A brand new musical celebration the presence of people of African decent living in Britain as far back as the 18th century

A brand new musical written by Evadne Bygrave inspired by the book ‘Fern and Kate Meets Dido Elizabeth Belle’ by David Gleave.


The musical took place at The Shoestring Theatre, South Norwood on 3rd and 4th November 2018.  It presented Dido Belle and raised awareness that there were wealthy aristocrats of African-enslaved descent living in England during the 18th Century.  Dido Belle grew up in Kenwood House in north London and enjoyed many privileges of wealth, but not all due to her mixed heritage.

Fern Meets Dido was an intergenerational Community Cohesion project involving local businesses that supported the project financial and in-kind. The cast was from the BME community of Croydon and aged 7 – 82. The young members began to develop skills in performing arts during the two week Boot Camp that took place in the summer holiday.  Along with our more senior members, they were totally committed to the production in preparation for their musical theatre debut.

All  4 shows, including press night, were completely sold out!  The vast majority of participants were BME,  female and from communities and groups that have been hard to reach for theatre and massively under-represented in their access to the arts as participants and audience.

By bringing the two generations together in a positive environment with a shared goal we provided opportunities to break down barriers and build a stronger community.

Read what the press had to say:

The Voice 

The Thornton Heath Chronicle