• boxoffice@theplaygroundtheatre.london | 020 8960 0110




Following last year's critically acclaimed and vital production
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“Essential viewing… This is state-of-the-nation stuff”
– The Daily Telegraph
on Grenfell: Value Engineering
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“Vital, galvanising, public witness-bearing”
- Financial Times
on Grenfell: Value Engineering
  • About
  • Creatives
  • Production
  • Panel 
  • Cast

Grenfell: System Failure asks those further vital questions raised at the Grenfell Tower Inquiry in the last eighteen months since the critically acclaimed 2021 play Grenfell: Value Engineering.

Based entirely on the words of those involved in the final phase of the Inquiry (December 2020 – July 2022), Grenfell: System Failure 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.

This limited season is brought to the stage by the creative team responsible for Grenfell: Value Engineering at The Tabernacle and Birmingham Rep in 2021 and on Channel 4 in 2022, The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry – The Colour of Justice at the Tricycle Theatre, the National Theatre, in the West End and on BBC TV, and the Olivier Award-winning Saville Inquiry play, Bloody Sunday.

Alongside the production The Playground Theatre is providing an education programme. The programme, SYSTEMS, will provide local schools with information about the production alongside the contemporary issues of importance that it addresses and wider understanding of communities, social justice and human rights.

A series of panel discussions will take place alongside the production hosted by guest organisations including Grenfell United, Justice4Grenfell, Next of Kin and Lancaster West.

For dates and times of the Q&A events, please visit: www.grenfellsystemfailure.com

Editor Richard Norton-Taylor and Nicolas Kent
Director Nicolas Kent
Set Designer Miki Jablkowska and Matt Eagland
Lighting Designer Matt Eagland
Sound & Video Designer Andy Graham
Costume Designer Carly Brownbridge
Casting Director Amy Ball CDG
Producers Nick of Time Productions and The Playground Theatre
Executive Producer Peter Huntley for Smart Entertainment
General Manager Callum Runciman and Jack Sterne for Smart Entertainment

Richard Norton-Taylor was a writer on defence and Security Editor for The Guardian from 1975-2016. As a journalist & playwright his books include: Truth is a Difficult Concept & The State of Secrecy.

His work combatting official secrecy led to the Freedom of Information Campaigns in 1986 & 1994.  He received the Liberty Human Rights Campaign of the Year Award in 2010.

He has collaborated with Nicolas Kent on eight verbatim plays on Trials and Public Inquiries: Half the Picture -the Scott Arms to Iraq Inquiry, The Colour of Justice -the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry, Nuremberg, Justifying War - The Hutton Inquiry. All his theatre work has been published; much of it broadcast on BBC TV or Radio. He won a Time Out award in 1993 and an Olivier award in 2005.

Richard is on the Board of the Website, Classified UK, and on the Policy Council of the civil rights group, Liberty.

Nicolas Kent was Artistic Director at the Tricycle Theatre from 1984 – 2012. Productions at the theatre include: Half the Picture, The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry, Nuremberg, Srebrenica and Bloody Sunday (Olivier award), all broadcast by the BBC. Also, Guantanamo (Olivier nomination), The Riots and the trilogy: The Great Game – Afghanistan (Olivier nomination) London/New York/Washington.

At the National Theatre: Another World and All the President’s Men? (co-production National Theatre/Public Theater).

He has directed for TV and at the RSC, the Royal Court, Donmar Warehouse, Young Vic, Hampstead, in the West End and in America.

Most recent productions: Playboy of the West Indies – the Musical at Birmingham Rep and Grenfell: Value Engineering at the Tabernacle and on Channel 4 television.


Nick of Time Productions Ltd was founded in 2012. Productions produced include The Nightmares of Carlos Fuentes by Rashid Razaq at the Arcola Theatre and Mark Thomas’ Check-up: Our NHS@70 (Fringe First winner) at the Traverse Theatre, The Arcola, Battersea Arts Centre, The Other Palace as well as a national tour, and in 2022 Playboy of the West Indies – the Musical at Birmingham Rep. Nick of Time Productions’ directors are Nicolas
Kent, Belinda Lang and Mary Lauder.

The Playground Theatre is a multidisciplinary performing arts incubator and venue in W10.

