Our Team

Matthew
Byam Shaw
Director

Matthew Byam Shaw

Director

Matthew’s comprehensive theatrical career began as an actor at RADA. He performed for ten years before turning to producing after discovering Charlotte Jones’s In Flame and since then has produced numerous times directly into the West End and Broadway. He has partnered with many notable theatres including the Almeida Theatre, Donmar Warehouse, Royal Shakespeare Company, Lyric Hammersmith, Royal Court Theatre, Sheffield Crucible, Bush Theatre, Chichester Festival Theatre and the National Theatre which has resulted in many successful transfers to the West End and Broadway. In 2010, alongside Nia and Nick, Matthew set up Playful Productions where he leads the development team in finding, commissioning and building new work to produce. The team works to build lasting relationships with writers, directors and actors at the peak of their careers, as well as discovering and supporting emerging talent. Matthew is a Trustee of Sheffield Theatres and a member of the RADA Council. He was a producer of the Oscar nominated Universal/Working Title film Frost/Nixon and is an Executive Producer of the Netflix series The Crown, now in its third season, based on Peter Morgan’s The Audience.

Nia Janis
Director

Nia Janis

Director

Passionate about theatre since childhood, Nia’s early career included producing on the fringe in London and Edinburgh, as well as working as a Production Manager at the Theatre Royal Haymarket and in the technical department of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Nia spent a number of happy years working across both the management and artistic departments at the Royal Court and is still committed to developing new work for the stage. Nia joined Matthew and Nick at Act Productions as General Manager, working on productions such as Wicked, Frost/Nixon, Edward Scissorhands, Spring Awakening and Don Carlos, until 2010 when the three of them formed Playful Productions. Since then Nia has overseen all productions produced and/or general managed by Playful including Wicked, Kinky Boots, Shrek, Groundhog Day, American Buffalo and The Audience. Nia heads up Playful’s exceptional in-house production team and oversees all employment issues across Playful’s shows. She is committed to nurturing talent as well as striving to improve working practices across the industry. She currently serves on the boards of the Society of London Theatre, the Bush Theatre, the Stage One Council and is a member of the Theatre Industry Wellbeing Committee, Safeguarding working group and member of SOLT & UK Theatre Inclusion & Anti-Racism Working Group.

Nick Salmon
Director

Nick Salmon

Director

Although Nick’s interest in theatre dates back to his school days, he learned the West End business during his time as a theatrical agent. He also worked on several films including The Go Between and The Railway Children, before returning to theatre. During his career he has managed and produced for HM Tennent, Churchill Theatre Bromley and Theatre of Comedy at the Shaftsbury Theatre, as well as producing in his own right in the West End and on tour – over eighty productions in total. Whilst at Act Productions, he programmed their nine West End theatres and set up their production company, which he ran as Executive Producer until launching Playful Productions with Matthew and Nia. For over twenty years he was Chief Executive of Stage One, a registered charity supporting new UK theatre producers. He has served on several theatre boards including the League of Independent Producers and the Board of The Society of London Theatre of which he was president for three years.

Emilie Baines
Associate
General
Manager

Emilie Baines

Associate General Manager

Emilie started as an intern in 2011 before joining Playful full time and has assisted across both Wicked London, which she now looks after, and the Wicked UK and Ireland tour. She previously worked for Pippa Ailion Casting and Jorg Betts Associates after studying Drama and Theatre Studies at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Kate Barraball
Head of Finance & Administration

Kate Barraball

Head of Finance & Administration

Kate has over 20 years of theatre experience. She began her career as a production administrator for the National Youth Theatre and Fiery Angel Ltd before moving into a series of financial roles at Act Productions and the National Theatre, where she was Head of Finance. As well as theatre Kate has held finance roles in the NHS and Financial Conduct Authority. She is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.

Sophie Beard
Production
Assistant

Sophie Beard

Production Assistant

After graduating with a degree in Events Management, Sophie started her career working backstage and has gone on to work in operations and administration across London theatres, including The London Palladium, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and The Old Vic. Most recently Sophie assisted on the launch of the New English Shakespeare Company and their inaugural production of Much Ado About Nothing in Dubai. She's very excited to start a new journey with Playful in 2021 and is currently working on Wicked and Come From Away.

