Grenfell: in the words of survivors
13 July 2023
5.0 out of 5.0 stars
It’s been six years since the Grenfell Tower tragedy, and the National Theatre is examining how and why it happened in the first place, and what has happened since.
Created from interviews with survivors, and inter-spliced with moments from the official inquest, Grenfell: in the words of survivors is a powerful and emotional new verbatim play. Beginning with an introduction of the people we would hear from throughout the play, and an examination of the tight-knit community that developed in the tower, there’s an immediate connection to the stories and people affected by the tragedy.
There is no sensationalism, no mining of trauma for entertainment, to be found in this play. Instead, it is a collection of personal stories, and interwoven with it, a look at the people responsible for the decisions that led to the loss of 72 lives in a wholly preventable tragedy.
Wholly immersing the audience in a communal experience of what it meant to be part of the Grenfell community, and of course part of the tragedy, this play is an emotionally taxing one. Going from learning about how the community lived before the fateful night, how the events unfolded for several survivors throughout the night, and what happened to the afterwards felt like a deep and connecting experience.
Finishing off with a beautiful video installation and silent memorial walk, Grenfell: in the words of survivors is a visceral and intimate experience, bringing a voice to those who are still fighting for justice, for answers, for change in the system to prevent it from happening again. An intense, beautifully haunting play that feels timely and important in equal measure.