Master at Arms


‘Master At Arms’ is built around the experiences and values of its members. Here you can learn more about them:

Keith teaches stage combat across the UK including several iconic London drama schools. As well as choreographing, he also lectures on medieval weapons.   

Keith Wallis

Keith has been working as a fight director for over a decade, offering professional fight choreography for numerous theatres and production companies across the UK, as well as providing tuition in stage combat for some of Britain’s most prestigious acting schools and institutions. 

His career began back in 2007 when he ran a series of workshops for the National Youth Theatre, this was then followed by his first choreography credit as assistant fight director for the stage play Sons of York at the Finborough Theatre, directed by Kate Wasserberg. Since then he has gone on to choreograph fights and action sequences for a wide range of different projects. He currently splits his time between regular teaching at Italia Conti and various choreography projects. His lifelong passion and interest in Medieval weapons and warfare has also led to his running a series of regular talks and lectures on the subject at Norwich castle. 

Recent work includes choreography for the BAFTA nominated feature Lady Macbeth, as well as projects with Park Theatre, English National Opera, Royal College of Music, Southwark Playhouse,  Garsington OperaRoyal & Derngate, The Pleasance and Trinity Laban Conservatoire

Joe Golby

With a decade of professional experience Joe is a highly accomplished fight coordinator and choreographer. Joe’s CV boasts several critically acclaimed feature films spanning many genres. Meanwhile his TV work has seen himself and his work appear on the BBC (Strictly Come Dancing), ITV, Channel 4 as well as cable channels Discovery, History and National Geographic where he specialises in recreations of violence from ancient history (Crusaders: Back from the Dead) to modern day murders (My Online Nightmare).

Other screen work includes commercials for high street brands (Footlocker, Sainsbury’s) and music videos for chart topping groups (The 1975). Early to embrace online platforms his work for leading YouTube channels and personalities (New Form Digital, TomSka) have over 100 million views. Live credits include West End theatre and shows which have gone on to tour Europe.

Using this experience and knowledge Joe teaches stage combat to aspiring actors in training and has introduced fighting on film to students at leading UK film schools (NFTS, Central Film School, MET Film School). He has been interviewed in print and on television in both the UK and US as well as being nominated for several awards for his work over the years. 

Joe currently divides his time between choreographing for individual projects, performing and teaching.

Joe has an extensive Film & Television CV alongside work in live theatre. Choreographing violence from ancient warfare to modern day murders.
Fight choreographer & stage combat instructor across Europe. DJ draws from a diverse training base, enabling him to develop & explore new ideas in the field of Violence in Performance.  

DJ Johnson

DJ choreographs and co-ordinates violence and action for theatres, productions and educational institutes around the UK and Europe; having worked on projects for BBC, Southwark Playhouse, Ealing Studios and The Marlowe Theatre – as well being a Visiting Practitioner and Associate Lecturer at schools / universities such as Drama Centre London (Central Saint Martins), East 15 Acting School, and Drama Studio London.

DJ has expertise in a range of weapon systems, including a background in Aikido and Krav Maga (as well as being a qualified Self Defence Instructor). He also has experience in breakaways, wirework, falls, and firearms training.

Vast experience, training, and many qualifications enables DJ to develop more dynamic and holistic violence for stage and screen – moulding physical scores that connect with the actor/character and moving the scene to a more resonant and visceral level. Above all else, he strives to keep actors safe at all times and maintain an open dialogue between performers and directors.

Alongside choreographing violence and action sequences; DJ also focuses on fitness, partner work/connection (incl. Acrobalance), spatial awareness, physical storytelling, general performer safety and physical actor training. 


DJ has successfully passed the ‘ScreenSkills Coronavirus Awareness on Production Training’, theAPA COVID-19 Shooting Guidelines Assessment Test‘ and the COVID Safe Martial Arts Instructor Certification‘, endeavouring to adhere to the safety guidelines as best as possible and limit the risks of coronavirus transmission during productions.

Francesca Mansfield

Francesca has worked as an actress, fight performer and fight choreographer across Europe since she graduated from East 15’s rigorous ‘Acting & Stage Combat’ BA course in 2014.

She has performed across Italy, fought in feature films, and choreographed largely for stage shows.

Fran has extensive experience in working with children and teenagers, as well as adults – namely having worked on shows for Trinity Youth Theatre in Tunbridge Wells whilst juggling her role working with Primary students at her local school.

Whether it’s school plays, theatre shows or a newlyweds’ first dance whilst armed with Smallswords – Francesca’s engaging and approachable nature makes her an asset to any team – especially one that works in the world of violence and stunts!

Francesca has been a fight specialist in live theatre for many years. With an equal love for performance and choreography, she can often be seen swinging a sword or teaching others to.
Head of programmes at East 15 acting school Chris has been influential in the stage combat world; co-founding the worlds only stage combat focused degree course in the world.

Dr Chris Main

(Honorary Patron)

Chris Main holds an MA in Theatre Practice and a PhD in Elizabethan/Jacobean Theatre from Exeter University. He is a Certified Teacher of stage combat with the BASSC, a fight examiner for Stage Combat Germany and holds a black belt in Aikido. Chris has worked for many theatre companies including: the Orange Tree, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Royal & Derngate, Crucible Theatre, Graeae, The Northcott, and the BBC.

Alongside Nick Hall, Chris co-wrote and established the East 15 BA Honours ‘Acting & Stage Combat’ course, the only stage combat focused degree program in the world.

Directing work includes numerous productions for the Royal Armouries at the Tower of London and East 15. Meanwhile his film & TV work includes several fight choreographer, assistant choreographer and performer credits.