NDT Staff Members

The New Diorama is currently managed and run by three full time members of staff, two part time members of staff and one intern. We are a registered charity and have a Board of Trustees

David Byrne - Artistic and Executive Director

Artistic and Executive Director of New Diorama Theatre, David Byrne is a playwright and theatre director, whose first play won a Writers’ Guild & List Magazine Awards for Drama. Since, his work has been presented as part of the Arts Council England’s Escalator showcase, received the Charlie Hartill Fund for emerging artists and won the 2014 Les Enfants Terribles Prize. David was also a winner of BBC Writers’ Room national script contest; and now has several scripts under commission with BBC Television and Channel 4.

As a founding member of New Diorama Theatre, David's programme has been awarded three Peter Brook Awards; the first for “establishing a central London home for ensemble theatre” and the second for its support of young NDT Associate Theatre Company, The Faction and the third, in 2016, as the main panel prize. New Diorama has been shortlisted for Fringe Theatre of the Year at The Stage Awards and David has been awarded Artistic Director of the Year at the OffWestEnd Awards. New Diorama’s outreach programme has won three Arts and Business Awards and led them to be named as Mayor of Camden’s Charity 2012/13.

David is a trustee of True Heart Theatre (chair), a Chinese language theatre company, Spinning Wheel Theatre (chair), who specalise in youth engagement arts projects in the East of England and Idle Motion, a total-theatre, British Council theatre company who tour the world with their devised theatre shows. David regularly speaks about leadership, fundraising and artist development strategies, most recently at AMA Conference (Bristol), Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art (Newcastle) and for Arts Council England’s philanthropy partners Cause4, as part of the Catalyst Programme.


Sophie Wallis - Executive Producer

Sophie graduated from the University of Manchester in 2007 and has worked with New Diorama Theatre since the venue opened in 2010. She has significant Marketing, Events and management experience, most recently as General Manager at a 400 capacity central London venue.

Her role as Executive Producer consists of managing the organisation’s core budget, numerous project budgets alongside grants from major Trusts and Foundations. She also looks after all visiting companies, contracting, box office systems, liaising with sponsors and corporate hirers, our Bar franchise and making sure the building is running smoothly on a day-to-day basis.

Sophie produced the venue’s second in-house production, The Universal Machine, and also performed in Kubrick³  (a co-production with PIT & Greenwich Theatre) which premiered at the Edinburgh Festival in August 2013 before transferring to NDT in April 2014. She recently produced NDT’s latest in-house production, Down & Out in Paris and London, which premiered at the Edinburgh Festival in 2015 ahead of a London transfer in April 2016. 

Helen Matravers - Producer

Helen graduated from the University of Birmingham in 2010 with a degree in Drama and Theatre Arts. After training at East15 on the MA acting course and graduating with distinction she went on to run the Drayton Theatre in South Kensington and worked as a House Manager at The Royal Court. Helen completed a six month placement as an assistant producer at Theatre503 in May 2014, before working as the assistant producer on their West End transfer of ‘A Handful of Stars’. Helen started at New Diorama in September 2014, with a specific focus on the theatre’s Artist Development Programme and community outreach work. She recently co-produced NDT’s latest in-house production, Down & Out in Paris and London, which premiered at the Edinburgh Festival in 2015 ahead of a London transfer in April 2016. 

Helen is also the co-producer for Cloakroom Theatre company, who were awarded Live Theatre Newcastle's Live Lab Bursary 2016.

Ellie Simpson - Associate Producer

Ellie graduated from Queen Mary, University of London in 2009 with a First Class degree in English and Drama. Ellie has worked in collaboration with New Diorama over the years in her previous position as one of the founders and Co-Artistic Directors of Idle Motion theatre company, a devising visual theatre ensemble. During this time she co-wrote, devised and co-produced seven critically acclaimed shows, which have toured nationally and internationally. Ellie is a proficient arts fundraiser and has extensive experience in theatre production, company management, performing, writing, events and working with young people.

She also served on the Board of the Oxford Playhouse from 2012 - 2016. Prior to working at New Diorama, Ellie assisted practitioner Steven Berkoff with his writing and daily company management of East Productions.

Jo Salkilld - Finance Manager (one day a week)

Jo Salkilld is an independent Arts Consultant, specialising in supporting young companies in finding the right model and governance, business planning, fund-raising, and helping more mature arts organisations to restructure, manage change effectively, and improve their operation and procedures.

Jo has sixteen years of arts management experience, and a thorough knowledge of the subsidised sector, having worked with Shared Experience Theatre, as Executive Director of Trestle Theatre, and General Manager of Wildcard Theatre Company. She has built companies from scratch, planned and developed new arts buildings, produced and booked many productions, overhauled financial management and procedures, and seen several arts organisations through cuts in subsidy to strong and independent futures. Jo is a highly successful fund-raiser and is also trained in mentoring.

Jo is currently General Manager for Bryony Kimmings and KILN ensemble, Finance Director and fundraising consultant at New Diorama Theatre and Chair of the Board of Odd Eyes Theatre.


Penny Rischmiller - Technical Manager (two days a week)

Penny trained at Aberystwyth University and then at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. In Aberystwyth Penny worked for Castaway Community Theatre, and during her time at Mountview worked on shows at the Royal Court (Our Private Life) and the Soho Theatre (Realism). Since graduating, Penny has worked on The White Carnation and And In The End (Jermyn Street Theatre), The Art Of Concealment (Riverside Studios), Operation Crucible (Finborough Theatre), for the Anna Fiorentini Theatre and Film School (Shaw Theatre and Hackney Empire) and for Cloud Dance Festival. Penny worked with Pentameters Theatre (The Lodger, The Jess Docker Show, Death of a Hawker, The Good Samaritan, House of Cowards, Andromache, The Dark Lady of the Sonnets, Overruled, The Tree, The Magic Tower, The Strangest Kind of Romance) and is the Technical Stage Manager for Acting Out Productions, and the Company Stage Manager and Designer for Scena Mundi (Loves Metamorphosis, Murder in the Cathedral, Everyman)
Other credits include: Lakeboat and Prairie du Chien (Arcola Theatre), Country Life, Still Life and Red Peppers (Old Red Lion Theatre), Romeo and Juliet (Broadway Studio Theatre), The Body (Henley Fringe Festival),  Still I Pray (St Bartholomews Church), Pilgrims Progress (St James Church), The Golden Pathway Annual (Leatherhead Theatre)