Let's change the arts

About US

Our mission is to fight for equality in every artistic arena. The boardroom, the audience, backstage and centrestage should all be truly representative, and we’re here to make that happen.

Let's change the arts

What is Diverse City?

Diverse City is a performing arts company where social justice and culture meet. For the arts to fairly reflect and shape society, we believe all voices must be heard and all audiences welcomed.

We do this by making and touring new shows, nurturing new creative voices and engaging communities in artistic activism. Our circus performance company Extraordinary Bodies (led in partnership with Cirque Bijou) exemplifies truly representative performance. 

Whether it’s ensuring that all work is audio-described and BSL interpreted, or creating inclusive rehearsals and auditions, we think creatively to make sure art can be made by any body, for every body.

our core values

Diverse City’s work as an associate company of Bristol Old Vic has helped us to change and enrich the way we think about accessibility and integration on stage and off. We’re excited for the future of our partnership together.”

– Tom Morris, Chief Executive, Bristol Old Vic.

Jamie Beddard
The Elephant Man, Bristol Old Vic

WORK WITH DIVERSE CITY

We are looking to compile a database of CREATIVE SUPPORT WORKERS as we regularly work with individuals who require support of various kinds. Whether you are available for odd hours here and there, or are looking for more regular commitment, we would love to hear from you! We are looking to build a robust database of people who can be drawn from as new projects emerge and needs arise.

Working with us may involve some or all of supporting individuals to fully access workshops, training, performance and touring activity. Experience providing emotional, professional, physical and personal care support is essential.

We are particularly keen to hear from anyone in the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole areas, but welcome applications from support workers from all over the UK. A current DBS certificate is desirable, but not essential, as we can support your application.

Please get in touch with  to express interest.

Meet the team

Search for a team member by name or role or use the filter to filter by position.

Diverse City Team

Alice Chutter

Next Generation Producer

Alice is a Producer and Arts Manager who has worked on a variety of performance projects for Diverse City and other arts organisations in the South West including Activate Performing Arts, Lighthouse Poole, Pavilion Dance South West and Youth Dance England. Alice obtained her BA in Performing Arts and Literature from the University of Winchester in 2005 before training in Prince2 Project Management methodology.

Alice has built up a portfolio of arts and cultural projects – many of which have a focus on working with integrated groups of young people. She brings her organisational strengths, creativity and warm personality to the company.

For the last year, Alice has been located in Kenya, where she has forged new creative connections on behalf of the company, and led on new international work.

Diverse City Trustee

Ayad Al-Ani

Trustee

Ayad was an asylum seeker who was granted refugee status in June 2016. His background was in corporate governance and administration as an auditor in his past life in Iran. Ayad does not have an arts background, although since coming to the UK has become involved in various projects that have made him aware of the positive impact the arts can have on both individuals and communities.

Ayad was a major contributor to the ‘Leads’ networking events held during the Extraordinary Bodies tour of Weighting in Stoke-on-Trent in 2015. He became an important gatekeeper for sections of the Stoke community, discussing and promoting Weighting within his networks and then gathering substantial feedback from those communities and translating it for our use. Ayad returned to work with the events team again, as the Extraordinary Bodies tour finished in Bristol as part of Doing Things Differently 2016.

In 2017, Ayad was invited to become a member of the Diverse City Board of Trustees.

Diverse City Team

Becky Chapman

Executive Director

Becky studied at Exeter University Drama Department and started her professional theatre career as a performer, touring the beaches, pubs and schools of South Devon. Now Executive Director of Diverse City, Becky is based in Bristol. She has previously worked across the UK and internationally in performance, creative learning, arts development and arts access for regional venues, producing companies and touring theatres.  

Becky spent 10 years living and working in Sydney Australia (with Australian Theatre for Young People and Accessible Arts Sydney Australia). Since her return, she’s worked as a freelance producer, fundraiser and consultant with companies includingTheatre Orchard & Theatre Royal Plymouth. Becky has a BA and PGCE in English and Drama, is a graduate of National Fundraising School, a member of 2017-19 Change Creation cohort and regularly contributes to arts sector conversations about equality in working culture and strategy. Becky is a Charity Trustee of Wyldwood Arts, Many Minds (chair) and Exeter Northcott Theatre (Co-Chair). 

Diverse City Team

Becky Hughes

Governance and Compliance Manager

Becky joined Diverse City as Governance and Compliance Manager in January 2024. She has a background in the third sector, having previously worked in education charities.
Becky lives in Tunbridge Wells with her young family, Lurcher Archie and Cat Geoff and loves baking, drawing and picking up toys off the floor.

Diverse City Trustee

Ben Johnsen

Trustee
Diverse City Team

Caro Boss

Communications Manager

Caro Boss is the Communications Manager and arrived at Diverse City in 2019 after many years at Clean Break, a theatre company committed to raising the voices of women in prison.

