Professor Dr Andy Hickson PhD

Dr Andy Hickson is founder and CEO of Actionwork®. He was also Director of Actionwork Worldwide Ltd. Andy is a human rights activist and specialises in social theatre and using creative activties to deal with issues of bullying, peace and violence in schools, with young people, with disadvantaged and vulnerable groups in the UK and abroad. Andy's new book 'How to stop bullying' is currently available from Routledge. Andy grew up in deep jungle with the Temiar Orang Asli (aborigines) of Malaysia.

  • Education:
  • PhD in Education, University of Exeter 2010
  • PGDE, University of Exeter 2008
  • MA in Social Anthropology, University of London (SOAS) 1997
  • Diploma in Policy Studies, International Co-operative College, (Loughborough) 1994

Andy has received theatre training at the Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama, Royal Court Theatre with Max Stafford Clark, and in the Theatre of the Oppressed with Augusto Boal.

Andy was in the first cohort of students to attend Theatre-of-the-Oppressed training with Augusto Boal when he worked in conjunction with the London Bubble Theatre.

Andy was Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Communication at Help University 2018-2021 (Malaysia), and visiting lecturer at University of Exeter 2008/9, University of Sussex 2008, Empowerment Kansai Japan 2004-2007, International Dawn Center for Women 2003, Kyoto University 2001, British Council 2001, International Christian University Tokyo 2001, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) 1998, London Medical College 1992, Institute of Dramatherapy 1992,

  • Films Directed and produced:
  • Neuro Dramatic Play in the Jungle, Actionwork® 2017
  • Frontline (series), Actionwork® 2016
  • Cyber Tears, Actionwork® 2016
  • Charlie goes to Mongolia, Actionwork® 2015
  • Social Cohesion, Actionwork® 2010
  • Anti-Bullying Spies, Actionwork® 2009
  • Ban Da Bully, Actionwork® 2008
  • Teenage Binge Drinking, Actionwork® 2008
  • One World, Actionwork® 2007
  • Changes, Actionwork® 2007
  • The Hideout, Actionwork® 2006
  • Will or Reason, Actionwork® 2006
  • Making the Difference, DfES 2005
  • ABA Promo, Anti-Bullying Alliance 2004
  • What We Want, Actionwork® 2003
  • Jack in the Box, Actionwork® 2002
  • Tackling Bullying, Actionwork® 2002
  • Embodiment-Projection-Role (EPR), Rowan Studio 2001
  • 1000 Voices, Tie Tours 2000
  • Violence in Camden, Tie Tours 1997
  • A Taste of Tie, Tie Tours 1999

  • Shows Directed:
  • All different all equal, Actionwork® 2017
  • Power for Good, Actionwork® 2016
  • Make a noise about bullying, Actionwork® 2015
  • Let's stop bullying for all, Actionwork® 2014
  • Safe, Fun and Connected, Actionwork® 2013
  • We're better without bullying, Actionwork® 2012
  • Stop, Think; words can hurt, Actionwork® 2011
  • Taking Action, Actionwork® 2011
  • Cyber Scream, Actionwork® 2009/10
  • 33 Skins, Actionwork® 2009
  • Clash!, Actionwork® 2008
  • Silent Scream, Actionwork® 2003-2007
  • Angel High, Tie Tours 2002
  • Two Becomes One, Tie Tours Actionwork® 2001
  • 33 Skins, Tie Tours 1999
  • Silent Scream Showshop, Tie Tours 1999
  • Race, Tie Tours 1998
  • Silent Scream Two, Tie Tours 1998
  • Kick Racism Out Of Football (KROOF), Tie Tours 1997
  • Silent Scream, Tie Tours 1993 - 1996
  • Jacques and His Master, Hey Hey Theatre Co Ltd 1992

Media appearances have included interviews on CNN, BBC local and national radio 2000-2018. Contributor to documentary about bullying, BBC World Service 1999. Contributor to series on Violence, L!VE TV 1998. Contributor to anti-violence documentary, MBC Television 1997. Reader in Culture Shock, BBC World Service 1977. Reader in "The Temiar" Radio Malaysia 1976.

Helped pioneer several online international virtual learning platforms including the aVaTar@School project (2007/8), the Anti Violence Campus in Second Life (2009/10/11) and the Anti-Bullying Village in Open Sim (2011/12).

Performed plays include (written and co-written): Silent Scream, Disadvantage*, 33 Skins*, Race!*, Breakthrough*, Angel High*, Two Becomes One (2b1)***, Silent Scream Two, Clash! and Cyber Scream**

  • * Co-writer Glenn Dallas
  • ** Co-writer Rebecca Brynolf
  • *** Co-writer Kyoko McRae

  • Published books and papers:
  • - Hickson, A. (1995) Creative action methods in groupwork. Bicester, UK: Speechmark (translated into Japanese, Czech, Hebrew and Polish
  • - Hickson, A. (1995) Excite, baffle and aggrieve. Contemporary theatre review: an international journal. Franc Chamberlain (ed) Vol 3 (1) pp 101-107
  • - Hickson, A. 1997. Punan. [online] England: Actionwork. Available from:
  • - Hickson, A. (1997) The groupwork manual. Bicester, UK: Speechmark
  • - Hickson, A. (2002) Pause for thought: action or stillness with young people. In: Communicating with children and adolescents: Action for change. Bannister, A. & Huntington, A. (eds) London, UK: Jessica Kingsley. Ch. 3.
  • - Hickson, A. (2009) Social theatre and action. In: Jennings, S. (ed). London, UK: Chopin Press. Dramatherapy and social theatre: similarities and differences. Ch. 11
  • - Hickson, A. (2010) Can young people develop and deliver effective creative anti-bullying strategies?. [online] PhD thesis. Available from:
  • - Hickson, A. (2011) How to stop bullying. Speechmark: Milton Kenyes
  • -Hickson, A. (2016) Order and challenge in education and therapy: The influence of Temiar beliefs and practices. In Malaysia's Original People: Past, Present and Future of the Orang Asli. K Endicott (ed): NUS Press. Ch 11.

Additional experience includes: Produced the UK’s first national anti-bullying conference for young people and the world’s first international anti-bullying festival. Produced the Neuro Dramatic Play (NDP) adventure in the Malaysian Jungle, Extensive travel and expedition experience in Russia, Mongolia, Zambia, Botswana, Argentina, Brazil, Malaysia, Japan and China.

Return to Actionwork's home page