Our History


Face Front Inclusive Theatre originally came out of The Inclusive Arts Campaign.

A group of London based artists who were all committed to working inclusively within their particular art form.

Annie Smol and Andrew Mclay, the founder members, then started to experiment with different ways of working in theatre with a variety of artists.

Workshop sessions resulted in a series of short performances with the aim for disabled artists to have the opportunity to develop  their skills while creating a new, accessible form of theatre.

The first full length production ‘Who Cares’ saw long-term members Ilan Dwek, Shirley Mason, Peter Faventi and Julie Parker join the company and put their mark on its development, with Catrin Thomas and Jon French joining within the next two years.

The first shows used inclusive teams creating theatre to stimulate audiences on different sensory levels.

We experimented interweaving the visual (physical theatre, movement, film) and the aural (song, sound-scaping, poetry and music) using sign language and audio description as an integral part of the performance.

Face Front's style developed over the years but has always aimed to give the audience different routes of access to the performance, enabling everyone to have a quality theatrical experience.


In 2004, after a very successful period as a project of Art Start Community arts organisation, Face Front decided it was time to go independent and become a registered company in its own right.

At this point Annie, Jon, Shirley and Catrin  became the core team and took on the roles of artistic and associate directors, each bringing their own skills including theatre, dance, poetry and sign language.


Face Front became a registered charity.

2014 onwards

The company goes from strength to strength and continues to develop accessible theatre for all through our education, training and mainstream programmes.

Face Front was founded by

Jon French, Shirley Mason, Annie Smol and Catrin Thomas


Face Front's first production 'Who Cares' in 2001

Face Front's first full length production 'Who Cares' in 2001

Face Front Inclusive Theatre | Limited Company No. 05154096 | Registered Charity No. 1116506
Main Office & Studio: 52 Market Square, Edmonton Green, London N9 0TZ - Telephone: 020 8350 3461

Email Face Front: info@facefront.org  

PATRONS - Matt Fraser - Josette Bushell-Mingo - Rachel Denning - Doris Jiagge - Aditya Chakrabortty

Arts Council EnglandBig Lottery FundBBC Children in NeedCity Bridge TrustComic ReliefThe Health Lottery

Greggs FoundationThe London Community FoundationIndependent Theatre CouncilThe Foundation for Social ImprovementPeople's Postcode LotteryStratford Circus Arts CentreTottenham Grammar School Foundation