Each year we welcome a group of talented individuals into the New Perspectives network as part of our New Associates artist development programme for early-mid career artists from the East Midlands. The programme supports people with a range of skills and professions such as theatre makers, directors, actors, writers, spoken word artists, producers, dancers and artists who work between disciplines.

Find out more about our spectacular 2023/24 cohort below:

Adam Iqbal (he/him)

"I'm so grateful to New Perspectives for this great opportunity to learn and grow and I can't wait to develop my career through this programme"

Adam (he/him) has lived and worked in Nottingham his whole life. Working as a qualified secondary school Drama and English teacher, Adam has worked in local schools for the last 8 years and has over 12 years experience working in educational settings across the city. His aim has always been to improve access to the arts and promote creative education and its transformative properties.

Adam's new venture is to produce and write, but not limited to, based on his own lived experiences. Having recently become published with Tamasha Theatre through their 'Hear Me Now - Vol 2' collection of monologues, in association with the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry. His first full length play is a comedy drama that will focus on inter-racial/cultural dating in the modern day. Adam's end goal is to hopefully one day run his own theatre company.

AK Golding (they/she)

"I am beyond thrilled to get this opportunity to develop my practice as a writer, theatre-maker and deviser with New Perspectives. As an associate I hope to develop work that gives a platform to the oppressed, the outcasts, the regional, the working class"

AK Golding is a working class, neurodivergent, queer creative from the East Midlands, based in London. An actor, deviser, movement director, director and theatre-maker, AK has trained in Professional Acting at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and Musical Theatre at EPA. Going on to work as an actor with The National, The Globe, Bristol Old Vic and Derby Theatre. 

As a theatre-maker, AK has co-created and performed in the UK tour of 'Hot in Here' (PigFoot Theatre); 'Dull Thuds of Love' (Definitely Fine at NFTS); 'Move Fast & Break Things' (Freight Theatre at Camden's People Theatre & SummerHall, Edinburgh Fringe); 'I Don't Know Why I'm Crying' (MAUDE at the CPT).

TV and Film credits include 'The Colour Room' by Claire McCarthy and 'Mantis' by Will Peppercorn. 

Currently AK is playing Sophia in 'The Messiah Complex' with Bag of Beard at the Vaults Festival, writing a short film script with the BFI FilmHub Midlands and working with Soho Theatre to create their drag persona 'Cole Minor'.

Andy Mandoiu (he/him)

"It is an absolute pleasure to be one of the New Associates. I am very excited for this opportunity and look forward to getting to meet some amazing artists from the East Midlands, and to work with New Perspectives, a company that creates and supports great work"

Originally from Romania, Andy is a theatre-maker and producer. He came to the UK eight years ago and graduated from Derby University. Since then he has created five studio plays and produced more than 12. As a non-British born artist, he is particularly interested in discovering and bringing international stories to UK audiences.

Since October 2022, Andy has been working as a Community Engagement Coordinator for Nonsuch Studios which has allowed him to reach a wide variety of places and communities in the East Midlands. 

Andy also works as a producer and fundraiser for multiple companies in the UK, helping them to secure funding and create the best versions of their artistic visions. His theatre company Chaotic Good Theatre is currently developing three new internationally focused projects.

Anna Mansell (she/her)

"I've long admired New Perspectives for nurturing new writers and I'm delighted to be a part of this year's programme. I can't wait to learn from the team and the other writers, and see how my practice develops"

Anna Mansell is an emerging theatre and screen writer and the best-selling author of six published novels.

Since shifting her focus from writing books to include screen and stage, Anna received DYCP funding to support her aims, was commissioned to write a site-specific, 1980s styled adaptation of The Tempest (September 2022); has written a number of short, monologue pieces for festivals and events (including the G7); and is developing a number of theatre pieces including a one woman show, working titled 'Is This It?'. 

Anna is a BBC Writersroom for Cornish Voices alumni, was a writer on the collaborative short film 'Beyond the Postcard'; had a feature film in development; and her seventh novel was published in July 2023.

