People and Partners

Face Front benefits from the dedication of a wide range of people, from our small core team to many associates and partner organisations.

OUR PATRONS

Josette Bushell-Mingo

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“Face Front is a small company delivering an overwhelming amount of high quality projects and the larger organisations should take note as this is a truly dynamic organisation.

At the heart of the company are the participants who drive Face Front’s artistic content.

Their work continues to be invaluable to the infrastructure of British cultural life with a high artistic reach and deepening analysis of inclusive theatre and its ramifications.

I am truly honoured to be a Patron.”

Rachel Denning

“I was first introduced to Face Front when I worked on Sex FM as an actor and facilitator.

I saw how their work can change and sometimes even save lives.

I feel that Face Front simply opens its eyes to people (actors and audiences) who are traditionally excluded from the arts and makes them entirely included.

Face Front continues to reach out to young people in the Community and further - impacting lives with sensitivity, honesty and fun.

I am proud to have been asked to be their patron and to help spread their work.”

Mat Fraser

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"Face Front liberates the voice of young people and enables them to make the best choices for themselves.

The company continues to create an environment for disabled, vulnerable and other disadvantaged young people and adults, through their inclusive touring theatre and participation programmes.

The inclusive work the company delivers encourages high-quality projects and enables the participants to take control of their lives, be engaged, be inspired and builds confidence so that they experience a better quality of life.

Face Front goes from strength to strength and is an important company for the arts and the people it serves.”

Doris Jiagge

Doris Jiagge is excited to be our newest Patron, joining us at our board meeting on 13th February. As the councillor for Upper Edmonton and Deputy Mayor she knows the area and communities of Edmonton Green.

Artistic Director, Ray Downing says, “It is great to have someone of such experience, passion and local knowledge to join our team."

CORE TEAM

Ray Downing

Artistic Director

I am a freelance theatre practitioner specialising in youth and community-led theatre.

I write, direct, produce and facilitate new writing, ensemble theatre and art for social change.

In recent years, the majority of my work has been with Face Front Inclusive Theatre, Stratford Circus and the Ramira Arts Collective.

More recently, I have become a fundraiser for emerging artists and disability-led companies.

In whatever project I’m involved with, I always start the process by saying ‘A play is called play because you play, so let us play.

"Face Front is brilliant because of its methodology by with and for our beneficiaries - for example our work is by young people with young people, for young people. So we are not dictating, or patronising we are all encompassing. We provide an escape, an opportunity to reflect and inspire, to challenge, to provide wonder - a sense of community - community arts through and through and a connection with people."

Ray Artistic Director

Annie Smoll MBE

Associate Director

Annie has worked within the arts in education, health and social care for 30 years specialising in inclusion, forum theatre and community arts.

She has worked for numerous arts companies such as Watford Palace, GLYPT, Graeae Theatre, London Bubble, Half Moon, Art Start, Finchley Youth Theatre, Freshwater Theatre, and was a founder member of the Theatre in schools Partnership.

As former Artistic Director for Face Front Inclusive Theatre she created many inclusive theatre programmes for disabled and non-disabled people of all ages working as a project manager, director, trainer and performer.

In 2017 She received an MBE for services to theatre and inclusion.

"Face Front works inclusively using the transformational power of theatre in order to challenge inequality and improve emotional well-being. True stories from our diverse communities are at the heart of all Face Front's work, their voices bring authenticity, joy and raise awareness leading to a fairer and more inclusive world."  

Annie Associate Director

Jon French

Executive Director

Jon French is a founding member of Face Front and Executive Director.

He is an accomplished actor, dancer and director.

Before Face Front, he was a founding member of CandoCo where he performed and taught both in the UK and worldwide.

At Face Front he is the director of Broken Silence (Sandwich Man – The Musical, Our Island, Zap).

He has performed in numerous productions including (Princess of The Graveyard Palace, Counting the Ways, Opening The Can).

Jon leads the on the finances of the company.

