over 3750 hours of improv training a year.
From Concept To Delivery - We've got it in house.
Meet the teaM
We have 23 expert trainers on hand, and ready to deliver your workshop. These trainers are not only professional improvisers, performers and comedians, but also professional teachers - each member of our training staff delivers around 300 hours of improvisation training a year with the Free Association.
Meet some of our core business training staff below...
Alison is the Head of Business Training at The Free Association. She teaches and performs at The Free Association Theatre, and also guest improvises with Chortle award winners Austentatious and can be heard in several Radio 4 comedy sketch shows, and seen on TV’s News Jack.
Alison is a critically acclaimed actress, comedian and writer. Her recent solo character comedy ‘Some Like It Thea-Skot’ was a 5-star sell out hit at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival and transferred to the Soho Theatre in London.
Graham DicksonGraham is the founder and Artistic Director of The Free Association. He has been improvising for over 15 years after begining training in UCB New York. Graham is also a founding member of the award-winning improvised, West-End show Austentatious.
Graham is an improv teacher and coach, and has taught in many schools and corporations. When not improvising, Graham is an actor and writer, and has appeared in Borderline (C5), Drifters (E4) and Derren Brown: Pushed to the Edge (C4).
Michael Orton-ToliverMichael is an American comedy writer, producer, and improviser living in London. His improvisational roots go back to 1997 in Los Angeles with Comedy Sportz, and has since performed for Second City theatre (Chicago), and served as Head Corporate writer for Amsterdam’s Boom Chicago. In addition to co-creating, writing and executive producing Borderline (Channel 5) and The Literary Adventures of Mr. Brown (BBC Radio 4).
Freya is a writer, improviser and comedian. She currently performs and teaches with the Free Association. Freya won the Funny Women Award 2010 with Liz Black with their double act Thankless Child. They went on to perform internationally and write for CBBC.
Freya started improvising with the Edinburgh Improverts while at university and went on to direct them in her final year. Since being in London, she has trained under David Shore, Mark Beltzman and the Free Association.
Naomi is passionate about all things FA! She trained with The Free Association and Monkey Toast and is a member of FA House Harold team Sweet Fanny Adams and the FA Players. Naomi teaches at the Free Association at the highest level, and when she’s not improvising, Naomi is an actress, writer and singer. Her stage credits include Angus Thongs and Even More Snogging (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Chavs (Lyric Hammersmith), 10x10x10 (Pleasance), The Witches of Eastwick (Watermill) and Tender Loving Care (New Theatre Royal). Television and Film credits include Drifters (E4) and At First Sight (Rankin Film Productions).
CLARE PLESTEADClare is a critically acclaimed actor, writer and director. She performs on the London comedy circuit and improvises with London improv school The Free Association.
Clare has over ten years global business training experience in both the public and private sector. Drawing on over seventeen years of performance experience, to a wide variety of audiences and cultures, Clare delivers engaging and entertaining workshops that focus on the transferable skills of an actor.
LOLA-ROSE MAXWELLLola-Rose has trained with some of the top improvisers in the world. She performs regularly at The Free Association and is a primary coach to the FA's in house performers. When not improvising on stage, coaching or working with businesses on communication skills through improvisation, Lola-Rose writes for Channel 4 and narrates children's books, as various characters on BBC Radio 4.
Behind the Scenes
A lot goes on behind the scenes in the organisation and planning of our workshops and training programmes. You will be sure to meet one of us in the lead-up to your training.
Jonny is the Operations Director at The Free Association and has worked with the company since it's conception. Jonny was once a professional actor and director, reaching the dizzy heights of Off-Broadway with his critically acclaimed one-man show, before moving behind the scenes and opening a London Theatre. He has facilitated a whole breadth of corporate and entertainment events organisation including The Yorkshire International Business Conference, BBC’s Winmau World Darts, Oasis Live in Concert, BBC's Antiques Roadshow and Children in Need - amongst many other notable conferences and live events and performances. Jonny Co-ordinates the Free Association’s training programmes and manages client relationships.
Ryan was raised in the small seaside town of Bridlington, East Yorkshire. Since then he's traveled across the pond to study his MA and work as a lecturer in Film Theory at UWO, Canada. Surviving -40 winters, he returned to the UK working as New Business Director for a Design Business Association (DBA) accredited business growth agency where he worked alongside some of the UK's most creative companies, supporting their full sales cycle and creating a robust strategy to target and pitch to global brands and businesses. Ryan is a Director at The Free Association and hosts his own talk podcast, Version 3.0.
Daniel is an American with over 20 years experience in finance. He began his career on Wall Street with Merrill Lynch, soon transferring to London to work in Research Marketing and Sales. Thereafter, Daniel worked at several hedge funds, including Dickson Capital and Perella Weinberg Partners, specialising in media and technology as a Portfolio Manager, Analyst and Trader. Daniel has studied and performed improv at The Free Association, and is a founding member of their offshoot teams Kid Smokers and Lester City.
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