50 Anlaby Road, Hull, HU1 2PD   |   Tel: 01482 310690
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Meet the Team

  • Carl Wheatley, CEO

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    Carl trained in stage management and theatre production at London’s prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama and then went on to work professionally as a stage and company manager for producing houses such as The Chelsea Arts Theatre and for national tours including Rocky Horror. He moved into broadcasting in 1994 and started a 25 year career with the BBC in presentation and production. Carl presented ‘The Carl and Gloria Experience’ for ten years on BBC Radio Humberside and ‘Lizzie and Carl at Breakfast’ for 5 years as well as many other local shows. Over the years Carl has been a stage manager, hypnotist, box office manager and counsellor. Carl is delighted to be back at NAPA, a place he believes changes lives for the better on a daily basis.

  • Julie Lovewell, Head of Dance

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    After studying Dance at a local dance school for 13 years I then studied the ISTD Ballet, Tap, Modern, National and Greek syllabuses with Miss Gaynor Owen and her team in Liverpool for 3 years where I qualified as a Teacher for the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance.
    In March 1991 I started teaching a few classes at The Northern Academy of Performing Arts (now NAPA) and the rest, as they say, is history. My passion for teaching and choreography has given me so many amazing opportunities including work for ITV (This Morning, Heartbeat) BBC (Children in Need) and Billy Elliot the Musical (West End cast). NAPA is the most magical place to work and inspire all the children who come through the doors. I have been so fortunate to work with many incredible staff and students over the years and am still amazed by my job every day!!

  • Paddy Start, Head of Musical Theatre and Outreach

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    Paddy trained at the prestigious Bird College graduating with a distinction in Professional Dance and Musical theatre. While training Paddy studied under tutors such as David Leighton, Nick French and Sue Brice, where he was taught a wide variety of styles and techniques both in Dance and Musical Theatre. Paddy has also passed his exams in FDI Modern and Tap with the ISTD while on NAPA’S teacher training course. He has also achieved distinction in Grade 8 London College of Music (LCM) and Rock School singing exams. Since graduating Paddy has had several professional engagements, his first was with Graeme Henderson’s Tap Company where he performed at events such as Move It and the IDTA teachers conventions. Paddy’s most notable performance was in the world premiere of Jackie the Musical where he took on the role of Robert and dance captain. While in training Paddy performed the roles of; Bill – Steel Pier, Herr Schultz – Cabaret and Ensemble/Dance Captain – The Hot Mikado. Since returning to Hull in 2013 Paddy has choreographed for an array of successful musicals, including the academy’s productions of Betty Blue Eyes, Phantom of the Opera and Hello Dolly.

  • Paul Connell, Head of Drama

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    Paul has been the Head of Drama since 2016 and has worked within the drama department since 2010. Within this time Paul has directed many shows including ‘Animal Farm’, ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and ‘Room 13’. As well as being a director Paul is also a writer, and has written many of the performances that the students have taken part in over the years, these include ‘Buried’, ‘Cousin Billy’ and the work used in drama showcases and summer schools. Paul has a BA Honours Degree in Literature and has worked within several companies such as The National Youth Theatre. Paul coaches students on a one to one basis for both exams and auditions and has a very high success rate - particularly within LAMDA’s syllabus. Within the Drama department Paul’s aim is to help students develop a wide range of skills including vocal techniques, choral speaking, character development and performance for contemporary and classical theatre. Paul places a lot of emphasis on the students’ own creativity – encouraging them to develop original ideas and build unique performances.

  • Katie Wright, Head of Education and Engagement

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    During her time at NAPA Katie has directed an array of successful shows in both drama and musical theatre, including the academy’s larger scale productions such as Betty Blue Eyes and the Phantom of the Opera at Hull Truck Theatre and Jesus Christ Superstar at the Hull New Theatre. Katie was also the creative lead on the academy’s successful City of Culture creative communities show ‘We are the Future’ at the Hull City Hall. Katie has a BA Honours Degree in Literature and a PGCE in Secondary English. Katie has experience of teaching both English and Drama at Key stage 3, 4 and 5. Katie has taught a variety of styles of drama including voice and technique and also has a vast amount of experience teaching the LAMDA acting syllabus. Katie specialises in private tuition and has supported many students in getting into degree level performing arts training at national schools such as Arts Ed, Mountview, RADA, Italia Conti and ALRA.


Carl Wheatley – CEO
Julie Lovewell – Head of Dance
Paul Connell – Head of Drama
Paddy Start – Head of Musical Theatre and Outreach
Katie Wright – Head of Education and Engagement

Dance – Katy Ayres, Becky Bennett, Hannah Goodhall, Charlie Jagger, Sarah Sidaway, Sophie Stride
Drama – Barrie Wheatley (NAPA Visually Impaired Performers class)
Musical Theatre – Beth Barry, David Blackburn, Olivia Hewitt-Jones, Ben Newton, Georgia Aldous, Sarah Sidaway, Andrew Siddle

Barbara Dawson – School Business Manager
Jamie Wilks – Administrator
Annie Judge – Cashier
Helen Allerston – Receptionist
Leiana Masson – Receptionist

Jenny Sole – Wardrobe
Sheila Wright – Wardrobe
Marcus Heald – Theatre Stage Manager
Nicola Winsor – Café Bar
Sue Todd – Café Bar