Emma-Louise Pursey

Emma-Louise Pursey

“The Suzuki Method of Actor Training was developed by Tadashi Suzuki, Artistic Director of the Suzuki Company of Toga (SCOT). This technique has gained a broad following in professional theatre circles including the Royal Shakespeare Company, among many. The Suzuki Method develops the actor’s inner physical sensibilities, and builds the will, stamina and concentration. The workshop activities include a series of exercises focussing on the use of the feet in relation to one’s centre. These exercises are designed to throw the body off centre while maintaining a consistent level of energy and not swaying the upper body. The training involves precise physical discipline to bring a heightened awareness and emotional and physical commitment to each moment on stage. The Suzuki Method is designed to gain expressive perspective and abilities, and to explore the power of the human body in the theatrical context.”The Japan Society

Emma has 22 years industry experience as a professional actor, performer and producer on stage and screen.

From 1997 to 2007 Emma trained exclusively in the Suzuki Actor Training Method with repertory ensemble, Frank Theatre under the direction of Jacqui Carroll and John Nobbs. Performances with the company include: HAMLET STOOGED, UP JUMPED THE DEVIL, OEDIPUS REX, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S ROMEOS, DOLL SEVENTEEN, THE TALE OF MACBETH: CROWN OF BLOOD, RASHOMON, SALOME and HEAVY METAL HAMLET.

International festivals with the company include: 1999 2nd International Theatre Olympics in Shizuoka, 2000 Shizuoka Spring Arts Festival, 2001 6th International Festival of Youth Theatre, Croatia, 2003 Toga Spring Arts Festival, 2003 European Regions Festival, Czech Republic.

In 2004 Emma played Lady Macbeth opposite acclaimed Suzuki actor Okubo Noriaki at the Adana International Arts Festival, Turkey and in 2005 at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC). In 2006 she played Gertrude in Hamlet Stooged in the UK (Aberystwyth, London) and in 2007 performed in a showcase for Tadashi Suzuki’s second only visit to Australia at La Boite Theatre in Brisbane.

She has also trained with Tadashi Suzuki’s company SPAC/SCOT in Japan, attended masterclasses with Ellen Lauren of the New York SITI Company, and former principal Suzuki actor, Nakayama in London. In 2016 she co-taught a masterclass with former principal Suzuki actor, Okubo Noriaki in Melbourne.

From 2003-2013, Emma was co-director of The Brides of Frank, a dynamic ensemble of five female actors and dancers (Lisa O’Neill, Neridah Waters, Caroline Dunphy and Leah Shelton) who created critically-acclaimed, satirically absurd and subversive comedy performances by parodying popular culture, music and personae.

Other theatre includes: MADAME TULALAH’S MAGNIFICENT BOX (Brisbane Festival); TERMINUS (North of Eight Co.), THE PROCESS (John Gauci); THE TEMPEST (Melbourne Shakespeare Co.); THE MAN OF MODE (Chapel Off Chapel); THE FOUR ACCORDIONISTS OF THE APOCALYPSE (La Mama Theatre); GRIMM TALES (Queensland Theatre Co.); OODGEROO, ATTACK OF THE ATTACKING ATTACKERS (La Boite Theatre Co.); ‘TIL DEATH DO US PART (The Brides of Frank); THE GREATER PLAGUE (Restaged Histories Project); THE PILLOWMAN (23rd Productions); THE LARAMIE PROJECT (Springboard Theatre Co. & Forward Movement); CORPORATE (Loulabelle Productions); THE WAISTED GIRLIE SHOW with MARTIN MARTINI and the BONE PALACE ORCHESTRA (Strut’n’Fret); MYRRAH (Diane Cilento); WHERE IS JOY? (solo work).

Television includes: PROJECT S.E.E.D. (TeePee Studios), NEIGHBOURS (Channel 11), WINNERS AND LOSERS (Channel 7), UNDERBELLY SQUIZZY (Channel 9). Films include: UNTITLED (Peter T Nathan); THE SOUND OF LOVE (Alex Richter).

Emma designed and directed performer, Helen Smith in a text-based butoh interpretation of Lady Macbeth in EVOCATION OF BUTOH at LaMama Theatre for the 2017 Asia-Pacific Triennial of Performing Arts.

As a vinyl DJ, Emma composed and live-mixed numerous soundscapes for Australian contemporary dancer, Lisa O’Neill. Most significantly, FUGUSAN which opened the Visy Theatre at the Brisbane Powerhouse in 2000, then toured to Dancehouse, Melbourne, Performance Space, Sydney, the New Moves Festival, Glasgow and the Asian Contemporary Dance Festival, Osaka.

Emma also produced and starred as the lead role in Australian photographic artist, Peter Milne‘s ‘film stills from a film that doesn’t exist’ series THE ODDFELLOW’S DAUGHTER for MICF 2015 at ACMI featuring select names in Australian comedy. It has now been turned into a book.

Emma produced and cast short film THE LAST TIME I SAW YOU directed by Damian McLindon. It was Third Prize Winner at Tropfest 2018, Best Film at Port Shorts Film Festival 2018, made Director’s Top Ten Pick’s at Encounter’s Short Film Festival (Bristol, England) 2018, Best Short Film at Peninsula Film Festival 2019, and has just featured at Glasgow Film Festival 2019. It is currently streaming on Ozflix.

She also contributed to theatre director, Kat Henry’s 2018 creative development: PLAGUE AND ABANDON, and featured in Thomas Ian Doyle’s play RIOT last October.


“The classes are a high focus environment and Emma is a leader.” – Amelia Newman, Actor/Writer/Director

“Suzuki was the challenge and step-up that I was looking for in developing my instrument…It is a privilege to train with Emma.” – Eliza Charley, Actor/Writer

…physical theatre training is not for the accumulation of skills to be applied as character traits in a play, but rather to foster an overall cognitive framework for fictional aesthetic in a real material world.– Maiya J Murphy, Assistant Professor, Performance Studies, National University of Singapore

“I feel like I need my body to work to get into the voice, but then once I find the voice, it helps me get further into my body – truly they are connected!” – Narda Shanley, Performer / Executive Director/Co-CEO, St Martins Youth Arts Centre