Ben Gilbert (he/him)

"I'm thrilled to become a New Associate with New Perspectives. I'm so excited to broaden my horizons, push my boundaries and learn things from everyone, and this associateship gives me the perfect environment to do this!"

Ben is an actor and puppeteer currently based in Derby. After graduating from the University of Exeter, he has worked as part of the original cast of Edward Bon's 'Dea' and was a puppeteer for 'The Hatchling', in both Plymouth and at the Platinum Jubilee Pageant, directed by Mervyn Millar.

Ben is interested in further developing his career in puppetry. He is also a trained personal trainer and is very keen to combine the two passions.

Theatre credits include: The Hatchling (Trigger Stuff); Dea (Sutton Theatres); Urban Astronaut (Highly Sprung); Last Resort (2Magpies Theatre); Paxton's Estate (Oddsocks Productions); Constellations (Lace Market Theatre). 

Television and digital credits include: The Next Best Thing (Chronic Insanity); There's Something Among Us... (Chronic Insanity); Breaking the Band: Aerosmith (ITV); The Comic Strip Presents: Red Top (UKTV).

Ben Macpherson (he/him)

"It feels amazing to be included as a New Associate. New Perspectives makes brilliant work and really cares for the artists and opportunities they support. I can't wait to meet my fellow creatives and start working and developing together"

Ben Macpherson is a Nottingham based writer, performer and theatre-maker whose credits include BBC Radio 2, Radio 4extra and the Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature project. His full-length play 'Horsemen' was developed with Arts Council funding in 2022.

Ben's writing is characterised by its playfulness, whether tragic or comedic, and explores the relationships individuals have with their communities. 

Other work includes a trio of fringe solo shows 'The Fall of Byron Montrose', 'Poet, Gentleman, Lover', a romp across Napoleonic Europe, 'By Myself' set inside an isolation tank and onstage mockumentary 'Bonfire Man'.

He is a director of MissImp the UK's oldest open access improv theatre where he produces and performs 'IT'S A TRAP! The Improvised Star Wars Show'. He's a founding member of the Nottingham Queer Arts Collective and his debut poetry book 'Serious Nonsense (For Terribly Grown-up People)' was published in 2023 by Big White Shed.

Charlotte Vickers (she/her)

"The theatre industry can feel quite isolating, so I'm really excited to spend a year growing as an artist alongside creative peers in the East Midlands, and to have the support of the team at New Perspectives

Charlotte is a theatre-maker and director with a particular interest in work that explores the world we're living in and the worlds we might create, as well as improving working conditions and care within the arts. 

As a director, recent work includes 'Andromeda' (Nottingham Playhouse, Camden People's Theatre), and as an assistant/associate includes 'SAP' (Soho Theatre, Paines Plough Roundabout and national tour), 'twenty-eight' (Theatre 503) and 'Yellowfin' (Southwark Playhouse). She has trained at the North Wall Arts Centre on their Catalyst programme and at the Young Vic. 

Recently she has completed a DYCP in creative wellbeing and is studying for an MA in Gender, Media and Culture at Goldsmiths University.

Claire Finn (she/her)

"I am thrilled to be a part of the 2023-24 New Associates with New Perspectives. It is an absolute honour to collaborate, grow and develop skills as an artist alongside an array of fantastic creatives"

Claire Finn is an actor and freelance creative practitioner from Nottingham and currently works as a theatre freelancer for the Nottingham Playhouse participation team. Previously, Claire has performed at the Southward Playhouse, Lyric Theatre Hammersmith, BBC and in the docuseries 'Inside Holloway' as Edith Thompson for Channel 5. Claire also has a published piece of poetry for the Royal Society of Literature Living Ghost as part of their online Write Across London map. 

In 2021, she created the online Ashfield Arts Festival with Stream Park, a virtual, interactive festival showcasing artists performances and art works online. She has continued to develop various projects with Ashfield District Council, including the Ashfield art trail and the Discover Ashfield historical short films, acting as the writer and producer.

