Who We Are

Click on staff names to contact us.


Mel Scaffold: CEO
Tessa Wills: Creative Director
Eloise Tong: General Manager
Ella Best: Administrator


Alex Murdoch: Artist Support Associate
Tom Marshman: Artist Support Associate
Deasy Bamford: Artist Support Associate

Please be aware all our Artist Support Associates work part time, roughly one day a week, around their existing work schedules, and so may not get back to you immediately.

For website enquiries email [email protected]



Theatre Bristol is governed by a board of directors, currently:

Chinonyerem Odimba (Playwright/Screenwriter, Theatre Director and Poet)
Nick Sweeting (Producer, Improbable Theatre)
Laila Diallo (Choreographer)
Sarah Dickenson (Dramaturg and Project Manager)
Tim Lo (filmmaker, theatre-maker, Rife Magazine content creator)
James Stenhouse (Artistic Director, Action Hero)
Sarah Bentley (Marketing Consultant)
Jo Bannon (Theatre Maker, Choreographer, Dramaturg)


CEO: Mel Scaffold

I love experiments, particularly ones with explosions. As CEO I help design and shape new ideas that we think could make large-scale change in the arts. Part of my role is being out and about developing relationships and partnerships that will bring new opportunities to the sector. And a lot of it is about working out how these experiments can benefit the most people, connect beyond our existing boundaries and create a healthy environment where more people can participate in and make a living from brilliant art.

Before this role as Company Producer I gave senior producing support to a number of artists of proven excellence, resulting in new national and international commissions, new partnerships and better company infrastructures. In addition to business development, I also scavenged props from charity shops and wrestled with the vagaries of international taxation systems.

Until 2015 I was also Development Facilitator for Create Gloucestershire, an organisation instigating change in the arts sector through collective thinking and working.

Previous incarnations include producing live art and dance at Arnolfini, spoken word at Apples & Snakes and new writing inspired by biomedical science at Theatrescience. I also squeezed in an MA in Performance Research to develop my own practice around the interplay of different performance languages, and am particularly interested in creating high quality work and experiences for and with young people, which I’ve pursued with Travelling Light, Real Ideas Organisation and Theatre Royal Plymouth.

I’m Chair of Trustees for Firebird Theatre, a company of disabled actors, and I love a good horizon.

Creative Director: Tessa Wills

(Biog to follow)

General Manager: Eloise Tong

Eloise is new to TB and is learning the ropes. She is a Producer and Project Manager and has worked in various roles both as a freelancer and for organisations such as; Pavilion Dance South West and The Edge, University of Bath. Eloise is passionate about theatre, dance and live performance having studied Drama at the University of Exeter and performed from a young age. She is interested in interdisciplinary practice and collaboration and is thrilled to be working alongside some fascinating and hugely talented artists. She is especially keen to support the development of artists and high quality performance in the South West having lived and worked here for her whole life.

As General Manager, Eloise is responsible for ensuring everything runs smoothly from payroll to budget management. She is keen to put her organisational and planning skills to good use!

Administrator: Ella Best

Ella joined Team TB in 2018 as Administrator having been drawn to theatre and dance since she was teeny. Having spent the last 13 years in the education sector, Ella decided it was time for a change and is still feeling very lucky to be working with the Theatre Bristol team and meeting heaps of fiercely talented and inspiring people. She has lived in Bristol, on, then off, then on again, since 2008.


Artist Support Associate: Alex Murdoch

Alex Murdoch is an actor, writer and improvisor and an Associate of Improbable Theatre. Her company Cartoon de Salvo toured theatre and lead workshops for 20 years nationally and internationally. As a writer she’s been commissioned by National Theatre Wales, is mentored by award-winning writer Chris Thorpe and is currently under commission to the RSC, with another seed-commission to NTW. She was awarded a place on 2017 Jerwood/Arvon scheme and was 2018 Writer in Residence at Theatr Clwyd. Beyond the Salvo’s she’s performed with Kneehigh, LIFT Festival, New International Encounter, Comedy Store Players, BBC and Young Vic. For Improbable she has improvised in Animo, Lifegame and Permission Improbable. She co-led Improbable’s Generations project with Guy Dartnell, and she also facilitates for the Devoted and Disgruntled Open Space events. Her website is www.alexmurdoch.co.uk

Artist Support Associate: Tom Marshman

Tom Marshman is a theatre maker whose practice honours the art of conversation and creates spaces that enable people to share their stories. He has been developing this process for twenty years through his practice as an artist, working in a wide range of media including performance, photography, installation, publication and film for theatres, museums and historic houses.

Tom creates safe spaces where people can open up and share thoughts and memories. Most significantly he works with LGBTQ+ communities to transform people’s thoughts and experiences into artistic experiences. The results give evocative, authentic glimpses into everyday things – addressing issues that are often considered mundane or commonplace, and exploring what is often taken for granted.

He is currently touring Kings Cross (REMIX) and A Haunted Existence, both shows focus on LGBTQ+ history.

Artist Support Associate: Deasy Bamford

Deasy Bamford has been a community creative producer for over 25 years, starting and sustaining Tribe Of Doris as an intercultural festival, and Imayla, a youth and family project centred around cultural and nature explorations. Her specialisation has developed into an understanding of and ‘hands on’ experience working in cultural diversity, recognising the difficulties faced by artists trying to establish themselves in western-orientated disciplines where the perspective is narrow and the definitions exclusionary. She has mentored and helped artists from many backgrounds develop their projects and careers. Deasy has begun to understand the arts council application style and been successful in many different funding streams. She is currently in receipt of an Arts Council grant to develop her creative practise, looking at public arts projects involving working with groups of people, spoken word and storytelling, an identity flag festival and collaborations between artists and scientists on nature ramblings. Deasy’s looking forward to sharing her skills with others and being part of the Theatre Bristol team.