Last month Michael Gove apologised to the families of those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire and admitted that “faulty and ambiguous” government guidance had contributed to the tragedy. Now the team behind Grenfell: Value Engineering, which laid bare the failures that allowed the fire to take hold, returns to ask further questions which have been raised by the Grenfell Tower Inquiry. If you think it sounds dull, I can assure you that it won’t be. The team behind this have proved that theatre has a vital role to play in using drama to bring facts to life and reveal the human cost when profit is put before people.
Based entirely on the words of those involved in the final phase of the Inquiry (which ended in November 2022), this new play 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.