Whirligig was formed by Ann Russell in 2008 with the purpose of presenting engaging, thought provoking and playful theatre.
Ann trained with the late Deirdre O’Connell at the Focus Stanislavski Studio where she performed in many American and European classics during the 1990's. She also attended Strasberg in NYC, has an MA in Modern Drama from UCD and a Licentiate Diploma (Teaching) from the London College of Music and Drama.
Ann is a member of ReActors Actors’ Agency - full CV and bio at www.reactors.ie/female#/ann-russell/
Her most recent theatre performances include The Tide at The New Theatre, The Whale and The Dolmen Theatres and Risk Everything at The New Theatre and The Viking.
Recent TV includes the popular TV series Harry Wild. She has also featured in RTE’s Fair City, in Roddy Doyle’s Family directed by Michael Winterbottom and in Ballykissangel for BBC. Film work includes Robbie Walsh's award-winning film The Letters; Everything in it's Place by Ted Endo, Frankie Starlight, Snakes and Ladders, The Widow’s Son and Small Victories.
During lock-down Ann began to write her first play Susan. Arts Council funding together with support from the Irish Theatre Institute enabled development which culminated in a reading at The New Theatre in March 2022. After further development and with funding from Dublin City Council Arts Office and additional support from ITI, a rehearsed reading is scheduled for March 2024. It is hoped that a full production will be staged later in 2024.
For the past few years Ann has had a very productive and enjoyable working relationship with writer and dramatist Jack Harte, co-producing (with Jack Gilligan) his plays The Language of the Mute, The Mysterious History of Things, Killing Grandad and The Laughing Boy the latter staged at The New Theatre in March 2020, revived in March 2022 and subsequently performed at the ICC Hammersmith in September 2022.
Ann enjoys balancing her work as a performer and director with that as a tutor and facilitator. Formerly senior examiner with the Royal Irish Academy of Music, since 2006 when she founded Russell Academy she has delivered a highly successful programme for Public Speaking and Presentation Skills working with various third level institutions and companies. She also has an outstanding record in training specialist teachers of Speech and Drama.
Check out www.russellacademy.ie for further information.