Value Engineering: Scenes From The Grenfell Inquiry
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“It’s one thing to work out how the fire was caused, and how the deaths were caused; the bigger question is: why did this happen?” Michael Mansfield QC at the Inquiry, March 2021
Grenfell: Value Engineering – Scenes From The Inquiry is a verbatim reconstruction of the Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry.
The intentions behind this not-for-profit play are to give the public an overview of three years worth of testimonies and evidence, and to contribute to holding the people and systems responsible for this avoidable tragedy to account.
The play uses only the words spoken at the Inquiry and deals predominantly with the part of the Inquiry that took evidence from those responsible for the disastrous refurbishment of Grenfell Tower before the tragic fire. The age, background and colour of all those men and women who gave evidence and failed to ensure the building was safe for the residents are represented as accurately as possible in this contemporary reconstruction of the Inquiry.
The evidence is brought to the stage by a creative team responsible for a number of award-winning Public Inquiry plays including the reconstruction of The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry at the Tricycle Theatre, in the West End and on BBC TV, and the Saville Inquiry play Bloody Sunday. A community ambassador for the production is in regular contact with the Grenfell community and those representing the families.
In Birmingham, £3 from every ticket sold at The Rep will be donated to The Grenfell Foundation and BrumLAG. A limited number of £5 tickets are available at every performance for people currently living in towers with unsafe cladding. Please call the Box Office to book these tickets.
Nick of Time Productions LTD, in association with The Playground Theatre.
£3 from every ticket sold will be donated to The Grenfell Foundation and BrumLAG. £5 tickets are available at every performance for people currently living in towers with unsafe cladding.
Post Show Panel Discussion
Tue 16 Nov: This will be an informal Q&A with the audience, with an ex-resident of Grenfell and someone who testified at the inquiry.
Wed 17 Nov: This panel will be a formal discussion. Panellist include: Suresh Grover (Executive Director of The Monitoring Group); Nick Kent (director of Value Engineering); Jim Illingworth (representative from BRUMLAG); Yvette Williams (representative from Justice for Grenfell) and CJ Lloyd Webley (Assistant Director for Value Engineering/Black Pounds Project CEO).
Socially Distanced Performance
Sat 20 Nov, 2.30pm.
A Note from the Directing and Producing Team
Click here to read a longer note from the directing and producing team about the production. Edited by Richard Norton-Taylor and directed by Nicolas Kent
Education and Outreach
Fees & Charges
Please note there is a transaction fee of £2.50 on all payment types. Please click here for more information.
There is no doubt that Value Engineering will be a challenging play to watch. The evidence of the Inquiry, and the play itself, will reflect many of the problems deeply embedded in contemporary British society. It is a catalogue of greed, fraud, cheating and lying, layers of corruption and racism, fatal cost-cutting, casual indifference, and practices which one young company executive called “completely unethical”. It has exposed fatal consequences of austerity and deregulation.
The fire safety checks revealed unsafe cladding to be a national issue, with more than 700,000 people living in dangerous homes, yet no one has been held accountable. In Birmingham, 30, 000 people live in towers with unsafe cladding. The Rep has a history in producing and presenting challenging works of theatre, and we believe that this important play will add significantly to public debate in our city.
The six performances at The Rep will run at a loss. A post show panel discussion will be held on Wednesday 17 November with representatives from Justice for Grenfell, BrumLAG and the production’s community ambassador.
BrumLAG Statement re Grenfell: Value Engineering – Scenes from the Inquiry
The Birmingham Leaseholder Action Group (BrumLAG) wholeheartedly welcomes the Birmingham Rep’s presentation of Grenfell: Value Engineering – Scenes from The Inquiry. We applaud the Rep’s decision to present the only production outside London of this challenging play based entirely on the words of those involved in the hugely important Grenfell Tower Inquiry.
Four years after seventy-two people died in Britain’s worst residential fire in living memory, millions of leaseholders are suffering financial misery and mental distress as a result of the ensuing cladding and building safety crisis.
In the West Midlands alone, an estimated 30,000 residents are caught up in the nightmare of feeling unsafe in their own homes and being left to bear the costs of regulatory and industry failures for which nobody has yet been held to account.
The government continues to underestimate the scale of this crisis, and its promises to protect leaseholders over the four years since Grenfell remain unfulfilled.
Thousands of Birmingham residents are still living in unsafe buildings, facing enormous bills and the prospect of bankruptcy and homelessness. The impact on their mental health and wellbeing is severe, with affected leaseholders reporting high levels of anxiety and depression.
We hope that Grenfell: Value Engineering will help to expose the great injustice at the heart of the building safety crisis and the need for urgent action to ensure that the tragic events of 14 June 2017 never happen again.
We are particularly grateful to the Rep for donating a portion of every ticket sold to BrumLAG and the Grenfell Foundation. Their support will help us to continue campaigning to highlight the human impact of the building safety crisis to those in government who have the power to resolve it. – BrumLAG
BrumLAG is a volunteer, resident-led campaign group representing leaseholders from over 50 buildings in Birmingham and the West Midlands affected by building and fire safety issues.
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