Review: The Grenfell Project, at The Hope Theatre
Incorporating real-life dialogue and footage, young actors create powerful piece that portrays emotions surrounding 2017 disaster
21 March, 2019 — By Erin Corby
Poignant and dynamic – The Grenfell Project
APPROACHING two years after the tragedy in the borough of Kensington and Chelsea, The Grenfell Project safeguards remembrance of the catastrophe and pushes for action to ensure it never happens again.
Incorporating real-life dialogue and footage, these young actors have devised a powerful piece using soundscapes and ensemble to portray otherwise inaccessible emotions surrounding events of the June 2017 fire. Through physical theatre, the piece moves beyond a tragic narrative and develops into a vehicle for change for the voices of victims.
The range of voices heard underlines the remarkable community response in the aftermath of the fire, and in turn the ineffectuality of the officials responsible.
The plight of the firefighters is portrayed poignantly; using covered torches and a split-screen effect, the audience are privy to both sides of the struggle as they rushed to meet each other on the staircase.
Spoken word is employed beautifully, poetry is woven into the dialogue and intersected with fluctuating tone and tempo making for a dynamic piece.
The actors start the play sitting among the audience, creating a feeling of inclusion heightened by direct address. The same technique is also used to ostracise audience members when interrogated as councillors and politicians.
Both Jamahyl Chan-Ellis and Eleanor Crouch deserve special mention for their effective multi-rolling, stunning physical theatre and powerful use of song.
The Grenfell Project, although having room to develop further, is a stunning piece of theatre, its beauty lying in its essentialism. Justice for Grenfell.
Until March 30
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