Novanda Productions


Novanda Productions is dedicated to creating a platform to women’s untold stories, to obscure aspects of women’s history, and to voices that are rarely heard. It aims to produce new writing, plays and musical theatre, that inspire, intrigue and entertain, to tell stories by and about women that cross national and cultural borders and challenge received ideas. 

Novanda Productions seeks to be culturally inclusive, and to nurture creative talent regardless of social background, nationality or race. It is composed of an international team of creatives and casts of actors of all ages and backgrounds.

Bonny Read logo

Photo by Paddy Gormley

Our Story

Novanda Productions is made up of a group of creatives: Claire Novello, Frederick Appleby, Kenneth Michaels, Orsolya Nagy and Paddy Gormley who met at Actors Writers London (AWL), an organisation of professional writers, actors and directors which supports new writing by meeting regularly to present rehearsed readings of new plays.

It was set up by Claire Novello, writer and producer, as a platform for her new writing The Dedication (2019) and the musical Bonny & Read (2021) in cooperation with Frederick Appleby,  the musical’s composer, and other members of the creative team.

Its aim is to tell stories that inspire, intrigue and entertain, stories by and about women that reflect women’s shared experience, both past and present, and which also cross national and cultural borders and challenge received ideas.

our team

Claire Novello

Writer and Producer

Claire Novello taught World Literature and Film Studies at SOAS, University of London, before turning to screenwriting, playwriting and theatre production.  Her first full-length play, The Dedication (2018), about the wife of Gustav Mahler, Alma’s thwarted ambitions to be a composer in her own right, was performed at Chapel Playhouse, London in 2019.

She has also written screenplays, radio and short plays including The Lunch Break, a play about homelessness, which was performed at the CAA, London in 2019, and a docudrama Out in the Navy (2020). Bonny & Read (2019) is her first musical drama.

Kenneth Michaels


Kenneth has enjoyed a long career encompassing acting, directing and teaching.  He has worked in repertory theatre throughout the UK and has directed numerous productions on the London fringe, nationally in the commercial sector (Pinter to panto, workshops to Wilde) and for new writing initiatives.  He has taught improvisation techniques and theatre history at several London drama schools and is a voiceover recording artist for government agencies.

Kenneth works regularly in Europe: Germany, Belgium and Slovenia, and recently appeared in Funny Turns in the West End.  His 2019 production of Othello in Germany received a touring classical theatre award.

Frederick Appleby


Frederick Appleby has had a long career as Head of Music in London schools.  He has directed and composed songs for numerous school musical productions.  As well as being an accomplished pianist and accompanist, he also worked as choir director under Jeremy James Taylor for the National Youth Music Theatre production of Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat (2014) at the International Youth Arts Festival, and as composer and musical director for Brexit the Musical (2016) and Dear Chocolate Soldier (2018).

Orsolya Nagy

Production Manager and Marketing

Orsolya Nagy started her professional theatre career as an actress in Budapest.  She completed the MA Theatre Directing course at the University of East London in 2014 and made her debut as a director in the same year at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Paddy Gormley


Paddy has been photographer-in-residence at Actors Writers London since 2012.   The AWL website features more than 8,000 of his rehearsal photographs.  He has also shot numerous productions in theatres including Wimbledon Studio, Pleasance Islington, Theatre503 and the OSO.  Paddy has worked with Novanda Productions since 2019 and has photographed both The Dedication (2019) and Bonny & Read (2021) in rehearsal and production. Contact:

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