Meet the Team

Leadership Team

Matt Harper-Hardcastle - CEO and Artistic Director

Hello: Matt is an award-winning theatre director, writer and facilitator. Having worked for regional theatres, universities, national campaigns and local charities, Matt founded NDB1 in 2013 to create a home for all those who shared in his passion for theatre, community and co-production.

My Role: It seriously is the best job in the world! I lead on the development of our artistic vision, collaborating with creatives and communities to understand how our work needs to be shaped by and for them. In realising what is possible I get to dream big, but also keep my feet firmly on the ground by looking after our budgets, fundraising, policy, staffing and resources.

What NDB1 means to me: Next Door But One means everything to me. It ticks all the boxes for me personally and professionally - create exciting theatre: check. Work with people who inspire me every day: check. Feel of use to my local community: check. I have learned so much about theatre, business and who I am as a person because of Next Door But One, its work and its people!

El Stannage - Creative Engagement Manager

Hello: El is a producer, writer, and researcher with over 15 years of professional experience. With a PhD in arts in mental health, their work is centred around a passion for bringing theatre and creativity to people who might not usually access the arts, about amplifying voices, and making exciting theatre experiences that speak to everyone.

My Role: I look at how people engage in our work, from our participant, to our audiences and creatives. I shape our work so it can better serve our current communities and carve paths to reach new ones. Overall, I lead on NDB1's ability to understand and build upon our impact. 

What NDB1 means to me: Next Door But One is the place where I bring my passion and creativity, where all my experience and skills can be part of the mix that makes powerful performances that tell important stories, where we work to celebrate and nurture everyone's talents and make wonderful theatre and creative moments together.

Joshua Goodman - Producer

Hello: Joshua is a producer, director and composer based in the Midlands but with strong links to York and North Yorkshire, where he has been making theatre with and for local communities for the last 15 years. He specialises in bringing artists, audiences, communities and businesses together for cultural exchanges that are meaningful for everyone, and have a lasting positive impact.

My Role: I'm the Producer at Next Door But One. I work with the rest of the leadership team to make sure that our productions in York and on tour run smoothly. I am responsible for budgeting, contracting artists and scheduling. I love working with our fantastic range of partners and artists, seeing how our amazing productions affect people, and planning exciting new projects for the future. Oh, and occasionally I pop on my composer hat and act as sound designer for one of our shows - which I absolutely love doing!

What NDB1 means to me: Next Door But One is a special place. It has been such a privilege to watch it grow and be part of that journey since 2013.  I enjoy a varied career of working with lots of different types of theatre companies, but nowhere else do I feel more like my authentic self than at NDB1. The way we work with each other and with the communities that surround us is such convincing proof that artistic engagement is so undeniably crucial for absolutely everyone in society. We are living in scary times where that doesn't always feel possible. At NDB1 I feel hopeful for the future.

Kate Veysey - Associate Director

Hello: Kate is an experienced director, highly-skilled workshop facilitator, and lecturer. Prior to Next Door But One, she was the Youth Theatre Director of York Theatre Royal for 13 years. Kate is also the Artistic Director of Out of Character theatre company, and continues to create and tour work nationally, with companies such as Clean Break and BugLight Theatre. 

My Role: I direct a number of the company's productions, including She Was Walking Home, a testimonial piece from women in York about their experiences of walking home, and Life-Changing, a series of short films raising awareness of FASD . I also lead on the expansion of our Professional Development strand; investing in local talent and supporting artist's career goals.

What NDB1 means to me: Working with NDB1 gives me the opportunity to bring all of myself and my skills and experience to projects. The mission and ethos of the company focuses on being accessible and nurturing, and this means that I have the encouragement and support to be brave with the projects I lead, holding space for the teams to do the same. I am inspired by the team at NDB1 who are all amazing people and artists, and feel fortunate to work with them to make theatre.

Anna Johnston - Communications Coordinator

Hello: Anna, also known as ‘Miss Trout’, is a performer, facilitator, activist, writer, artist and proud mum of three. Founder and lead of  ‘The Period Queen Project’ and ‘POW - Power of Woman’ , she specialises in blending the arts with empowerment, shining a light on change making and raising self expression via the world of the arts and community.