Roger Chapman
Associate

Roger Chapman

Associate

Roger is a founding Associate of Playful and has worked with Matthew, Nia and Nick for the past 15 years. He is an independent producer both in the West End and on tour, currently engaged in a world tour of Under Milk Wood, and is the European representative of the BAM Theatres New York.

Juliet
Chippindale
Executive Assistant
to the Directors

Juliet Chippindale

Executive Assistant to the Directors

Juliet joined Playful as Executive Assistant to the Directors Matthew, Nia and Nick in September 2021 after 18 months as Director’s Assistant on the Netflix/Sony feature film musical Matilda. Prior to this, she spent 5 years as Executive Assistant to Artistic Director Matthew Warchus at The Old Vic supporting artistic programming, fundraising and audience development. She is a freelance copywriter for a range of cultural organisations and has an MA in Art Curation from the Courtauld Institute of Art.

Jesse Clift
Assistant
Production
Accountant

Jesse Clift

Assistant Production Accountant

Jesse joined Playful as Accounts Assistant in 2014 after studying Accountancy and Finance at the University of Huddersfield. She works across all productions supporting the finance department in various roles and is currently studying towards her professional accountancy qualification with ACCA.

Nick Dore
Production
Accountant

Nick Dore

Production Accountant

Nick joined Playful in 2017 as the Production Accountant. Nick previously worked as an in house management accountant for the premature and sick baby charity, Bliss, where he trained for his professional accountancy qualification with ACCA. Nick also volunteers as the Treasurer for the amateur dramatics society Centre Stage London.

Daisy Gladstone
Associate
General
Manager

Daisy Gladstone

Associate General Manager

Daisy first joined Playful in 2015 after working as a freelance stage manager for organisations including the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company. Whilst at Playful Daisy has worked across plays, musicals and touring productions including Get Up Stand Up!, Noises Off, Imperium and Groundhog Day. Daisy is currently working on Moulin Rouge! The Musical.

Aimee Hall
General
Manager

Aimee Hall

General Manager

Since joining Playful in 2011, Aimee’s projects have included Million Dollar QuartetShrek The Musical, Dirty Dancing (tour and West End), Groundhog Day, Don Juan in Soho and Come From Away. Current projects include Moulin Rouge! The Musical. Prior to Playful, Aimee worked for Ambassador Theatre Group at the New Wimbledon Theatre and for Warwick Arts Centre.

Suzy Hawes
Production
Co-ordinator

Suzy Hawes

Production Co-ordinator

Suzy began producing plays and musicals whilst studying for a degree in Philosophy at Durham University and produced over 20 shows during her time there, including a transfer to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. After graduating from Durham, she moved to London and joined the National Theatre as their HR Office Administrator. She then spent two years as a Production Co-ordinator for Mark Rubinstein Ltd, working on shows including: TINA – The Tina Turner Musical (Aldwych Theatre), Be More Chill (The Other Palace), Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (UK tour), Sweat (Gielgud Theatre) and Company (Gielgud Theatre). She most recently worked on The Walk for Good Chance Theatre as their Line Producer, assisting the Artistic Director with the development of events of welcome.

Jack Lea
Production
Co-ordinator

Jack Lea

Production Co-ordinator

Since joining Playful in 2016, Jack has worked on Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryAn American in Paris and The Moderate Soprano. He currently works on Come From Away as well as the development of future projects. He previously worked for the Royal Shakespeare Company and, prior to that, gained a Master’s degree in Creative Producing from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.

Courtney Lewis
Production
Co-ordinator

Courtney Lewis

Production Co-ordinator

Courtney joined Playful in 2016 and is currently working on Moulin Rouge! The Musical. Previously, she has worked on Kinky Boots UK Tour, Dirty Dancing UK Tour, Shrek The Musical UK & Ireland TourAn American in Paris and Imperium for Playful. Courtney has a first class BA (Hons) degree in Theatre and Performance from the University of Leeds.

