Making theatre accessible to all

Andrew Bradford has been pivotal in the success of Face Front Inclusive Theatre

Andrew Bradford stepped down from Face Front's board of trustees in November after 13 years of involvement with the Edmonton charity
Andrew Bradford stepped down from Face Front’s board of trustees in November after 13 years of involvement with the Edmonton charity

Enfield is blessed with a plethora of great theatre and drama organisations, with many being well known for their work promoting diversity and inclusion.

Face Front Inclusive Theatre is one such group, having been launched in 1999 to help create accessible theatre with both disabled and non-disabled actors.

Andrew Bradford has been involved with the Edmonton charity since 2008 and has been instrumental in its growth. When he recently stepped down from Face Front’s board of trustees, chair Roger Cowe said Andrew had “played an enormous part in Face Front’s success over the past 13 years”.

Andrew was born and raised in Edmonton by disabled parents Charlie and Kathy Bradford. He first came to know Face Front after winning a creative writing competition organised by Millfield Theatre. His short story, based on memories of his childhood and his parents, was developed for performance with Face Front to form part of Millfield’s stage production Tales of Edmonton in 2008.

This was the start of a lasting connection between Andrew and Face Front Inclusive Theatre, where he proved a popular and supportive volunteer with Broken Silence, a drama group for disabled adults and those with mental health issues.

The current board of trustees nominated Andrew as an ‘Enfield Community Hero’ and said when he served as chair of Face Front he was “100% committed and always available to help and advise” and was “truly passionate about promoting talented disabled artists and providing access to the arts for all”. Andrew also generously shared his time and expertise in accountancy and IT, which was of “immeasurable value” in setting up Face Front’s financial reporting systems.

In 2017, Andrew stepped down as chair, but remained as a trustee until November 2021. He continued to champion the charity’s work both within the local community and nationally, including with a sponsored walk of the Pennine Way which raised funds to help pay for a new accessible door at Face Front Studio in Edmonton Green – named ‘The Bradford Door’ in his honour.

Reflecting on his involvement with Face Front, Andrew said: “Our work gives a voice to some of the most disadvantaged people in society, originally in just our locality, but increasingly London-wide […] being part of Face Front has enriched my life and I thank you all.”

For more information about Face Front Inclusive Theatre:
Visit facefront.org

Enfield Community Heroes

This article is the latest in our ‘Enfield Community Heroes’ series, sponsored by Edmonton Green Shopping Centre. Dispatch readers are welcome to nominate their own local hero – someone who has gone above and beyond to help support the local community. Simply email your nomination to [email protected].