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A major new project in collaboration with North Kensington communities


'Grenfell in the words of survivors' in black on a green background

Today we announce a new multi-year creative project in collaboration with people and community organisations across North Kensington, to share first-hand the voices of people affected by the Grenfell tragedy.

The project, which includes a new verbatim play alongside an in-depth community engagement programme, will share the voices that are part of this important story and keep the tragedy of Grenfell part of the national conversation.

Grenfell: in the words of survivors

The verbatim play, written by Gillian Slovo, is created from years of in-depth conversations with bereaved and survivors and the wider North Kensington community, aiming to share their experiences and highlight what they feel justice would look like six years on.

The play will be told in three parts sharing first-hand accounts from community members; before the tragedy, the night of the tragedy and a final part which will represent the voices of survivors and bereaved and their continued campaign for justice through a short film made in collaboration with TEA films.

Half the tickets at every performance will be £20 or less, with tickets under £10 made available through targeted outreach to people facing barriers to attendance, financial or otherwise. People living across North Kensington will be invited to watch the production at the National Theatre for free.

Read more about the play

“It has been my great privilege to help put the words of a group of survivors and bereaved onto the National Theatre stage.

I learned a tremendous amount about why the tragedy of Grenfell happened, but even more importantly I learned about a community which banded together when the state, both big and small, failed them. I ended up understanding that the story of Grenfell is not about a single event, but about the economic and political structures in which we live and how as a society we let this happen.”

Playwright Gillian Slovo


How have survivors and bereaved families been involved in making the play?

Will the NT be making a profit from this play?

How are you working with the North Kensington community?

What welfare support is in place for survivors and bereaved?

What welfare support is in place for audience members affected by the play?

Part of a multi-year programme of community activity with local organisations

In consultation with a wide range of community organisations in North Kensington, a programme of engagement activity will take place over the next two years with members of this community whose lives have been affected by the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

Our community programme will work with organisations to offer workshops, free tickets for productions, paid long and short-term work placements, collaboration on creative projects and learning programmes in local schools.

An Advisory Group has been formed to guide decisions on activity and the approach for the production, made up of survivors and bereaved and community leaders. Extensive welfare support has also been built in for contributors, audiences and staff including quiet spaces for audiences during performances.

“With each year that goes by our pain doesn’t stop but we must keep our stories alive and at the forefront of people’s minds.

When people watch this play, I have no doubt that they will want to do something, whether through word of mouth or through action. The domino effect of this is the power. The National Theatre is supporting us by taking our stories beyond our borders of North Kensington but is also supporting within our borders with the wider community project which is just as important. Throughout this process, I have felt supported by the team; everything has been on my own terms, and I felt that they truly knew me, and my family and they showed so much empathy, love and care.”

Hanan Wahabi, contributor and member of the Advisory Group

Grenfell: in the words of survivors will be staged in the Dorfman theatre from 13 July–26 August 2023.

Our community engagement programme in North Kensington is generously supported by John Lyon’s Charity. Grenfell: in the words of survivors is supported by the Arete Foundation, who support the National Theatre to make work that is ambitious and socially relevant.

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