Full casting and further creative team has been announced for the world premiere stage adaptation of the multi award-winning and best-selling children’s book The Boy at the Back of the Class.
The full cast includes Priya Davdra (Mrs Khan / Mum), Sasha Desouza-Willock (Alexa), Megan Grech (Ensemble/Understudy), Abdul-Malik Janneh (Michael), Petra Joan-Athene (Josie), Joe McNamara (Brendan), Gordon Millar (Tom), Farshid Rokey (Ahmet), Adam Seridji (Ensemble/Understudy) and Zoe Zak (Clarissa).
The creative team includes Monique Touko (Director), Lily Arnold (Set & Costume Designer), Ryan Day (Lighting Designer), Giles Thomas (Composer & Sound Designer), Kloé Dean (Movement Director), Sophie Parrott CDG (Casting Director), Maisie Carter (Fight Director) and Amy Crighton (Assistant Director).
The Boy at the Back of the Class is a timely, humorous and heart-warming story about the power of kindness, engaging children and their families in discussions around refugee rights.
Christopher Haydon, Artistic Director of Rose Theatre said: “I am beyond thrilled to be bringing Onjali Q Raúf’s remarkable story to the stage. I love its warmth and the way it combines an exciting adventure with such piercing emotional honesty about the plight facing refugees today. I’ve always felt passionately about the need to support refugees and advocate for their rights, and it is vital, for me, that all our work at the Rose has the values of inclusion and tolerance at heart.”
Bassam Mahfouz, Executive Director of Refugee Action Kingston said: “I arrived in west London as a four-year old boy from war-torn Beirut. I was fortunate my journey here didn’t mimic Ahmet’s, but in many ways I saw parallels in his story — I once was the boy at the back of the class, who received so much love and support from many in my school and local community. But, I also experienced hatred, intolerance, and ignorance. My experiences gave me the determination to create opportunities for others – that is what we do daily at Refugee Action Kingston.”
Hedda Beeby, of Children’s Touring Partnership said: “If there is no theatre for younger audiences, there will be no theatre at all in years to come and it is vital to offer the opportunity to experience live performance from an early age. We are delighted to be working with the Rose Theatre to tell this life-affirming story. It’s about young people for young people.”
Rose Theatre is collaborating with Children’s Touring Partnership to bring this story to the stage and partnering with a local charity, Refugee Action Kingston, to raise awareness about and funds to support refugees in our community throughout this production.
The Boy at the Back of the Class opens at the Rose on 3 February 2024, playing until 22 February, and then tours until June 2024.