MEET OUR TEAM

Emma Taylor Artistic Director
Emma has been the artistic director 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 Fringe Report's Theatre Person of the Year Award and received the Guiness World Record on behalf of NewsRevue in 2004.
Shannon Steele General Manager
Shannon is the General Manager and Programmer at the Canal Café Theatre. After graduating from Australia’s prestigious National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in 2016, Shannon left the sunny shores of Sydney to work in the London theatre scene. Initially attracted to the organized chaos and wonderful thrill of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Shannon was the General Manager of C venues in 2017, overseeing a program of 170 shows, across 6 venues.
Daisy Milner
Daisy Milner Theatre Administrator
Daisy is the Theatre Administrator here at the Canal Café Theatre as well as a London based Theatre Director. Over the past three years her work has been performed in a range of London theatres including The Old Red Lion, Spotlight Studios, Tristan Bates, The White Bear & The Bread and Roses Theatre as well as 2017 tour to the Edinburgh Festival with her new writing company The Others Theatre. Commencing September 2019, Daisy will be studying on the Theatre Directing MA at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts.
Azeem
Azeem Lone Technical Manager
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 theaters including Edinburgh Fringe, West End and now the Canal Café!
Liz Arday Admin Assistant
Liz is a London based theatre director and arts administrator. Originally from Sydney, Liz has worked in with theatre companies including the Young Vic, Sydney Theatre Company, Performance Space, Wilton’s Music Hall, Regent’s Park Open Air and Griffin Theatre. In 2018 Liz was recipient of the Sandra Bates Director’s Award, awarded a one year assistant directorship at the Ensemble Theatre Sydney, before returning to London mid 2019 to forge a career as a freelance director.
Daisy Milner
James Riches Box Office Assistant
James has been working on the Fringe since the late 90’s, which is very scary when you see it written down. The Canal Cafe was the first London venue he performed in, when he was eaten by sharks live on our stage for your pleasure. He continues to write and perform, featuring at Edinburgh and Montreal over the years, as well as branching into podcasting, sadly with fewer sharks.
Daisy Milner
Emily Jane Kerr Box Office Assistant
Emily is a professional pretender from Hertfordshire. She trained at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, and since then has performed in many and varied venues; including: Arts Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe and Underbelly, Southbank. Her directing work includes: NewsRevue, Katie Prichard’s Storm Stud and Richard Soames’ Bottomless Pit. She improvises with Notflix: The Improvised Musical. When not on or near a stage, she works as a write and managing social media, and of course in the box office for Canal Cafe.
Alex Dowding
Alex Dowding Box Office Assistant
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.
Samuel Hopkins
Samuel Hopkins Associate Director
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.