Claire is passionate about the arts being available and accessible to everyone, and looks forward to collaborating further with local people, places and artists.

Dylan Bull (he/him)

"I'm very excited to be a part of the New Perspectives New Associates! As a community theatre actor, the work that NP does aligns really well with how I want to develop and I can't wait to learn as much as I can"

Dylan is an actor, musician, songwriter and theatre-maker from the Midlands. Born and based in Derby, he has been working in professional productions since 2018 and specialises in devised performances for young and family audiences. Graduating with a degree in Theatre Arts from the University of Derby, Dylan has been an active performer since, working with communities across the Midlands to bring high-quality live performances to regional theatres and alternative community spaces such as libraries, schools and nurseries.

Specialising in devised theatre, Dylan has ambitions of creating a theatre company for young and family audiences and continuing to create music for performance within the local area. Dylan has recently worked as an associate of Chaotic Good Theatre on the creation of their show 'Ivan Turbinca', for which he composed four original songs and performed. Playing non-traditional spaces, the company have more shows for 2023.

Elan Butler (he/him)

"I can't wait to get started with the New Perspectives associate programme! To collaborate with really lovely, talented and enthusiastic people is the dream - I'm well excited"

Elan is a Midlands born actor and writer who graduated from East15 acting school, representing them in the Spotlight Prize final 2021. He is alumni of the Nottingham TV Workshop, National Youth Theatre, Leicester Curve Playwriting Course and Pentabus Young Writers.

His recent TV credits include 'Masters of the Air' (Apple TV+), 'Funny Woman' (SKY) and 'Maternal' (ITV). Theatre includes 'Fishcat' (Nottingham Playhouse/Warwick Arts Centre), 'Con-version' (The Pleasance/The Vaults), 'Somebody to Love' (The Old Red Lion Theatre) and 'Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit' (National Youth Theatre).

Recently, Elan had his debut play 'Fishcat' performed at the Nottingham Playhouse after being part of China Plates Vivacity Festival at Warwick Arts Centre. He is currently writing and composing new musical 'Cliffs' which currently in workshop stages.

Elle Owen-Austin (she/her)

"I'm so happy to be joining the New Associates programme! I can't wait to explore new creative techniques and learn about myself as an artist and have the support of New Perspectives to support me achieve my dreams as an artist"

Elle is in her final year of studying Applied Theatre at The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. She has a real desire to work with communities whose voices and stories are shared, to give them a platform using the arts. In her early years of being in the industry, she worked with Derby Theatre with their youth theatre programmes and went into school settings. 

She is currently working on her final year showcase with her company MEE.3 Theatre and their show 'Six Feet Tall' which is about inspiring audiences and defying stereotypes. Elle aims to create theatre addressing taboo topics that come off as uplifting, empowering and enjoyable. Elle wants to create a community where ideas are challenged in a brave environment whilst educating in a non-conventional setting.

Emily Webster (she/her)

"Wow! I'm really excited to see what we can learn from the New Perspectives team and each other over the next year"

Emily Webster is an actor and comedian based in Derbyshire.

Emily will be launched her first solo comedy 'Owt Bar an Office' in Leicester in June 2023. The show covers her journey from being school leaver adamant that she would do anything but work in an office. What's followed has included chasing sheep out of a car park, cleaning a castle and negotiating fuddle politics.

Emily is also developing an English language and BSL interpreted solo show 'Inheritance Tax' which will focus on her experiences growing up in a family with hereditary hearing loss coupled with active denial.

Emily intends to challenge the mold of how deafness is expected to present, the importance of learning sign language and attempting to break cycles of self-imposed, inherited and societal barriers.