"Face Front give opportunities to people who would not get that opportunity else where and we maintain the high standard of work, starting with the research and then throughout our participation and professional programmes."

Jon Executive Director and Broken Silence Director

Jacqui Livingston

Associate Producer

Jacqui started life off as a community arts facilitator, performer and adult education tutor with Chats Palace before moving into education.

She is a former Head of School and was in primary education for the last 20 years.  Throughout the time she managed a range of subjects and areas including, teaching and learning, philosophy for children, phonics and drama. She has managed all key stages including early years and provided INSET training for a range of stakeholders throughout school.

The arts have always been her passion and she decided to take leap back to community arts to become a facilitator, visual artist and story teller. Since then she has had the pleasure to work with Bigfoot Arts, Kilburn Grange School, InterACTion, Blue Sky Actors, Stratford Circus and Blue Elephant Theatre. She now spends time writing/devising, designing and making set and costumes as well as delivering workshops and performing.

"The inclusive and cross generational work that Face Front does makes it a warm, rich and diverse place to be. It brings individuals and groups together giving them a sense of belonging and purpose. It then helps to unlock their creative voices and gives participants a safe place to take risks, blossom and grow."

Jacqui Associate Producer

ASSOCIATE COMPANIES

Blink Dance Theatre

BLINK are a diverse group of four emerging artists who create, perform and facilitate together.

Immediate Theatre

We work with young people and communities in Hackney and East London to ensure access for all to arts activities that break down barriers and engage people in debate.

JaZanne Arts

JaZanne Arts aims to build resilience and improve lives across generations by providing resilience workshops for schools and reminiscence activities for older people.

Jellyfish Arts

Jellyfish Arts uses storytelling as a basis to encourage young people to imagine, create and explore new worlds giving them an opportunity to produce their own stories through drama, art and music.

Komola Collective

Komola are a London-based theatre and arts company dedicated to telling the stories that often go untold - stories from women's perspectives.

Stratford Circus

Stratford Circus brings accessible, world-class performances and creative learning to the doorsteps of people and communities in Newham and East London.

 

Vital Xposure

Vital Xposure is a bold, dynamic production company operating under the creative leadership of disabled artist Julie McNamara.

 

ASSOCIATE ARTISTS

Darren Carr

I am energetic, determined and motivated. Over the last 15 years I have gained extensive experience working with face front and a wide range of other educational settings, I have helped, taught and motivated thousands of young people with various needs on a vast number of meaningful and life changing projects that have been very successful. I have worked as a support staff member, mentor, workshop leader, Teacher and facilitator; through all these roles I have always developed strong relationships and a strong understanding with students and co-workers.

 

Gopal Gautam

Gopal is a graduate from the Poor School and a freelance actor and has worked with Face Front on Comeuppance (2018), Whisper Me Happy Ever After (2017) Princess of the Graveyard Palace (stratford Circus). Gopal has performed in diverse shows, including Panphobia, (Universal Citizens), Now You See Me (Immediate Theatre), 'Bump (Broccoli Jack Theatre). Recently, he has also appeared in adverts for Pringles, Sony Six and the Metro newspaper.

Kat Gill

Kat is a theatre-maker and practitioner, specializing in inclusive practice. She is a Co-Director of Blink Dance Theatre and last year devised and performed in the company’s debut production FOUR CORNERS. She has an MA in Applied Theatre from Goldsmiths and regularly works with the Royal Court, Young Vic, Face Front Inclusive Theatre and Oval House Theatre.

