Razed Roof

 Charity No. 1128337 

           "This is a dedicated company of people whose enthusiasm for theatre strengthens their outlook on life"    Ben Thomas National Theatre    



Razed Roof will be considering ways to operate safely and liaising with Harlow Playhouse over possibilities for the Autumn Term 2020.

Our new production, May 2019:'Desmond the One-Eyed Hedgehog’ 

is a charming story about an endangered species: the much-loved hedgehog.

".....There were so many fabulous, funny, moving and wow factor moments!
Inclusion at its most inclusive. Just brilliant." (audience feedback)

     Desmond’s eventful journey is a quest for survival in a world where climate-change and loss of natural habitat is placing wildlife in jeopardy.

Yet, it’s not too late to make changes; so, with caring, and a little love, we may find our endangered friends can have a future after-all.

      Harlow Playhouse’s residential company: award-winning, inclusive, performance company Razed Roof, have devised and created this new production together with internationally-renowned dramaturge, and                                                         playwright, Suzy Graham-Adriani.

 Countess of Wessex visited Razed Roof together with the  Lord Lieutenant of Essex: June'18

‘National Treasure? That’s our Razed Roof’ Harlow Star

The hugely popular inclusive theatre company has worked with the playwright Judith Johnson, to explore issues around pre-natal testing; being a parent; having a learning disability; being a valued member of society.....oh, and mice.A fascinating and thought provoking production: 'Trisomy21'.

Proud to announce:

 Razed Roof has received the Queen's Award for Voluntary Services


The QAVS is a wonderful endorsement of the work being done by Razed Roof

and, most importantly, recognition of all the contributions and commitment given

by our fabulous volunteers, supporters and Trustees.

We are grateful to our close partners, Harlow Playhouse and the Robert Barclay Acadmy; and to our main funders

'Health Strength: the Health Lottery' and 'Woodroffe Benton Foundation'


Our latest show 'Unfolding'

Razed Roof has collaborated with the  Gibberd Garden Trust

to celebrate the glorious Grade2 listedGibberd Garden in Harlow,with its impressive plants, trees and sculptures. 'Unfolding' features dance, poetry, photography and music in a joyful celebration of Sir Fredrick Gibberd's creative environment and his collection of artistic works.  

It was like a dreamy day in the park. It ended too soon: wonderful (audience member)

It was imaginative, funny, poignant.  We both laughed and cried. A really uplifting evening. (audience member)    

Excellent performance: we SO enjoyed it.A wonderful combination of laughter, fluidity and grace. Once again, Razed Roof has shown us how to live: thank you everyone. (audience member)

Funding much of our work....



'Another inspirational production. Shine on Razed Roof, shine on!'  (audience member)


Supported by the Woodroofe Benton Foundation; Harlow Council; Jack Petchey Foundation;

Epping Forest Council and Lighter life.

"A real source of inspiration for youngsters." 

Clare Balding reporting on BBC for Lord Mayor of London's Show Nov'10


Razed Roof were part of the Creative Minds East partnership

 presenting the Creative Minds conference 28th October 2015 at the Jerwood Dance House, Ipswich.




Our Heritage Lottery Fund Project:'Looking back 100 Years'

'Lusitania: the Floating Palace' written by Judith Johnson + music by Pat Crilly (2015)

Musician, Pat Crilly:  It was an honour and a pleasure to play for
Razed Roof. The production was superb. What a fine bunch of actors you have there.

Sheila O’Sullivan, National Office, Heritage Lottery Fund:
'....the show, picked up by our national office as a notable First World War-themed project,

was extremely moving (a tear was shed by the end), the
production values impressive and the importance of the historic events really
came through. Congratulations to the whole team.

 Audience comment: A brilliant, enjoyable and moving performance.
A very cleverly crafted play - inclusive - but finely balanced giving support
where needed. Magnificent team spirit, the actors showing consideration and
generosity to each other throughout. Clearly bonds have been made that will
benefit all participants beyond this play. The music contributed greatly. I
shall look forward to future projects.

VicePrincipal of Special School): wow..........absolutely brilliant! Please
pass on our congratulations to cast and crew.
We really enjoyed yet another incredible performance by Razed Roof last night - what a
show it was...........brilliant music, superb acting, wonderful costumes, great
script, moving story and a master class in inclusion (and how to use movement
and language to achieve). Yet again we saw proof that people with SEN can
achieve anything they want with the right support and high expectations.
You are a god in our world - keep us informed, we'll be at the next one (and we'll bring
a coach load, not a minibus)

Our production, devised for the WW1 Centenary Commemorations, is based on the
sinking of the Lusitania as it sailed towards Liverpool on 7th May 1915 resulting in the
death of  1,998 passengers and crew.
Our premier performance on 7th May 2015 was exactly
100 years to the day of the tragedy.

