Edmonton theatre group’s ‘ambitious’ new children’s play set to premiere at the Dugdale

An award-winning author has written the new production for Face Front Inclusive Theatre

A rehearsal for 'The Hero Next Door'
A rehearsal for ‘The Hero Next Door’

An Edmonton theatre group is preparing for its “most ambitious production to date” with a run of shows at Dugdale Arts Centre kicking off a six-week UK tour.

Face Front Inclusive Theatre’s new play The Hero Next Door has been written by award-winning author Onjali Q. Rauf MBE and is described as a “ground-breaking” production created especially for children aged from seven to ten. It celebrates “difference, friendship and working together to do the right thing”.

Characters include Musa, a refugee; Haley, an autistic girl who adores frogs; and a would-be bully by the name of Melody. This unlikely bunch come together to save an elderly neighbour from a fraudster posing as a carer, with “thrilling and hilarious results”.

Director Annie Smol MBE said: “We have an amazing, diverse group of incredibly talented actors, backed up by a wonderful creative team.

“I love Onjali’s play for the way she manages to draw us into the children’s world so authentically. There is a great balance between the insights and learning from the children’s experiences, with a superb sense of fun and adventure as they come together to save the grandad next door.”

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The Hero Next Door uses film, animation, music and physical theatre to be accessible to all. As a leading inclusive theatre company, Face Front has assembled a diverse collective of cast and creatives, including disabled, non-disabled and culturally diverse actors.

Karen Taylor, from Arts Council England, gave her reaction to the play and said: “It was magic, excellent high-quality theatre for young people.”

Face Front Inclusive Theatre has been creating inclusive theatre since 1998 and became a registered charity in 2007. Based in Edmonton, they work across London and tour nationally, creating accessible theatre for schools and the public.

The premiere of The Hero Next Door takes place at Dugdale Arts Centre in Enfield Town on Friday, 19th May. There are further shows on Saturday 20th (11am and 2.30pm), Monday 22nd (10.30am) and Tuesday 23rd (10am). There will also be a book signing after each performance with author Onjali Q Rauf. For tickets:

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