The Little Tanks Team

Debi Rush gained a BA Honours Degree in performing Arts at the University of Hertfordshire in 1998. She then began work as a professional actress in children’s theatre working with the legendary ‘Sooty’ and touring with ‘Art Attack’. After travelling the world, purely for pleasure, Debi decided on a slightly different career path on her return. She has never looked back and has been teaching drama to children aged 5-12 years for the past 15 years. Debi began Little Tanks in 2003 teaching all the classes herself, however after a growth spurt in the company and having two children, Lily & Harry she decided to take a more managerial role. Little Tanks currently has 16 successful classes running this term.


Shani Woodley studied Musical Theatre at The Brit School of Performing Arts for two years and then continued her studies at Chichester University graduating with a BA Hons in Dance. She has trained extensively for many years in various styles of dance, including Ballet, Tap, Modern, Contemporary and Musical Theatre. Currently taking her DDI teaching qualifications in ISTD Modern Theatre and Tap, Shani is looking forward to becoming a qualified ISTD teacher. Shani has had the experience of working on many large projects within the Film/TV industry and also stage performances as well as teaching for various schools and companies within the area. Priding herself in her keen eye for detail, high expectations and passion for the Arts, Shani loves helping young performers to blossom and grow, whilst having fun and learning new skills.

Emma Duncan7907Emma Duncan Trained at the University of Central Lancashire gaining a BA Hons degree in Acting. Since then as well as perusing a career in acting Emma has also found a love of teaching her skill to others. Emma has taught at Stage Coach teaching children from aged 5 up to teens all the disciplines; drama, singing and dance before setting up her own holiday theatre workshops that proved very successful before taking some time out to travel the world. Now Emma is back in the UK and working as a nanny for 2 families looking after babies and toddlers she is keen to get back into teaching by joining the Little Tanks team.

Hayley Allerton achieved a degree in Theatre Studies with Dance at The University of Hull and completed her training at The Rep College.  With a background predominantly in Repertory theatre, credits include Lady Macbeth; Carol, Shakers; Val, Fen; Anne, Fall; and Vera in The Odd Couple. Hayley completed a year touring Europe and the US as Wendy in the Bob the Builder Live international tour. Building on her career in Recorded Media she presented the Cowes Powerboat Race for Sky Sports, and most recently appeared as Jess in PRIDE for BBC Films. After touring with children’s theatre, and working at Legoland, Windsor for the SGA entertainments team Hayley discovered a real passion for working with children and can’t wait to get on board with the Little Tanks team. Hayley’s love for theatre and first big role as Alice in Alice in Wonderland all stemmed from after school drama clubs so this is a great opportunity to recapture that magic, helping children to learn and grow through their love of performing.

Alex Searle graduated from GSA in July 2018 with a degree in theatre and performance. During her training Alex completed her Lamda grades and spent a placement year teaching and gaining plenty of experience at Berzerk Productions. During her final year at GSA Alex co-created Tales & Trails Children’s theatre company that took ‘Eliza’s Big Adventure’ to the Edinburgh Fringe 2018. Alex has always had a passion for working with young people and enjoys working for Surrey Youth Music Theatre during the holidays helping to create musicals in a short space of time with groups of young people. You may also find Alex dressed as a princess and covered in glitter working as a party host for CTP, making children’s party dreams come true!

Bernadette VanderkarBernadette Harvey-Brown – Bea began her training at the full-time drama school Redroofs Theatre School and then went on to the two year musical theatre course, graduating with a music theatre diploma.  She has worked professionally on many different projects and her Theatre, TV & Film credits include the musical Annie at the Apollo Theatre Oxford, several Christmas pantomimes, Silent Witness, Code 46, Harry Potter & various commercials & recordings. Bea is an experienced performing arts tutor having taught drama, dance and musical theatre at various different stage schools as well as directing and choreographing for theatre companies. Bea loves working with young people and helping them develop, grow and gain in confidence through the performing arts.

Cassie Gayle read English and Drama at Sussex University and trained at the Drama Studio London. Since then she has become an Actress, Producer & Artistic Director of Tales Retold production company. Cassie has taught drama for stagecoach, LAMDA, Questors Theatre and is currently teaching the under 11’s youth theatre class at the Rose theatre in Kingston. Cassie is thrilled to be joining Little Tanks and demonstrating some new activities with the groups.

Sophie Bevan trained at Rose Bruford College gaining a BA Hons in Actor Musicianship. Before moving to London Sophie worked in an SEN department at a secondary school in Hull and provided 1-1 support for students across all subjects. Since then Sophie has gained a wealth of experience working for Stage Coach running theatre workshops and and teaching singing to children from 4 years to teens. Sophie is still working in the industry as a professional actor and loves how acting and performing can really develop self-confidence and can build lasting friendships.

Alex Heath grew up participating in many out of school drama clubs, which allowed him to pursue his dream of becoming an actor. During his formal training at the Arts University Bournemouth gaining valuable experience and skills in voice, singing, acting and movement Alex also gained a qualification from the BASSC in the use of broadsword. For the third time Alex recently performed at the Edinburgh Fringe festival this year appearing in Curious Pheasant Theatre’s adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, in which he later toured in schools. Alex is currently teaching at Stagecoach in Bicester as well having experience at teaching at the Bournemouth and Wimbledon one too.


Shane Nippard graduated from Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in 2013, where he achieved a Masters degree in Acting. Following various work in theatre, voice-over and film, Shane decided to train other actors and pursue a PGCE. Shane has been teaching acting on a Performing Arts Degree course at Bucks New University and Amersham College for over a year as well as teaching primary children at a Theatre school in Bournemouth called Stagewise. We are delighted to be welcoming Shane to the team and are very impressed that he still finds time to squeeze in some Acting to his busy schedule!

Holly-Anne Hull Trained at the London school of musical theatre gaining a Distinction Diploma in Musical Theatre. She most recently played and covered the role of Cosette in the world tour and London’s West End cast of Les Miserables. Holly is also a qualified vocal coach and gains lots of experience singing in her Country Music band called ‘Remember Monday’. Holly has enjoyed teaching dancing, singing and acting for the last 5 years to children of all ages at BARTA, Stagecoach and Make Believe Camberley as well as having time to teach private singing lessons too! We are looking forward to welcoming her to the team. 

Debbie Scott

Debbie Scott graduated from Royal Holloway University with a BA in Drama, Theatre and Media Arts. After three years of working for the Entertainments department at Thorpe Park, she moved to Singapore. It was there that she began teaching as a freelance Drama and Musical Theatre teacher, watching children develop their confidence through workshops and performance. Back in the UK, Debbie trained as a teacher and became Head of Drama at a local secondary school. After 13 years, she is looking forward to a new challenge and is excited to join the Little Tanks team.

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