Razed Roof worked with NT playwright Judith Johnson to develop an inclusive script and musician Pat Crilly has written the music and lyrics.
A truly inspiring production.

Supported by: Arts Council East; Harlow Council; Woodroffe Benton Foundation; Hampden Agencies;
and Heritage Lottery Fund


Audience comments about 'FLOOD' 2014

We were totally overwhelmed with the beauty and art and the way the story was told. The choice of music, and actors, the times of past and present, the relationships so touching and recognisable. And then
the simplicity of the story telling, making a complicated story accessible to all.
What can I say..best ever!

Phil Dale wrote: Imagine, if you will, two actors with Downs Syndrome dressed in
white fluffy head to toe onesies and holding polar bear heads on sticks. Your
reaction? A patronising smile? A stifled giggle perhaps? You certainly wouldn't
expect to be moved in a way that only truly great theatre can move you; but
then that's the endearing beauty of a Razed a Roof performance. The Harlow
based inclusive theatre company, under the artistic direction of the
astonishingly talented Annette Lidster have been creating their own unique
brand of accessible theatre since 2004 and their latest production Flood is, to
put it simply, wonderful.

The play is inspired by the tragic story of a birthday party that never
happened due to the devastating floods along Britain's east coast in 1953. We
follow the life of Charlie, a 9 year old boy who loses his Grandad on that
fateful night and grows to be a cynical and embittered current day pensioner;
kind of a Harry Enfield old man environmentalist, raging against consumerism
and ever increasing carbon footprints. The script, deftly penned by Royal Court
award winning playwright Judith Johnson, switches from comedy to tragedy with
effortless and unnerving ease. One scene featuring a row of pensioners in deck
chairs eating fish and chips on Jaywick beach in late January is as funny as
anything I've seen on a stage in recent years.

It is, however, Anette's ability to combine both able bodied and disabled
performers in simple story telling technique that really sets this company
apart. As the rain pours down she symbolises the growing threat to the Jaywick
household with increasing numbers of bodies, of all shapes and sizes and ages,
swathed in blue material and gently undulating like the relentless water. By
the time two rescuers with torches finally appear we are with them every step
(or wade) of the way as they search the flooded household; we learn of the
death of Charlie's grandad with heavy hearts but breathe a genuine sigh of
relief when his cat is rescued - a glove puppet on the arm of a disabled
performer! When the old mans birthday cake appears and gently floats across the
living room it is almost too poignant to bare. It is an extraordinary scene.
Maybe you'll be interested in Razed Roof's work and help us promote it?

No less powerful is the parallel story of the melting ice caps. Our
previously mentioned polar bears are forced from their natural habitat when
food supplies run low, unwittingly bringing them into contact with frightened
humans. The tragic yet inevitable outcome of this environmental cautionary tale
was witnessed in rapt silence by a capacity audience ranging from high school
students to pensioners. I have seen the Nationals production of War Horse on
more than one occasion and often noted how despite the actual visual
representation on stage, your post show memory is of an actual horse galloping
around. My post show memory of Flood is of the actual blood stained carcass of
a once proud polar bear being gently pawed by his distraught mate.

Flood is beautiful, powerful and striking. Flood is thought provoking. Flood
is life affirming. Flood is, to put it simply, wonderful. If there is a local
equivalent of a national treasure then Razed Roof are it.

Audience comments about 'Our Version of Indian Summer'

  A superb piece of inclusive theatre..... at its best.
.........mesmerised with the use of colour and movement in the performance
......a joy to behold

.......I love the way the different people of all different ages and very different
abilities all work together to make it happen: it’s amazing.

.....Brilliant.I also absolutely loved it.
........the kite scene actually had me near to tears, it was very spiritual and moving.

....I love those scenes when the whole cast is on stage and everyone contributes
to whatever is going on: that’s what Razed Roof is so good at.

.....Superb acting, thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish.

We are delighted to announce that Catherine Ridge has raised over £1,800 for Razed Roof.


The launch of the new Razed Roof Logo
Simon and the group present flowers to designer Christine Stretham

Razed Roof  received funding from The Heritage Lottery Fund

to research the history of Harlow and its sculptures, resulting in the production: 'InForm'.

Dear Annette and Razed Roof friends,
Well done for taking Harlow Playhouse by storm once again last night.
There was a great atmosphere and at the end of the evening two words were echoing all around me
 - those two beautiful words - "Razed Roof" - you are certainly the Pride and Joy of Harlow.
Keep up the good work - wonderful, wonderful people.   (Ian Beckett)


"The best yet!" was one response.

           "This is a dedicated company of people whose
             enthusiasm for theatre strengthens their outlook on life"

Ben Thomas
National Theatre

"It was one of the most moving examples of
reverence for life observed on a stage."

   Antony Thorncroft
The Financial Times

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