©Michael Wharley

You-Ri Yamanaka


London based actress




movement director


acting teacher


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Some new projects are in the pipeline. Watch this space! Also tailor-made workshop "Freeing the Inner Voice --- Body and Expression" is available and she will travel all over the world. In Jan - Feb 2020, You-Ri is leading several workshops in Japan.

You-Ri is currently based in London and originally from Japan. She is a highly experienced actress, voiceover, movement director and drama teacher.

Having studied Political Science at Waseda University, Tokyo, You-Ri was part of the Waseda Houso Kenkyukai (WHK -Waseda Broadcasting Association) where she worked in both television and radio as a presenter and reporter. This led to her involvement with theatre.

You-Ri then moved to the United Kingdom where she gained a Master of Arts in Directing at Royal Holloway, University of London. She took further drama training at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) and the Ecole Philippe Gaulier (Le Coq). In Japan, she trained in Traditional Japanese dance (Nihon Buyo / Kabuki Buyo) and the avant-garde Japanese dance, Butoh.

This extensive training with world renowned teachers underpins You-Ri’s wide ranging experience in devised theatre, physical theatre, classical theatre, Shakespeare and contemporary plays. She has performed on TV and film in the U.K. and worldwide. Her highly focused approach to the movement work has led to being a much sought after movement director.

You-Ri is an accomplished pianist. She started playing at the age of four. She also plays the accordion as well as a wide range of percussion instruments including Darbuka, the Egyptian tabla. As a singer, she is an accomplished mezzo soprano. She has appeared in theatre that has music in addition to her other credits. She is currently exploring folk singing

You-Ri wrote Lemon Elegy, a play performed at the Jermyn Street Theatre under the direction of Tim Baker, Associate Director of the Clwyd Theatre Cymru. Lemon Elegy won the Arts Council England Grant.

She also works as a movement director. Her movement direction includes work at the New National Theatre Tokyo, the English National Opera (ENO), and the Middle Temple. She teaches movement/acting at LAMDA, East 15,  LDA (London Dramatic Academy), Body and Acting & Scene Study class at the New National Theatre, Tokyo in the Drama Studio and Communication Skills and Speech through Acting Training at Jochi University (Sophia University), Toyo University, Tokyo. As an acting workshop leader, You-Ri coaches in the United Kingdom, Europe and in Japan.

Her voice work can be heard in video games, television and on your next flight abroad, just a small part of her extensive voice credits.

Her deep passion for human rights and the environment has created a desire to find an avenue in which she can express these issues, in particular, empowering people in need to discover new paths in life. This is a passion she continues to pursue through her work. One of her most popular contemporary workshops at present entitled, Freeing the Inner Voice - Body and Expression.


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