My Role: I am the Communications Coordinator at NDB1,  as well as a long standing member of the acting team, having performed in productions ‘She Was Walking Home’, ‘The Firework Maker’s Daughter’, ‘Colder Than Here’ and ‘Any Mother Would’ . I am also the lead artist and creator of POW & POW Plus, as well as regularly having the privilege of co-facilitating our outreach workshops for our gorgeous community partners. I’m also a dab hand at minute taking and lead the advisory group that keeps us all in check!

What NDB1 means to me: NDB1 is just the most magical, inclusive and beautiful bubble of JOY to work in. It nurtures everyone involved - participants, audiences and beyond. It actively encourages creativity to bloom, as well as individualism to thrive, which is just the dream right? Getting to work with incredible artists and incredible humans across the board is just one of the many highlights for me. Loud, bright, proud and unapologetic rehearsal attire is also one of my fave perks of the job!

Associate Artists

James Lewis-Knight - Associate

I get to bring my fullest self to any work I do with NDB1; not only do they allow that but they actively encourage it. It’s such a wonderful team to be a part of and it brings me so much joy being able to call myself an Associate Artist for one of York’s finest theatre companies!

Emma Liversidge-Smith - Associate

I love working with NDB1 because of many reasons! Some of which include feeling valued, feeling that my creative skillset is being celebrated and used accordingly and feeling supported by ALL members! Also I love how my professional and personal development are of Equal importance to the company. It's as if we are actually ALLOWED to be human, to have lives but still create, bliss! 

Ceridwen Smith - Associate

As a freelance actor, NDB1 is by far the friendliest company I have ever worked for!  It is such an honour to be an Associate and to be part of this exciting, creative and dynamic group of people, who inspire me on a day to day basis.  I hope I bring a willingness to play and to share stories with our audiences and participants.

Emily Chattle - Associate

I know that every work day at Next Door But One is going to be a wholesome and fulfilling experience. I can confidently say that they are one of the most supportive and kind companies to work with, and the communities we connect with at work are all phenomenal. Being an Associate for this wonderful company is such an honour!


Nathan Walker

I’m Dr Nathan Walker, an artist and writer from West Cumbria. I make performance art, write poetry and lead the BA in Fine Art at York St John University. I’m interested in art in all its forms but especially art the engages with questions around bodies, queerness and language.

I believe in the transformational experience art offers, especially live performance, to have meaningful and lasting effects on our lives. NDB1 give audiences opportunities to reflect upon and understand our world in imaginative ways, and resist normative, ableist and patriarchal positions. I’m honoured to be a part the advisory board.

Suzi and Brian Furey

I'm a Personal Trainer (Suzi) based in the York area and Brian is part of a new cafe venture in Cycle Heaven, The Cyclist Cafe. Previously however, we owned and operated The Gillygate pub and it’s here where our involvement with NBD1 began. We were in a position to offer them a base and so together created a stage at the back of the pub and a shared office space.

Their heart, vision; inclusive and community based approach has always impressed us. We are honoured to be part of the Advisory group and offer an ear and a steer wherever we can.

Chris James

My name is Chris I work with young adults who are unpaid carers. I lead the Young Adult Carers Team at York Carers Centre.I have previously worked in arts and media campaign work, Alternative Education provision, welfare support and community development.

I believe in the power of participation in the arts to help people understand difficult experiences and to grow in skills, experience and self-efficacy. Next Door but One are a fantastic organisation, their people and their processes are special and we are lucky to have the opportunities they create for people. I am happy that I have the chance to add value to their mix in order that they can reach more people.

Emma Standley

I'm Emma - a Research Fellow in Child and Adolescent Mental Health at the University of York. My research interests are neurodiversity, family wellbeing, mental health, coproduction and how to best translate research into practice. I enjoy personal development and finding new ways to support and shine a light on others.

I am a long-time supporter of Next Door but One after seeing the immediate and incredible impacts that their work does for the young people at The Snappy Trust, and jumped at the opportunity to be on the Advisory Board. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, drinking coffee, eating chocolate and watching apocalypse films.

Nick Rowe

I am Professor Nick Rowe - the founder of Converge, a project offering arts education to those who experience mental ill health. I am also a performing member of Playback Theatre York.

I wholeheartedly support the important work of Next Door But One and hope that through being on the advisory group I can support its development.

We also work with a wider cohort of creatives through our Yorkshire Trios Project and Professional Development Programme.

We are always ready to meet new people too, so make sure you say hello!