The Boy At The Back Of The Class Review

Rose Theatre, Kingston – until 22nd February 2024 

Reviewed by Carly Burlinge  


The Rose Theatre brings you this beautiful production that is a moving and compelling story, which has so much to offer. Based on the novel by Onjali Q. Rauf, which tells the story of Ahmet (Farshid Rokey), a refugee, that all begins with an empty chair at the back of the class. With no one knowing his story the rest of his classmates become eager to understand where he’s come from and what he’s been through.  

Whilst watching the shy and unsure character that stands before them, telling his story through pictures, as he cannot speak English, a group of friends, Alexa (Sasha Desouza-Willock), Tom (Gordon Millar), Josie (Petra Joan-Athene) and Michael (Abdul-Malik Janneh) realise just how much this scared and unsure boy has been through.  

The friends begin to formulate a plan, calling themselves the A Team, to help Ahmet find his family, who he has lost through his tumultuous journey.  

During his time at his new school, he is subjected to bullying by certain individuals; not only a fellow student Brendan (Joe Mcnamara), but by a teacher Mr Irons (Zoe Zak) as well. With the support of the “A Team” and the head teacher, Mrs Kahn (Priya Davdra) Ahmet and his friends learn that Kindness is the most powerful thing that anyone can offer.  

Throughout this production the cast offered many funny moments, with much laughter, providing light relief to the more serious moments and themes of the story. The cast had such a strong connection, which was amazing to watch. I can truly say that this production made me laugh, gave me goosepimples and offered such emotion I even cried, that when I looked around, the whole audience was experiencing the same.  

This is definitely a production that is not to be missed, truly outstanding!