 

Nigel Kellaway

Nigel is a Film-maker, visual artist and graphic designer. With Face Front he has devised video projections and publicity designs for the Determined and the Damned, Our Island, Sandwich Man, The Originators and It’s My Life. He also designed the Face Front logo. With Tower Hamlet's 'A' Team Arts he devised the award winning Hidden Heroes animation. Recent film-making projects include Suffrage Tales with the National Archives and Jimmy Up and Down. www.nigelkellaway.co.uk

Sarah-Jane Wingrove

Sarah is a performer and puppeteer and founding member of Hand Held Arts Theatre Collective. With Face Front she the Assistant Director of SC Youth Theatre, Blue Sky Actors and has acted and supported on many Face Front workshops, projects and productions including: Comeuppance(2018), It’s My Move (2017) The Princess of The Graveyard Palace(2017). www.handheldarts.co.uk

Francesca Marie Claire

Francesca is an Actor, Writer, Director and Workshop Facilitator. She works with Little Fish Theatre, Tender and Growing Against Violence. She is the co-writer and director of "Sex FM" for Face Front. Francesca is also a producer at Masked Pony Productions, a female focussed production company producing online comedy content for women.

Leesa Gazi

Leesa Gazi is a writer, actor and TEDx speaker. She was the script-writer and performer of ‘Six Seasons’ and Tahmima Anam's ‘A Golden Age’ (Culturepot Global) at the Southbank Centre. She worked as the cultural coordinator and as a voice artist for Akram Khan’s 'Desh'.

Penny Gkritzapi

Penny is a theatre practitioner from Athens, Greece. Following a few years in acting and drama teaching there, she came to London to train as a theatre director and got her MA in Theatre Directing (University of East London). She has been part of the Blue Sky Actors for the past three years (ten productions). She worked with Face Front theatre last year -for the first time- in the production of the Princess of the Graveyard Palace and this year she had the pleasure of being part of the R&D performance Comeuppance. 

 

Angie Wallis

Angie is a director, writer, actor and storyteller. She has worked with Jon French running the Broken Silence group for Face Front since 2013, during which time they have produced four full-scale original, devised, productions. As an actor Angie has worked at Shakespeare’s Globe, The National Theatre Studio, Theatre Royal Stratford East, Hackney Empire, Soho Theatre, Guildford Shakespeare Company, West End and National tours. In film, Angie has worked with Mike Leigh, Michael Apted, Edgar Wright and Christine Edzard. 

Laura Davitt

Laura is an Actor, Director, Workshop facilitator and fully Quailifed Youth Worker. She is the Artistic Director of Fixation Theatre Company specialising in community theatre. Laura has worked for Face Front for the passed 6 years as a facilitator and assistant stage manager for shows. She has also led the Speech Bubbles Project for KS1 & 2 in primary schools for the past 4 years for Face Front. www.fixationtheatre.com

 

Emma Ghafur

Emma is the Director of Tiger Monkey UK Limited a mixed media arts organisation based in Enfield.  Emma has worked with and For Face Front for over 15 years - mostly working with young people and the DDM group. Emma has linked DDM to a number of programmes including the successful Catalyst Programme funded by A New Direction and Enfield Youth service which resulted in whole group Silver Arts Award Success. More recently DDM graduates achieved Gold Awards and took their play to Fleecefield Primary School together with an accompanying workshop.  Current DDM group have been making short films for their Gold Awards and looking at ideas and themes for their own play and workshop. www.tigermonkey-uk.com

Ellen Goodey

Ellen has performed with a number of drama and dance companies, including Face Front Inclusive Theatre, and is Lead Artist for Blue Sky Actors at Stratford Circus. She has also written and recorded her own album Four O’ Clock in the Morning and co-written and co-directed her own project called the Princess of the Graveyatd Palace (ACE funded). She graduated from The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in 2013. In addition to her work in the arts, she regularly gives training on inclusive education at numerous events here and abroad. www.ellengoodey.co.uk

 

Greg Williams

I have worked in inclusive theatre for 17 years. First of all at Chicken shed theatre company. I worked as part of their artistic staff for 10 years as a musician and actor. I then decided to become a freelance musician and performing arts teacher, working mainly with face front theatre and Fixation theatre. I have been fortunate enough to be asked to musical direct several face front productions, as well as co-lead two of their groups. I have always enjoyed inclusive and community based theatre as it’s not only a great way of celebrating diversity, but I also believe that theatre in general should be inclusive and open to all who wish to partake, regardless of disability, race, gender, class.