Evie Obson (they/she)

"As a Nottingham born artist, I'm really proud to have been selected as a New Associate! I'm excited to skill-share with my peers and be supported by New Perspectives to up-skill and take exciting next steps for Mind Out Theatre"

Evie is a Nottingham-based theatre-maker, director, producer and facilitator. They set up Mind Out Theatre in 2017, championing women, femme, non-binary and queer stories. They make bold, funny and daring shows; often dark comedies that begin in familiar environments and descend into the surreal to magnify societal stereotypes and injustices. Evie is interested in unpacking how non-hierarchical we can be throughout artistic projects and believes the process of making is as important as the outcome.

Evie will register Mind Out Theatre as a community interest company this year as part of their latest Arts Council funding, which will also enable the development of new show 'PURDAH', about gender identity and set in a job centre, in which they are writer and producer.

Jordan Laidley

"I'm excited to bring my experience of the game to this group on my march to helping my community feel represented"

Jordan is an actor who trained at East15 and Rose Bruford College. Jordan is also a scriptwriter, director, rapper, spoken word artist and mentor who helps support a knife crime gang culture intervention programme organised by the Ben Kinsella Trust with the National Justice Museum. 

Born and raised in Nottingham, Jordan is passionate about giving back to the city and wants to create a platform for those in communities there they don't get equal opportunities like most. This will grow new energy that others can carry over into any profession they decide to venture into. 

Currently, Jordan is an actor and creative associate for Lit Theatre, and creative developer for Jellyfish Theatre and is currently working on their touring family shows 'The Wagon of Dreams' and 'Jungle Book' which are free indoor and outdoor shows which provides access to all no matter their disadvantages.

Josie White (she/her)

"I am thrilled to be a part of the 2023-2024 New Associates cohort and I look forward to learning from the incredible team at New Perspectives. As an artist and creative, I am dedicated to creating new work and new opportunities in the Midlands"

Josie is a Nottingham actor, writer and producer of colour. She is a graduate of East 15 Acting School, where she gained a BA (Hons) degree in Acting and The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, where she gained a Foundation Certificate in Acting and Musical Theatre. 

Josie started playwriting seriously in 2018, after being inspired by the work of Rikki Beadle-Blair MBE, Josie began writing her first full length play 'Rotten' under the mentorship of Rikki during the pandemic. She is dedicated to creating work with strong female leads and which shines a spotlight on the lives of modern Midlands people and mental health. 

Her acting work includes: Janine Lockwood-Prospect in 'Gutted', directed by Rikki Beadle-Blair; Miranda in 'The Tempest' at Nottingham Playhouse, directed by Martin Berry; and Lady Macbeth in 'Macbeth' with Guildford Shakespeare Company, drected by Ant Stones. 

Writing credits include: 'Rotten', a play in one act - a two-week R&D is underway, directed by Rikki Beadle-Blair and supported by Arts Council England, Derby Theatre, Nottingham Playhouse, In Good Company, Team Angelica and Theatro Technis; 'Trailblazers', a short play for Forest Green School; 'Love Me or Die', a monologue for 'Common' an anthology of dynamic working class monologues, published by Team Angelica Publishing 2022.

Producing credits include: 'Rotten' R&D and Company Apprentice/Assistant Producer with Milk Presents on their UK tour of their Children's show 'Marty and the Party'.

Laura Turner (she/her)

"I am thrilled to be working with New Perspectives, whose work I have admired for a long time. I am passionate about regional female-focused stories and can't wait to dive into new development with such a brilliant network of creatives"

Laura is an East Midlands screenwriter and playwright whose first feature 'Lapwing' was released in cinemas in 2021 (Bulldog Distribution). The film was selected for the BIFA To Watch List November 2021 and received critical acclaim. 

Previously, her award-winning short films 'Going Country', 'Pennywort' and 'Inside' have been funded by BFI Network and BBC New Creatives, winning awards at film festivals across the world. 

A member of BIFA Springboard, BAFTA Connect and a Finalist in the Women of the Future Arts and Culture Awards, Laura is currently developign theatre, film and television projects. As a playwright, she has had over 50 plays produced nationally and internationally and runs Fury Theatre. 

