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Biography

emma-bird1-2016Emma successfully auditioned for her first professional role, Needle, written by Jimmy McGovern, directed by Gillies MacKinnon when she was 17 years old (BBC, 1990).

Having secured representation with Sally Long-Innes at ICM (now Independent Talent), she began a successful early career in television, most notably as series regular Maxine Price in Casualty (1992).

Her experience grew in short films and features through her work with director Sandra Goldbacher in Seventeen, Piccadilly Circus by Night and The Governess, starring alongside Minnie Driver, (1997).

Her notable theatre work includes The Good Hope, (adapted by Lee Hall), directed by Bill Brydon, (2002) at The Royal National Theatre, David Mamet’s Oleanna (Norwich Playhouse) and The Woods (The Finborough Theatre), and Terms of Abuse (by Jessica Townsend) at Hampstead Theatre amongst others.

Diversifying her interests and skills, Emma studied for a degree in English and Philosophy, gaining a first class award. She then trained as a teacher of drama and had a successful career in secondary schools.

Throughout this time her drama facilitation and directing experience grew as she directed and led workshops with young people across schools in the South East. A highlight was devising, writing and directing an anti-bullying Forum Theatre play with young people that toured schools and youth clubs in West Sussex (Sticks and Stones, 2009).

Professional directing and producing experience developed during productions for Brighton Fringe Festivals (The Boutique, 2010, Blackout, 2012, A Passion for Rationals, 2014), all to great critical and audience acclaim.

She continues to foster her interest and skills in comedy improvisation by performing with and directing The Hee Ha’s, a successful improv troupe in Brighton, which she co-founded (2007- current)

More recently Emma has been developing as a writer through New Writing South, completing a short screenplay and stage play (2014).

Combining acting, directing, improvisation and facilitation careers, Emma has a breadth and depth of knowledge and experience of theatre, film and performance, and continues to learn and develop her passion for theatre making.

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