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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. 


During lock-down Ann began to write and her first play Susan had a rehearsed reading at The New Theatre in March 2022. This was made possible by Project Funding from the Arts Council.  It is planned to stage a full production of Susan in 2023.

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. 

Most recent directing was This Old Man by Gerard Lee at The Viking Theatre.

Ann has appeared in RTE’s Fair City and Roddy Doyle’s Family and Ballykissangel for BBC. Film work includes Frankie Starlight and Snakes and Ladders, The Widow’s Son and Small Victories.

Ann is a member of ReActors Actors’ Agency - full CV and bio at

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 most recently The Laughing Boy - staged at The New Theatre in March 2020 and revived in March 2022. The Laughing Boy is now heading for a London performance (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 for further information.


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