After beginning her career in commercial London theatres, she quickly transferred her allegiance to working in applied arts and never looked back.

Diverse City Team

Claire Hodgson

Joint Artistic Director

Claire is a Theatre, Dance and Circus Director, committed to achieving social justice. Claire founded Diverse City in 2005 and is the co-founder of Extraordinary Bodies, the UK’s leading professional integrated circus company.

Claire was a Clore Fellow in 2012 and writes for The Guardian online. She is a former course leader for Performing Arts at London Metropolitan University and was awarded an MBE in 2016 for services to inclusion in the Performing Arts. Together with Jamie Beddard, Claire won the Clore Duffield 50th Anniversary prize, which they used to tour Extraordinary Bodies across the UK and support 10 ‘Unexpected Leaders’ who have faced barriers to entering the industry.

She is a co-creator of Mid Life, a taboo breaking show about menopause that played to sold out houses in 2019, and will be remounted in 2023. The show also led to Diverse City’s first short film Mid Life: The Skin We Are In.

In July 2022 Claire led almost 600 dancers to break the Guinness world record for the largest ever disco dance at Camp Bestival. She also created a large-scale piece sea choreography called SW!M in Swanage, Dorset, in collaboration with The Mowlem.

 

Diverse City Trustee

Dave Young

Trustee

Dave’s creative career began through attending The Remix, where he met Diverse City Co-Artistic Directors Claire and Jamie. In 2012, he performed in Breathe at the opening of the Olympics in Weymouth with Diverse City. Since then, Dave has grown into a professional artist and has become one of our Board members. Dave has worked as an artist for Seen but Seldom Heard at the Paralympic games opening, Inside Out Dorset, Funky Llama Festival and Plymouth Theatre Royal. Most recently, he created his first show Grow Up and Just Love Chocolate and performed at Salisbury Playhouse and The Lighthouse in Poole. He stated: “Diverse City has given me my whole creative career and life as I know it. The team have given me the passion to listen and create content out of what I am hearing and experiencing all the time. Diverse City changes lives.”.

Diverse City Team

Diana Vallverdu

IT Support

Diana is a mathematician, theatre-maker and software developer from Barcelona. She enjoys combining her two passions: theatre and logic, wherever she goes. She is a member of the theatre company ANTS Theatre and freelancer in various fields. She is in charge of IT Support in Diverse City and makes sure all the tech is in place and works smoothly.

Diverse City Team

Eddy Farrar

Accounts Assistant

Eddy left Bristol for rural Dorset 12 years ago where she lives with her family, Monty the Red Setter and Olive the Cat!

Eddy is a qualified and practising Hypnotherapist based in The Isle of Purbeck. With a firm foundation in Finance roles covering the last ten years or so, Eddy has joined us as our Accounts Assistant working closely with Liz our Finance Manager.

Walking Monty on the beach, fire pits in the warm Summer evenings with friends and family are what keep Eddy relaxed, which is important to her. Although now and again she likes to challenge herself so in 2018 she trekked to Everest Base Camp and stood on top of the World.

Diverse City Team

Eilís Davis

Artistic Director Extraordinary Bodies Young Artists

Eilís is a facilitator, director and theatre maker. She is an inclusive movement specialist bringing together people of all abilities to participate in creative processes. Eilís graduated from the European Theatre Arts programme at Rose Bruford College in 2011. She now combines theatre with her extensive knowledge in creative support and is focused on developing theatre-training practice for young people with access needs. Eilís is the Artistic Director of Diverse City’s youth company, Extraordinary Bodies Young Artists.

Diverse City Team

Elana Binysh

Connecting Communities Administrator

Elana was herself a Diverse City Unexpected Leader from 2016 – 2017, and in addition to her work administrating the Connecting Communities project, is  a London-based artist who works as a performer, director, dramaturg, producer and sound designer, often at the same time. Her work explores shame, noise, disability and contemporary oral histories.

Diverse City Trustee

Emma Hughes

Trustee

Emma is a creative practitioner living in Bristol. She is a writer, performer, comic, event producer, and makes work that centres around community, access, and making people laugh. She became a Diverse City Trustee in 2023.

Diverse City Team

Gemma Alldred

Connecting Communities Lead Producer

Gemma is a theatre maker, and community artist, specialising in arts and wellbeing practice. She is passionate about creativity in all its forms, and enjoys nothing more than bringing her love for the arts and its unique ability to connect us, to places and people helping to grow communities, and support individual development.

Gemma has been working in the arts since 2007, and in that time has benefitted from a wide range of roles and experience; she has co-founded two arts and health organisations, been artistic director to a theatre company, led artistic engagement programmes for charities to theatres, led socially engaged festivals, programmed for an arts centre, and taught at HE and FE levels.
It is this breadth of skills, experience and devotion to community arts that Gemma brings to her role developing and producing exciting and ambitious community led work with Diverse City.

