“Utterly outsanding and very memorable”

-Will Moorcroft, Quays News

In Yer Face creates short, sharp, unforgettable theatre for, and with, young people. The company focusses on education, prison and community audiences with work that explores well known stories in unexpected guises.  Unflinching and uncompromising but with a strong Christian ethos, In Yer Face’s work has combined theatre with film, music with dance, script with poetry, narrative with illustration.


Formed in 1996, today the company is led by Matthew Britton and Emily Lawson, and is part of The Message Trust. Since its inception, In Yer Face has performed live to hundreds of thousands of young people, with a larger reach through radio and television appearances.

In addition to two annual touring productions, the company also runs applied drama and theatre skills workshops in high schools, prisons, churches and community settings. The company has also performed at large public venues such as the Palace Theatre, the Lowry, the o2 Apollo Manchester and the Imperial War Museum North, and are summer festival favourites.


Often darkly funny, sometimes emotional and always in-yer-face, the company attracts audiences with little previous experience of faith and the arts.

Have a look at some of the key questions that have been asked about us or our work over the years

Read Our FAQs

Meet The Team

Matthew Britton

Artistic Director, Writer, Performer

Matt became Artistic Director of In Yer Face in 2007, following six years as a performer and writer. He has also acted and directed extensively with various companies and productions across Europe. His play ‘In Bloom’ was recognised by the BBC as 2012’s best short and his writing for radio has been nominated for broadcasting awards. His heart is to connect with those who engage least with both faith and the arts. An avid fan of Manchester United and a believer in God… the two might be connected.

Emily Lawson

General Manager, Associate Writer, Performer

With a background in fringe theatre, musicals and short films, Emily joined In Yer Face in 2010. Bringing a musical and physical element to the company’s work, she has experience of both dance and singing. When not performing or leading workshops, she can be found managing the day-to-day running of the company. Her side projects include singing with her acoustic band, Hummingbirds, and volunteering with social action groups. An adopted Northerner, she can never seem to get warm.

Rob Kates

Production Designer

A former full-time member of the company, Rob is now freelance Production Designer with In Yer Face. Responsible for the look and sounds of everything an audience sees and hears, he loves the challenge of fusing live theatre with film and sound. He pioneered the digital backdrops of previous productions and is always looking for new innovative ways to showcase a performance. Away from In Yer Face, Rob freelances in radio and film production, as well as sound and lights for corporate events. A former Pontins Bluecoat, Rob once made Shane Ritchie laugh – possibly intentionally.

Tom Butler

Senior Management

As part of his wider role at The Message Trust, Tom oversees the implementation of In Yer Face’s vision, mission and core values. With a background in youth-work and a passion for transformational living he is a keen supporter of the company. Though not an actor himself, Tom is often likened to a fully-fledged drama queen.

Matt Varah Wilson


Multi-disciplinary designer Matt first collaborated with In Yer Face on ‘Smile Away’. His brief was to create line drawings which moved and interacted with the narrative of the production. Following its success, he has inputted into the company’s artwork and ideas ever since. When not working with In Yer Face he has designed T-shirts, illustrated books and brochures and used various media to form exciting marks. His work can be seen (‘and bought,’ he says, shamelessly chipping in) on his website.

Square1 Dance Crew


Founders of Square1 Dance Company, Sola and Naomi also first collaborated with In Yer Face on ‘Smile Away’, bringing high energy and lucid movement to the production. Their unique physical approach to theatre combines various dance disciplines with movement and text. Sola and Nay spend most of their time leading Square1, but as close friends and collaborators, our paths often cross.

Contact Us

If you’d like to book us or have any questions or comments regarding any of our listed productions or activities, feel free to contact us at InYerFaceTeam@message.org.uk