is a theatre practitioner and trainer of remarkable skill and vision.
His background as a Lecoq-trained performer has had a major impact on all his work and, through his leadership of a number of actor-training programmes (TCD, Birmingham) and his contribution to others (UCC and others), has helped to shape a generation of performers in Ireland and the UK.
He brings to his teaching a professional focus and standards of commitment and artistic expectation which can be both daunting and inspirational. From the outset he engages his students with the challenges inherent in performance, whether that entails grappling with classic texts by Chekhov and Brecht or with Commedia del' Arte physicality or with object improvisation and mask work.
Andy's own engagement with theatre performance and training goes from Beckett to classic European theatre to devised physical performance and clowning. His theatre work is infused with a more European consciousness and aesthetic than is common among Anglophone practitioners. He has a huge breadth of both knowledge and experience as a practitioner, framed within a clear and articulate theatre aesthetic. In working as a director or trainer or deviser, he combines a tremendous sense of fun and creative invention with rigour and wit.
Whether as a performer or a trainer, he has that capacity to take the ordinary and transform it into something magical, brilliant. Dr Ger Fitzgibbon, Former Head of Drama & Theatre Studies, University College, Cork
I have worked with Andy as a core member of the critically acclaimed THE BECKETT PROJECT since 2004. Andy's training in Lecoq work fits extremely well with my own approach to psychophysical acting. Our approaches share many elements and principles, and therefore these approaches feed one another and all aspects of our work together. On stage I love working with Andy because he is always present to our partnering work 100%. Working on Beckett requires this 100% of inner work, even if we are showing only 5% on the outside within the containers Beckett provides. When we conduct workshops while on tour, Andy is a generous and excellent teacher always able to draw out students in his coaching. I can't say enough about how great it is to work with Andy. Phillip Zarrilli, Artistic Director - The Llanarth Group, Author of “Psychophysical Acting” (Routledge)44
The work and the principles I learned in your classes were principles and methods I still explore and use daily in a professional capacity, and I keep coming back to those principles and exercises again and again. Aaron Monaghan, actor (Abbey Theatre, Druid Theatre)
I've had both the honor and pleasure to know and work with Andy for over 10 years now. He is an excellent teacher who is totally committed to the process of learning and to creating the right 'playful' space for this to occur in. Our collaborative ventures have always been immensely rewarding for me as well as our participants, especially the PLAYPEN improv/play master-classes. He has a depth of knowledge and personal experience that is staggering, yet his approach to working with partners and/or students is never one of position of superiority - he is all about the collaboration, all in the spirit of making whatever the creation is better, the best it can be. John Dawson, writer/director/drama facilitator - dawsondramawork