Diverse City Team

Jamie Beddard

Joint Artistic Director

Jamie joined Diverse city as Co-Artistic Director and is also part of the Creative Team behind Extraordinary Bodies. Jamie grew up in a time when opportunities for disabled people in the arts were limited, but was offered an acting role by the BBC that kicked off his professional career. Since then Jamie has taken the arts world by storm.

In 2011 he left his role as Diversity Officer for the Arts Council to concentrate on developing his freelance portfolio. In 2012 he directed Breathe for the opening ceremony celebrating the Olympic Sailing, and in 2013 he became a Clore Fellow. Jamie recently completed a six-month run at The National Theatre in Threepenny Opera and played the Leader in the return of Bristol Old Vic’s production of Messiah.

Diverse City Team

Jess Edney

Creative Access Lead & Support Worker
Diverse City Team

Jesse Black Mooney

Company Manager

Jesse is a creative practitioner who loves making wonderful things happen. As company manager, she helps ensure operations run smoothly and systems are in place to ensure everyone has what they need to do their best work. Prior to joining Diverse City in 2018, Jesse was a freelance cultural producer and managed the Brighton Digital Festival – as well as tackling public arts projects with Create London and working in partnership with organisations like the Barbican, the V&A and Waltham Forest Council. Outside of working with Diverse City, Jesse has an independent creative research practice focused on examining digital culture, and lectures on the Digital Media Arts MA course at the University of Brighton

Diverse City Team

Jodie Cole

Connecting Communities Co evaluation Producer
Diverse City Trustee

Josh Ward

Trustee, Unexpected Leader 2018 - 2020

Josh Ward has been associated with Diverse City now since 2016 when he first joined Extraordinary Bodies Young Artists. This led to further training with Graeae Theatre Company and The National Youth Theatre, as well finding success onscreen in Hidden Pictures North‘s short film A Snapshot, in which he played the lead role of Ian.

Josh became been a Diverse City Trustee in 2023 as part of our commitment to hear more from young voices in our leadership.

I am really gaining a sense of pride in my role making changes for the better. It would be great to see more young trustees in arts organisations and this is something I would actively encourage to anyone thinking about it. – Josh Ward, 2024

Diverse City Team

Liz Craig

Finance Director

Liz is our Finance Manager. She has been with Diverse City since 2014 after meeting Claire at a local toddler group. Liz is a Chartered Management Accountant with 20 years experience of Management Reporting and Budgeting.

Liz moved to Dorset from London and enjoys summers on the beach and winter country walks with her family. She also loves drinking prosecco and scoffing a good curry!

Diverse City Team

Louise Holloway

Executive Assistant

Louise lives in Dorset with her 2 teenage children and scruffy labradoodle dog. She is fiercely proud to have worked for the NHS for the last 20 years in Administration, even with all the challenges it faces. Louise joined the Diverse City team in 2017 to support Liz, our Finance Manager and Claire, our Joint Artistic Director in Swanage. Louise finds the whole philosophy of Diverse City wonderfully refreshing.

In her spare time, Louise loves to run and also has a passion for adrenaline activities. A tandem skydive, paragliding, micro lighting, hot air ballooning, abseiling, gliding and a few flying lessons are some of the incredible things she has done!

Diverse City Team

Lucy Descourtier

Executive Assistant
Diverse City Trustee

Naomi Baldwin Webb

Trustee
Naomi works in policy development in the healthcare sector and has a background in charity governance, supporting women’s health organisations including the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists and The Eve Appeal. She is also a listening volunteer for suicide prevention charity The Listening Place, working one-to-one with individuals to provide mental health support.
Naomi has a longstanding interest in the arts and studied at Edinburgh College of Art, before training and working as a theatre costume maker in Scotland and Canada. She is committed to Diverse City’s mission to centre marginalised voices through art and storytelling.
Diverse City Team

Paula Birtwistle

Green Champion

Paula has worked in the live events industry for over 25 years, after studying BA Popular Music and Recording at Salford. Following years of work in sound engineering and lighting design she now combines her technical and logistical knowledge as a production manager.
She has been the production manager for Human and now Delicate.
Paula is passionate about making live events more environmentally responsible and is the Green Champion for both Diverse City and Theatre Orchard.

Diverse City Team

Richard Moy Thomas

Support Worker
Diverse City Team

Saskia Collyns

Arts Administrator

Saskia has worked in the arts for 8 years, following her passion for social justice and high calibre theatre straight to Diverse City’s door.

Diverse City Trustee

Sophie Cottle

Trustee

Sophie is a Bristolian Theatre Maker; specialising in Directing, Movement and Inclusive Facilitation.

“I’m honoured to be a trustee for Diverse City, a company truly committed to making meaningful change through art, theatre and the power of collaboration.”