The scandal and tragedy of Grenfell Tower, the deadliest fire in a residential building in Britain since the blitz, is to be played out on a theatre stage in a work that its writer believes is a damning allegory of contemporary British society.
The theatre director Nicolas Kent and the journalist Richard Norton-Taylor have established an award-winning partnership for verbatim theatre, staging plays based on inquiries including into Bloody Sunday 그리고 murder of Stephen Lawrence.
It has been announced that their next project will be a production titled Grenfell: Value Engineering – Scenes from the Inquiry. 그만큼 public inquiry was ordered to examine what happened in the fire on 14 유월 2017 and who was responsible for the deaths of 72 사람들.
Norton-Taylor, the Guardian’s former security editor, has had the daunting task of editing down more than three years of evidence and testimony into one theatrical production.
“Although I could get a PhD in cladding studies, it is much more than that,”그는 말했다. “The inquiry is about much more than what happened on the night of that fire.”
It has exposed problems and issues that are “symbolic of contemporary British society,”그는 말했다. “It is a powerful allegory, 정말. What is being exposed is how companies and local authorities passed the buck … incompetence, secrecy, cost-cutting, the consequences of government austerity policies, deregulation, the cosy and unaccountable networks of people who knew each other.”
Norton-Taylor said an “astonishing” amount of evidence had come out that was meant to be secret, including people “bragging about fixing fire safety tests”.
He had frequently been taken aback by the evidence, 그는 말했다. “When you read the residents’ testimony and the very eloquent and articulate way they talk about the fire, the evidence was there. Residents warned time and time and time again about fire safety and they were ignored. It wasn’t just kneejerk complaining.”
Even he, as a “seasoned, cynical journalist” he said jokingly, had found it “mind-boggling … there were astonishing admissions about what went wrong, the mistakes, the failures, the ignorance, the incompetence, the covering up … it just builds up into a unique scandal.”
Norton-Taylor said he saw theatre as an extension of journalism. The average person reads news stories about subjects every now and again but inquiries go on for years, 그는 말했다. In the case of the Saville inquiry into Bloody Sunday, it was 12 연령. “People get the general gist but they want to know more.
“Sometimes the devil is in the detail. I was aghast when I heard people forced to admit mistakes, to not knowing things, to not reading fire safety reports.”
Norton-Taylor said the switch to cheaper, more combustible cladding in Grenfell’s refurbishment saved less than £300,000 on the £10m work. “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.”
켄트, who will direct, said the plan was for people who live around Grenfell Tower to be able to see the play “for less than the price of a newspaper, and the rest of the country will be able to share the forensic work of the inquiry through this play and better understand the truth behind this avoidable tragedy”.