TRUSTEES

Andrew Bradford

Chris King

Ayo Oyebade (Treasurer)

Meseret Zekai

Georgina Court

Sean Langford

Onjali Rauf

Roger Cowe (Chair)

Anne McGilchrist

Jacquelyn Shreeves

Judy Hepburn

Andrew Mclay

Catrin Thomas

OUR VOLUNTEERS

Andrew Bradford, Luke Ricketts, Hatice Ivecen, Jon French, Rebecca Seabrook, Joanna McCarthy, Mo Cross, Anthony Kralik, Peter Faventi, Anne McGilchrist, Pat West, Danny Charalambous, Rima Chowdhury, Patrick McCarthy, Will Smith, Meseret Zekai, Barry Churchill, Jacquelyn Shreeves, Jackie Kohnstamm, Shade Oladiti, Julie Parker, Sally Ricketts, Jane Hermans.  

OUR FREELANCE AND PROJECT STAFF

Julie McNamara, Shirley Mason, Darren Carr, Francessca Newham, Rachel Denning, Leon Wander, Pete Faventi, Ellen Goodey, Jo Melville, Jai Vethamony, Karl Brown, Greg Williams, Jo Bakhurst, Vicki Hambley, Nigel Kellaway, Joe Conteh, Leesa Gazi, Danny Charalambous, Angie Wallis, Laura Davitt, Katherine Gill, Delson Weekes, Francis Majekodunmi, Warren Adams, Flo Hazard, Emma Bakare, Frena Kidane, Matthew Haigh, Sarah Akokhia, Emma Ghafur, Androullah Constantinou, Yomi Sode, Shade Oladiti, Amanda Mascarenhas, Rima Chowdhury, Luke Ricketts, Mandy Colleran, Milton Lopes, Rebecca Tortora, Jamilah Yakabu, Aldean Blair, Declan Leslie, Ayo Oyebade (Bookkeeper), Adam Smith, Freddy Holguin Velasquez

INTERPRETERS, SUPPORT WORKERS & MENTORS

Trish Smith, Greg Williams, Danny Charalambous, Darren Carr, Sarah Akokhia, Matt Haigh, Jamilah Yakabu, Alex Covell, Catrin Thomas, Ned Smith, Shelly Davis.

PHOTOGRAPHERS

Robert Workman, Andrew Bradford, Nigel Kellaway, Annie Smol

PARTNER ORGANISATIONS

We benefit from co-operation with many organisations, including:

Local authorities: Barnet, Brent, Camden, Bracknell Forest, Enfield, Haringey.

Disability organisations: Council of Disabled Children, Enfield Disability Action, Enfield Joint Services for Disabled Children and Young People, Park Avenue Disability Resource Centre, One to One.

Community organisations: Community Links, Enfield Age UK, Enfield Domestic Violence Forum, Enfield Women’s Centre, MIND, Ponders End Community Trust, Ponders End United Reform Church.

Arts organisations: The Artzone, Cultural Institute - Kings College London, Heart n Soul, Vital Exposure, Action Space, Blink Dance Theatre.

Face Front is the associate theatre company of Millfield, Dugdale and Stratford Circus Arts Centres.

 

FUNDERS AND COMMISSIONERS

We would like to thank the following for their financial support and commissioning:

Arts Council England, Barnet Council, Big Lottery, Bracknell Forest Council, Brent Council, Big Lottery, Camden Council, City Bridge Trust, Children In Need, Comic Relief, Council of Disabled Children, Enfield Council, Greggs, Haringey Council, Help a London Child, Ironmongers, John Lyon’s Charity, Kings Cultural Institute, Lloyds TSB, Park Avenue Disability Resource Centre, People’s Health Trust, People’s Postcode, Austin and Hope Pilkington, The Rank Foundation, Rix Thomson Rothenburg Foundation, Tottenham Grammar School Foundation, The Village School


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

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