She is passionate about regional settings and interrogating the female experience, gaze and voice, exploring what it means to be a strong woman in different contexts. 

Mary Bonam (she/her)

"I am so honoured to have been selected as one of this year's New Associates! I really think that New Perspectives will allow me to 'level up' as a theatre-maker and performer and I cannot wait to soak up all of the amazing experiences and knowledge I can alongside getting to know more local creatives!"

Mary has been a professional actor, vocalist and puppeteer for over 10 years, performing in musicals, plays and as a singer for well renowned companies such as P&O Cruises, The Curve Theatre, The Haymarket Theatre and touring nationally and internationally with 'The Adele Songbook'. As a trained teacher and creative practitioner she has led workshops and creative lessons with young people and adults and was recently a creative mentor for Derby Theatre.

Mary is passionate about using theatre for social change and as a newly established theatre-maker has been lucky enough to have been funded by Arts Council England for the development of a new theatre show in conjunction with young people about climate change and social responsibility alongside her actor/theatre-maker husband Tom. 

Natalie Chan (she/her)

"I am really delighted to be supported by New Perspectives for this next phase of my journey as a producer and arts leader. I am committed to utilising this support to elevate under-represented stories, opening audiences up to a world beyond their own, and using theatre to provoke social change"

Natalie is a producer and fundraiser from Hong Kong. She's made her West End debut as an associate producer for 'Best of Enemies'.

She is the In Good Company creative producer (maternity cover) for Derby Theatre, leading the Midlands' flagship artist development programme. Previously she was general manager for Creative Youth where she won Arts Fundraising and Philanthropy's Giving Tuesday competition.

She independently produces for Max Percy + Friends, winner of Scotsman's Fringe First Award and New Diorama Theatre and Underbelly's Untapped Award. Natalie is a recipient of the Blackbaud Scholarship for completing her postgraduate certificate in Philanthropy Studies at the University of Kent in 2022.

Previously she has been the associate producer for the Bread and Roses Theatre; assistant producer for Theatre503, Spun Glass Theatre and Arch 468. She is also a board member for Young Arts Fundraisers.

Natalie Simone (she/her)

"I am over the moon to be joining the New Perspectives artistic community! I am a proud Derby gal ready to learn, play and create with local artists as a New Associate"

Natalie is a director, theatre-maker and actor born and raised in Derby. Much of her practice centres around developing new work through devising and adaptations which are visually striking and innovative. Natalie wants to make work that profoundly connects with regional audiences and as a director she finds herself drawn to stories that are female led and formally experimental, breaking the fourth wall and inviting the audience into the imaginative space.

Natalie trained as an actor at East 15 Acting School and has toured extensively across the UK and internationally. She will soon be graduating from a Masters in Directing at The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School which has given her a platform to interrogate her practice. During her training she assistant directed Sally Cookson on the critically acclaimed production 'Emilia' by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm and will be directing 'The Ugly One' by Marius Von Mayenburg at The Wardrobe Theatre this summer.

Sarah 'Rain' Kolawole (she/her)

"I'm fully excited to be a New Associate. My brain is buzzing with new ideas to develop and connections to be made!"

Sarah 'Rain' Kolawole is a playwright and spoken word artist from Nottingham. She has previously been an associate artist at Nottingham Playhouse Theatre (2018-2021) and a member of the Soho Theatre Writer's Lab Alumni Group. Sarah completed an ACE funded R&D in 2020 developing her play 'Rootless Island Baby'. As part of this, Sarah founded the 'Rootz' theatre group for care experienced young people at Nottingham Playhouse.

Sarah was commissioned by Derby Theatre to co-write the book adaption of Alex Wheatle's 'Home Girl'. This book is aimed at young people and following a teenage girl in foster care and on stage in July 2022.

In 2022, Sarah ventured into the world of print with two monologues published within 'Hear Me Now - Vol 2'. Sarah was also incredibly proud to have a poem published within a collection entitled 'Ten Poems About Black History', introduced by Dr Panya Banjoko.