Theatre News

New play based on Grenfell inquiry to premiere this October

The piece explores the response to the tragic events of 2017

Titled Grenfell: Value Engineering – Scenes From The Inquiry, the piece runs from 13 October to 13 November at the Tabernacle in Notting Hill (which has recently been renovated) and subsequently at Birmingham Rep from 16 to 20 November.

The play, a not-for-profit production, is edited by Richard Norton-Taylor and directed by Nicolas Kent, with casting by Amy Ball at CDG.

Norton-Taylor said: "Grenfell Tower, engulfed in flames in less than half an hour in the deadliest fire in a residential building since the Blitz, the worst loss of life in a single incident in London for more than 60 years, was still smouldering when survivors and families of the bereaved demanded a wide-ranging public inquiry into a disaster they had warned was waiting to happen. Their concerns about the risks of fire and obstacles in the way of evacuating the 24-storey building were dismissed by officials in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, one of the richest local authorities in Britain."

Utilising words of those involved in the transcript for the piece, Norton-Taylor added: "What has emerged from the inquiry is an extraordinary catalogue of greed, fraud, cheating and lying, secret fixing of fire tests on their products, subtle layers of corruption and racism, fatal cost-cutting, casual indifference, and practices which one young company executive called "completely unethical" and which some even joked about. It exposed fatal consequences of austerity and deregulation. The switch to cheaper, more combustible, material saved less than £300,000 on the £10m refurbishment. The cost was 72 lives and hundreds of bereaved relatives and friends. The cost to tenants and mortgage holders living in over 250 residential blocks clad with similar dangerous cladding – and to taxpayers – will amount to many hundreds of millions of pounds."

The creative team previously worked on The Colour of Justice – The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry – which ran at the Tricycle (now the Kiln) Theatre, as well as at the National and in the West End.

Value Engineering: Scenes from the Grenfell Inquiry

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