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

Nia Janis is a founding Director of Playful Productions. Her experience as a producer and general manager spans the West End, Broadway, collaborations with subsidised houses, and UK and international touring. Work as a producer includes Get Up Stand Up! The Bob Marley Musical, My Fair Lady and The Mirror and the Light, and a development slate of plays and new musicals. General management includes Wicked, Moulin Rouge! The Musical and Come From Away. She has overseen dozens of productions including Kinky Boots, Shrek The Musical, Groundhog Day, American Buffalo and The Audience. Nia’s early career included producing on the fringe in London and Edinburgh, production management at Theatre Royal Haymarket, work in the technical department at the RSC, and roles in the management and artistic departments of the Royal Court. She sits on the Society of London Theatre board and is a member of the Theatre Industry Wellbeing Committee, Safeguarding Working Group and 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
Co-ordinator

Sophie Beard

Production Co-ordinator

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. Prior to joining Playful, Sophie assisted on the launch of the New English Shakespeare Company and their inaugural production of Much Ado About Nothing in Dubai. She is currently working on Wicked.

Faith Beach
Office
Co-ordinator

Faith Beach

Office Co-ordinator

Faith joined Playful in 2022 as Office Co-ordinator. Prior to joining Playful, Faith worked in TV for companies including Gaumont, Netflix, Sky, BBC, ITV and Love Productions, and was Covid Coordinator for Gangs of London Series 2. Faith is Artistic Director of Spitting Feathers theatre company and is an alumnus of the StoneCrabs Theatre Directors in Practice course. Faith also works as a freelance script reader and development assistant in the film industry.

Emma Burge
Trainee
Production
Accountant

Emma Burge

Trainee Production Accountant

Emma joined Playful in June 2022 after completing her degree in Accounting with Finance from the University of Portsmouth. Emma helps within the finance team with various responsibilities including dealing with petty cash, bank reconciliations, as well as helping with payroll.

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.

Mikey Cook
Associate General Manager

Mikey Cook

Associate General Manager

Mikey joined Playful in 2022 and is currently working on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, as well as tour booking for the company. Prior to joining Playful, Mikey was a Producer for Bill Kenwright (BKL) overseeing Heathers the Musical (Theatre Royal Haymarket, UK tour and The Other Palace), Saturday Night Fever (Peacock Theatre and UK tour), Love Letters (Theatre Royal Haymarket), and Blood Brothers (UK tour). During his time at BKL, he was also Head of Programming, booking tours including CabaretGhost the MusicalThe Sound of MusicJoseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and The Exorcist. Prior to BKL, Mikey worked for Sheffield Theatres in both the producing and programming departments, as well as overseeing the company’s commercial visiting programme in the Lyceum. 

Bria Crouch
Social Pupose Manager

Bria Crouch

Social Pupose Manager

Bria joined Playful in 2022 to shape and develop our equity, diversity and inclusion strategies and best practice. Prior to joining Playful, Bria was Head of Programme for Troubadour Trust, developing community engagement and education projects for productions such as War Horse  (Wembley Park Theatre) and Peter Pan (White City Theatre.)  She also has experience in Theatre Management including The Phantom of the Opera (Her Majesty’s Theatre), The Railway Children, In the Heights, Lazarus and The Donmar Shakespeare Triology (King’s Cross Theatre.) Most recently she worked as Head of Culture for Targeted Provision, focussing on building an inclusive and progressive company culture.

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.

Hannah Durose
Associate
General
Manager

Hannah Durose

Associate General Manager

Hannah joined Playful in 2021 and is currently working on My Fair Lady. Prior to joining Playful, Hannah was the Associate Producer at Nullarbor Productions and its sister company RGM Productions. West End, UK Tour and international credits include 9 to 5 The Musical, Priscilla Queen of the Desert: The Musical, Jean Paul Gaultier’s Fashion Freakshow, the Olivier nominated Songs For Nobodies, The Hunting of the Snark, The Tap Pack and The Two Worlds of Charlie F.

Grant Edwards
Production
Co-ordinator

Grant Edwards

Production Co-ordinator

Grant joined Playful in January 2022 and is currently working on My Fair Lady. Previously, Grant was the Associate Producer for Wild Yak & Belka Productions Ltd, working on The Suppliant Women (Gulbenkian), Three Sisters (Vaudeville), Life & Fate, Uncle Vanya, Tartuffe (Theatre Royal Haymarket), Counting Sheep, Balaklava Blues (The Vaults, Belarus Free Theatre), Context Festival, Sun Line, Requiem for Aleppo (Sadler’s Wells), And Here I Am (UK & International Tour), The Sovremnnik Theatre Season (Piccadilly Theatre). Grant has also worked in touring opera, music events, and gained a BA (Hons) degree from UAL/Central Saint Martins having trained as an actor at Drama Centre London.  

