Vanya (Greenwich Studios), Showcase (The Shaw Theatre), Napoleon Noir (Edgware Studios).
Althea, born and bread in Manchester, graduated from the Guildford School of Acting in 2015 and has since taken on various roles within the musical theatre industry. She has been a part of the Canal Cafe Theatre family for around 3 years, performing in NewsRevue three times. One of which includes performing in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in the NewsRevue 40th Anniversary show which also did a one night only West End transfer at the Arts Theatre in 2019. Other career highlights for Althea are playing Khadija and Nonkosi in Elegies for Angel's Punks and Raging Queens at the Union Theatre and travelling around the UK and the world with family shows such as The Gruffalo's Child and Paw Patrol.
Alex is a triple threat actor who trained at East 15, and by triple threat he means he can act, write, and work a box office. He grew up in South West London, and has been lucky enough to work professionally in some lovely places such as the Arts Theatre, The Coronet and The Pleasance both in London & Edinburgh. Alex also improvises comically with Monkey Toast, occasionally dips into doing technical duties for various fringe theatres and runs Shakespeare Rewired workshops for schools. If you see him outside a theatre, please gently redirect him towards the nearest venue as he is most likely confused and afraid.
Reice is delighted to come on board as a casting director for NewsRevue and the Canal Café Theatre. Artistic Director, Emma Taylor first met Reice aged 5 when he was a member of her drama school, the Norrie Carr Drama School and since then he has graduated from the BA(Hons) Acting course at The Royal Central School of Speech & Drama in 2015 and received a nomination for Best Supporting Actor by the Black British Theatre Awards 2020. Reice’s previous credits include; THE UPSTART CROW (Phil McIntyre Entertainment), THE WOLVES OF WILLOUGHBY CHASE (The Greenwich Theatre), BOXMAN UK TOUR (Flugman Productions), THE TEMPEST (Bilimankhwe Arts) and DOCTORS (BBC), DREAM TEAM (Sky One). Alongside work in theatre and film, Reice also founded and runs Make Believe Group, a low-cost performing arts school for children ages 3 to 16 which provides opportunities for young people from diverse backgrounds. Reice’s goal with this institute is to ‘inspire, motivate and bolster self-esteem while teaching valuable life skills of which can be implemented into their everyday lives, contributing to their development as people and broadening their horizons through performing arts.’ Please visit https://www.makebelievegroup.co.uk/school/make-believe-islington/ for more information.