‘A theatre company that believes that theatre can bring about positive change by helping people see the world differently.’
Dark Horse theatre company premier original work, with an ensemble of 8 exceptional actors with learning disabilities and non – learning disabled actors from the wider industry. We produce work to tour nationally that is visually impactful and has a reputation of surprise, innovation and the ability to reverse expectations.
Dark Horse is also a leading vocational trainer of actors with learning disabilities and develops skills in preparation for work in the industry. Interested in a career as an actor? Take a look at our Train & Learn section
Originally created in 1998 as Full Body and the Voice, the company underwent rebranding in 2012 to become Dark Horse. The company has continued to develop into a leading provider in our field, with over 20 years experience under our belt.
With a background in business management Dark Horse Executive Director Lynda Hornsby has been with the company for over 10 years. She’s fulfilled all manner of roles, starting out as part time book keeper working just 2 hours a week and has seen the company go through a number of evolutions, each one different from the last.
In her spare (cough) time Lynda is a bit of a fitness fanatic and enjoys Pilates and boot camp we are not sure Lynda knows where the sofa is in her house she hasn’t sat on it in that long. A true embodiment of the Dark Horse ethos towards fitness Lynda has been known to turn up slightly red faced after running to work or encouraging the staff to take on Castle Hill steps. This year Lynda will be putting all her excess energy into taking part in the Great North Run as part of the Dark Horse team.
Paula has over 6 years’ experience working as an Account Manager in the marketing industry but took the opportunity for a slight career break when her little boy arrived. In typical Paula style that ‘break’ turned into an opportunity to gain a degree in drama that fulfilled her passion to explore physical theatre. She married these two elements together and in March 2017 joined Dark Horse as the Audience and Outreach Coordinator on the company production of ‘You Have Been Watching’ and although the show has now been and gone Paula remains with Dark Horse in this capacity and also as a Drama Facilitator for our F1 actors in training.
In her ‘breaks’ from work Paula will normally be looking for a new challenge, jumping out of planes, climbing, hiking, swinging upside down, travelling… in fact we are sure the only time she is still is when she builds Lego!
Katie joined Dark Horse as a Rehearsal Room Assistant in 2017 but has since progressed to being Lynda’s ‘right hand woman’ taking on a range of tasks which see her putting her varied experience base to great use here at Dark Horse. (Fun fact – Katie is also a marriage celebrant … she marries people!! )
With 3 kids aged 11, 8 & 4 Katie is kept more than busy outside of Dark Horse ensuring their demanding social diaries are met, Mum’s love for the arts has clearly rubbed on some of the kids as they strive to be budding performers. Katie studied performing arts at degree level and enjoys singing and playing guitar with what spare time she can find.
Amy is the newest recruit to the Dark Horse team, but not the industry. Alongside running IGNITE our young company, Amy also teaches performing arts in primary schools across West Yorkshire and runs a theatre school in Wakefield. She studied drama at the university of Manchester and has been an avid performer all her life still taking part in contemporary dance classes weekly.
Amy is another one with an aversion to ‘spare time’ so she fits right in but when she is not in dancing shoes or walking boots Amy likes to take in some culture and travels as much as she can.
After a working life that involved lots of moving around and a variety of jobs, including retailing and working with charities both large and small, Margaret ‘retired’ in 2010 and started looking for new ways to spend her time. So now she is just as busy as before but concentrating on work she really enjoys. For Margaret that happens to involve doing accounts so she was delighted when Dark Horse looked for a volunteer to help with financial admin. When she is not in the Dark Horse office you might find Margaret at home doing the book-keeping for a couple of other charities. Or she might be singing with Sheffield Oratorio Chorus or even sitting in the audience listening to Huddersfield Choral or Opera North….I see a theme emerging here…
Erica was originally introduced to Dark Horse over our Executive director Lynda’s ritual morning cup of coffee (very important). She developed a love of literature and theatre at Bangor University, and also a love of horror films!! Erica’s interests don’t stop there she also considers herself a bit of a novel connoisseur and when she isn’t keeping Lynda (and the rest of Huddersfield) stocked up on caffeine she is also a professional pet sitter for four and eight…I’m not asking… legged friends.