To all our Face Front family, friends and supporters,
It is with immense sadness that we announce the death of Face Front Co-Founder and Co-CEO Jon French following a short illness.
Jon was also a director for ‘Broken Silence’, our drama group for disabled adults, and most recently co-directed ‘The Hero Next Door’ – Face Front’s new professional show for young audiences, which toured nationally this summer.
Prior to his time with Face Front, Jon worked extensively with Candoco Dance Company as one of their founding members. A few years ago, we made a short film that details Jon’s journey into working in the performing arts and it features many photos and clips from that time, along with those from the early years of Face Front. It was just a brief introduction and overview of the incredible career and force that was Jon French. This film can be seen here:
Here follow some reflections from members of the Face Front Family.
“Jon French was a founder of Face Front Inclusive Theatre, and his legacy will live on through the many productions that he was a part of and the many lives that he enriched. Jon was an immensely talented, and creative theatre-maker, actor, facilitator, choreographer and director. And he was an exciting, compassionate, witty and intelligent colleague who will be profoundly missed.”
Annie Smol MBE, Face Front’s previous Artistic Director and Co-founder
“Having just celebrated 25 years of Face Front Inclusive Theatre, we have had the opportunity to reflect upon all the wonderful and groundbreaking work that has been achieved by all the people who have passed through our doors – and Jon French was a constant, steadying, and creative presence throughout it all. Whilst the performing industry has lost a legend in the field of dance and theatre, we feel the loss of an esteemed colleague and a most excellent friend.”
Ray Downing, Artistic Director of Face Front
“Jon has been a part of Face Front Inclusive Theatre since it’s inception, over 25 years ago. He embraced Face Front in the same way that he embraced life, with dedication, loyalty, and humour. He immersed himself in every project with creativity and commitment. Words cannot express our loss. He was more than just a colleague, he was an ally and a friend. He will be sorely missed by all of us in the Face Front family.”
Face Front Trustee and Co-founder Catrin Thomas
“Jon was a key member of Face Front from the start, participating and encouraging others and leading performances for all our 25 years. Latterly as co-chief executive he was instrumental in helping to continue Face Front’s success, adding a ‘back room’ role making sure our finances were in order and the board was fully informed. His many qualities will be sadly missed.”
Roger Cowe, Chair of Trustees at Face Front
For now, we want to allow Jon’s family time to grieve in private, but we will hold a memorial event for Jon in due course to celebrate an incredible life well-lived by a man who will be forever missed❤️.