Chuchu Nwagu
Production
Assistant

Chuchu Nwagu

Production Assistant

Chuchu joined Playful as Production Assistant in July 2021. Prior to joining Playful, Chuchu was Apprentice Producer on the West End transfer of Amelie & Assistant Producer at Talawa Theatre Company and, prior to that, worked in Higher Education after studying Theology and Religious Studies at Roehampton University. He is currently working across Get Up, Stand Up! The Bob Marley Musical, The Mirror and the Light and Moulin Rouge! The Musical.

Janet Powell
Senior General Manager

Janet Powell

Senior General Manager

A founder member of Playful, Janet has worked with Matthew, Nia and Nick since 2006, having previously been General Manager for producer Jenny King. As well as overseeing legal, investment and employment matters across all our shows, she has managed productions such as Quiz, No Man’s Land, Blithe Spirit, The King’s Speech and Flare Path.  She has a PhD in Ancient History and is a Research Associate at the Institute of Classical Studies.

Radojka
Radulovic
Production
Assistant

Radojka Radulovic

Production Assistant

Radojka joined Playful in 2021 after time spent developing project finance and fundraising skills with human rights charity REDRESS. Prior to this she worked with Mark Goucher Productions as Production Assistant across both West End and UK and international touring shows, as Administrator at Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures, and at The Corner Shop PR. Originally hailing from Leicester, Radojka has worked across numerous cultural venues and festivals in the city with operational and programming responsibilities.

Juliette Stark
Production
Co-ordinator

Juliette Stark

Production Co-ordinator

Juliette joined Playful as Production Co-ordinator in July 2021. Prior to this she worked on the musical Six, amongst other West End and touring shows with Kenny Wax Productions. Previously Juliette was General Manager at Omnibus, Clapham; Associate Producer at Curve, Leicester and Theatre Administrator at The Old Vic Theatre. She has also freelanced with a range of both commercial producers and subsidised theatre companies over the years, has a BA Hons degree in Arts Management and completed the Stage One Producers course.

Imogen Sutherland
Administrative
Assistant

Imogen Sutherland

Administrative Assistant

Imogen originally joined Playful as Production Intern in October 2019. Prior to working at Playful, Imogen graduated with an MA in Performance Making from Goldsmiths College, University of London and completed a three-month production internship at the Arcola Theatre, East London. Imogen returned to Playful as the Administrative Assistant in May 2021. 

Zak Thomas
Finance
Assistant

Zak Thomas

Finance Assistant

Zak is currently studying Business Management at the University of Surrey and is presently completing his year in industry as a part of his degree. Zak has various duties within the finance team including managing the Accounts Payable function and supporting the Production Accountants.

Lucy Verrall
Assistant
Accountant

Lucy Verrall

Assistant Accountant

Lucy returned to Playful in 2021 having previously undertaken a placement year in 2019-2020. She studied Accounting with Finance at the University of Portsmouth and has just graduated. She is passionate about learning more about the West End and works across all Playful’s productions supporting the finance department in various areas including royalties, purchase ledgers, invoices and payrolls.

Beth Watling
General
Manager

Beth Watling

General Manager

Beth joined Playful in 2017 after 8 years as Producer at the National Youth Theatre, managing productions across the UK, the West End and internationally. Prior to NYT Beth has produced work at Shakespeare’s Globe and the National Theatre. For Playful, Beth has managed Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, the Zurich, UK & Ireland tour of Wicked and is the company’s Tour Booker.

Kate Young
Associate
General
Manager

Kate Young

Associate General Manager

Kate joined Playful in February 2015 to work on Wicked before taking over on Kinky Boots (West End and UK & Ireland Tour). She now looks after Come From Away. Previously, Kate was Production Co-ordinator at Old Vic Productions (now Greene Light Stage), working in the West End on The Pajama Game, Good People and Private Lives. Prior to that, Kate’s roles include Assistant General Manager at The Old Vic Theatre Company and Associate Producer at Opera Holland Park across over 40 opera productions.

Yozi

Yozi

Playful Dog

Yozi began her career as an apprentice truffle hunter in rural Spain, but in her heart she knew she wanted to work in theatre, and when an opportunity came up at Playful she jumped at the chance (and was told to get down). She can smell a hit a mile away and literally eats, sleeps and wees theatre. A Shakespeare fan, her favourite plays are The Lurcher of Venice and A Winter’s Tail. In her spare time she likes to chase balls.