Katy Eynon
Associate
General
Manager

Katy Eynon

Associate General Manager

Katy joined Playful in 2022 and is currently working on Get Up Stand Up! The Bob Marley Musical. Prior to joining Playful, Katy was the Associate Producer for Hartshorn – Hook Enterprises, joining the company at the start of its positive trajectory in 2017. Throughout her time with HHE, Katy worked across several UK tours, Off-West End shows and Immersive productions, notably, general managing the UK’s longest running immersive production, The Great Gatsby, and BBC’s Doctor Who: Time Fracture, both in the heart of Mayfair.

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.

Raveena Johal
Payroll
Co-ordinator

Raveena Johal

Payroll Co-ordinator

Raveena Johal joined Playful in 2021 as Payroll Co-ordinator. She is new to the theatre industry and excited by the opportunity to expand her knowledge of a different sector as she completes her AAT qualification and embarks on a CIPP payroll qualification.

Akos Koranteng
Production
Accountant

Akos Koranteng

Production Accountant

Akos joined Playful as Production Accountant in 2022 after over 13 years at the National Theatre, where she looked after the accounts for all of their West End and touring shows including War Horse, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, One Man, Two Guvnors, People Places & Things and The Lehman Trilogy.  She was also the Production Accountant for two films produced by the National – Romeo and Juliet and Death of England: Face to Face

Jack Lea
Associate
Producer

Jack Lea

Associate Producer

Jack joined Playful in 2016 and has worked on shows including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, An American in ParisThe Moderate SopranoThe Mirror and the Light and Come From Away. He currently works with the Directors to produce and develop shows on Playful’s diverse slate of new work. Prior to joining Playful he worked for the Royal Shakespeare Company and gained a Master’s degree in Creative Producing from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.

Courtney Lewis
Assistant General Manager

Courtney Lewis

Assistant General Manager

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.

Hannah Lindstedt
Production Intern

Hannah Lindstedt

Production Intern

Hannah graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London in 2019 with a BA in Drama and Theatre Arts. Since then, she has expanded her creative portfolio as a director and producer through the work of her own company – The Motley Crew Theatre Company – which premiered its newest work ‘The Highwayman’ in January 2022. Hannah is excited to be working as a production intern for Playful Productions.

Jack
Macdonald-Lucas
Finance Assistant

Jack Macdonald-Lucas

Finance Assistant

Jack has over 20 years’ experience in the technical delivery of theatre working on shows in the West End, UK and European tours. Jack previously taught technical theatre at level 3 on the BTEC production arts program and is now focused on developing in the finance world and is studying for the AAT level 2. He is delighted to have joined Playful at the start of this journey to build and embed the practical side of his studies. Jack is working across most of the shows that Playful manages or produces.

Natalie Mayne
Production
Assistant

Natalie Mayne

Production Assistant

Natalie joined Playful as a Production Assistant in 2022 and is currently working on My Fair Lady.  Previously, Natalie worked as the Executive Administrator and Assistant at The Round Company. Originally hailing from Toronto, Canada, she has also worked at the Toronto Film Festival. Natalie has a BA (Hons) Degree in Drama: Theatre, Film and Television from the University of Bristol and a Certificate in Acting from The Neighborhood Playhouse: School of the Theatre in New York City.

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. Prior to that, he worked in Higher Education after studying Theology and Religious Studies at the Roehampton University. Since joining Playful, he has worked across Get Up, Stand Up; The Mirror and The Light; Moulin Rouge; and is currently working on the upcoming production of Good.

María Inés
Olmedo
Production
Assistant

María Inés Olmedo

Production Assistant

María Inés is a Mexican London-based theatre producer and has joined Playful via the Stage One Trainee Producer program. She has more than 10 years working across theatre and opera in both Mexico and the UK and has led more than a dozen major productions in Mexico with her company MIO PROJECTS. In London, she has produced multiple Off-West End shows including an immersive opera at the Arcola Theatre, which was also her debut as a Director. She has worked as Assistant Director at the English National Opera, the Birmingham Opera Company and the Royal Opera House, and has an MFA in Advanced Theatre Practice from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. She is currently working on My Fair Lady and Wicked

Richard Oriel
General Manager
(Maternity Cover)

Richard Oriel

General Manager (Maternity Cover)

Richard joined Playful in 2022 after 23 years working for Disney Theatrical Group. He was part of the small team that set up the Disney office in London in 1999 and subsequently became General Manager on The Lion King, Frozen, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and a co-production of Shakespeare in Love with Sonia Friedman. Prior to this he was a Production Administrator for Cameron Mackintosh Ltd as well as company managing West End productions for Cameron Mackintosh Ltd and the Really Useful Group. His early career was spent as a Stage Manager at The Royal Court and the Royal Shakespeare Company. 

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.

Lacey Ruttley
Production Intern

Lacey Ruttley

Production Intern

Lacey graduated from Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in 2019 with an MA in Creative Producing. During her time studying, she worked with Paines Plough as their Production and Marketing Placement. Lacey is very excited to be joining Playful as their Production Intern.

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
Production
Assistant

Imogen Sutherland

Production 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 and is now a Production Assistant working on Get Up, Stand Up! The Bob Marley Musical and other projects. 

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
Trainee
Production
Accountant

Lucy Verrall

Trainee Production 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.