Following last year’s critically acclaimed and vital production Grenfell: Value Engineering, Grenfell: System Failure will tour to three West London venues.
Grenfell: System Failure asks those further vital questions raised at the Grenfell Tower Inquiry since the critically acclaimed 2021 play Grenfell: Value Engineering.
Based entirely on the words of those involved in the final phase of the Inquiry (which ended in November 2022) Grenfell: System Failure interrogates why the testing regime failed to warn of the danger of installing inflammable materials, why manufacturers promoted such products with no regard to safety, why government regulations ignored the dangers and were not updated, and why politicians failed to ensure proper oversight. Through the testimonies of bereaved residents, it explores how they were failed by the London Fire Brigade on the night and abandoned by the local authority in the chaos of the fire’s aftermath.
Grenfell: System Failure will tour to three West London venues: The Playground Theatre (18 February – 25 February), The Tabernacle (27 February – 12 March) and Marylebone Theatre (14 March – 26 March), bringing the production closer to the communities affected by the tragedy, than previously possible.
This limited season is brought to the stage by the creative team responsible for Grenfell: Value Engineering at The Tabernacle and Birmingham Rep in 2021 and on Channel 4 in 2022, The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry – The Colour of Justice at the Tricycle Theatre, the National Theatre, in the West End and on BBC TV, and the Olivier Award-winning Saville Inquiry play, Bloody Sunday.
Grenfell: System Failure has set design by Miki Jablkowska and Matt Eagland, lighting design by Matt Eagland, sound & video design by Andy Graham, costume design by Carly Brownbridge, casting by Amy Ball CDG with community liaison from Suresh Grover, and production photography by Beresford Hodge.
Richard Millett, the Inquiry’s main QC said “each and every one of the risks which eventuated at Grenfell Tower on that night were well known by many and ought to have been known by all who had any part to play. As a result, you will be able to conclude with confidence that each and every one of the deaths that occurred in Grenfell Tower on the 14 June 2017 were avoidable. The reasons were many, complex and, in many cases, inextricably interlinked.”
Nicolas Kent, Director and co-editor, said “during the run of the previous play (Grenfell: Value Engineering) in October 2021, there was much pressure from the Grenfell community and audiences for us to complete the story of the final phase of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.
This second play: Grenfell: System Failure focuses on the vital questions of how the cladding/insulation manufacturers, the London Fire Brigade, government regulators & politicians could have averted this terrible fire, and how they failed the local community in the chaos of its aftermath.
The plays complete an overview of the inquiry’s important work. The full inquiry report will be published late 2023 and its recommendations, if implemented, will hopefully prevent such a tragedy ever happening again.”
Richard Norton-Taylor, co-editor, said “the shocking testimony heard at the Grenfell Inquiry showed that the fire that killed 72 people, the deadliest residential conflagration since the Blitz, was wholly avoidable. It was the result of greed, complacency, implicit racism and a total lack of concern for the most vulnerable in British society.
The disaster will have a devastating impact on the bereaved and residents of Grenfell Tower for a very long time. It also leaves many thousands of tenants and leaseholders living in high-rise buildings clad with similar flammable material deeply concerned about how they can make their homes safe.”
Alongside the production The Playground Theatre is providing an education programme. The programme, SYSTEMS, will provide local schools with information about the production alongside the contemporary issues of importance that it addresses and a wider understanding of communities, social justice and human rights.
A series of panel discussions will take place alongside the production hosted by guest organisations including Grenfell United, Justice4Grenfell, Next of Kin and Lancaster West. For dates and times of the Q&A events, please visit: www.grenfellsystemfailure.com
Affordably priced tickets for this production will be available at £5 for residents local to the Grenfell Tower. For more information on how to book community tickets, please email [email protected]