By fostering a supportive environment for open-ended experimentation, The Playground serves as a haven for emerging and established artists alike to come and play - to exercise the essential creative muscles that spark authentic, innovative works. As a registered charity, The Playground also delivers outreach programmes, and mental health initiatives that strengthen the resilience of the local community through creative engagement.


Smart Entertainment (Executive Producer and General Manager) provides world-class general management, executive producing and consultancy services for the theatre and live entertainment sector. The experienced team has worked on over 125 productions in the last decade. Smart’s recent clients include Nick of Time Productions (Grenfell: Value Engineering), Hartshorn – Hook Enterprises (including Peaky Blinders: The Rise, The Messiah, Doctor Who: Time Fracture, Amélie and The Great Gatsby), London Musical Theatre Orchestra (including A Christmas Carol at the Dominion, 2020), Oxford Playhouse (Cinderella) and Royal & Derngate, Northampton (including Playtime, The Wellspring and An Improbable Musical).


Thursday 23 February at 9:30pm | The Playground Theatre | Q&A hosted by Grenfell United
Friday 24 February at 9:50pm | The Playground Theatre | Q&A hosted by Next of Kin & Lancaster West

Friday 3 March at 9:50pm | The Tabernacle | Q&A hosted by Grenfell United
Sunday 5 March at 6.20pm | The Tabernacle | Q&A hosted by Next of Kin & Lancaster West
Wednesday 8 March at 9:50pm | The Tabernacle | Q&A hosted by Justice4Grenfell

Wednesday 15 March at 9:50pm | The Marylebone Theatre | Panel discussion on the Cladding Crisis
Wednesday 22 March at 9:50pm | The Marylebone Theatre | Panel discussion (guests TBC)
Ron Cook’s stage credits include: Grenfell: Value Engineering (Tabernacle, Birmingham Rep and Channel 4); Girl from the North Country (Old Vic); The Children (Broadway); Our Country’s Good, The Recruiting Officer, Cloud Nine, (Royal Court); Europe, Faith Healer, Trelawny of the Wells, Richard II, King Lear, Juno & the Paycock, Glengarry Glen Ross (Donmar Warehouse); The Homecoming, Henry V, Hamlet (Broadway); The Ruling Class, Twelfth Night, Art, (West End); The Seafarer, Howard Katz, Black, Snow (National Theatre). 

His screen credits includes: Andor (Disney+); Inside Number 9 (BBC); Doc Martin (ITV); Life After Life, Des (ITV); The Salisbury Poisonings (Dancing Ledge Productions); The Witcher (Netflix); Death in Paradise (BBC); Chernobyl (Sky Atlantic); Les Misérables (BBC); City and the City (BBC); Mr Selfridge (ITV); The Mystery of Edwin Drood (BBC); Little Dorrit (BBC); Silent Witness (BBC); Diary of Anne Frank (BBC); Doctor Who (BBC); Funland (BBC); The Lost Prince (BBC); The Singing Detective Critic (Paramount); Sew Torn (Searchlight Shorts); Empire of Light (Searchlight Pictures); The King's Man (20 th Century Studios); 18% Grey (Cinnamon Films); Hot Fuzz (Studio Canal ); The Merchant of Venice (Movision); Thunderbirds (Working Title Films); 24 Hour Party People (Film Four); Charlotte Gray (FilmFour); Chocolat (Miramax); Topsy Turvy (Thin Man Films); Secrets & Lies (Channel Four Films); The Cook the Thief and His Wife and Her Lover (All Arts).

Shahzad Ali’s stage credits include: False Accounts: Exposing the Post Office Cover-Up (Questors).

Madeleine Bowyer’s stage credits include: Pygmalion (Japan and International tour); Moby Dick (Walk The Plank); Bromley, Bedlam, Bethlehem (Old Red Lion); The Great Gatsby (Wilton’s Music Hall); Breakfast Soldiers (Manchester Contact); Our Day Out (Sheffield Crucible); Death and the Ploughman (Gate) and Execution of Justice (Southwark Playhouse).

Her screen credits include: Black Mirror (Netflix); The Crown (Netflix); Britannia (Amazon); Chivalry (Baby Cow Productions), Dreamland (Merman); The Pale Horse (BBC); Back (Big Talk Productions); Holby City (BBC); Emmerdale (ITV); Eastenders (BBC); Doctors (BBC); Waiting For Andre (Sky); Nigel Farage Gets His Life Back (Zeppoton); Hospital People (BBC); Prisoners Wives (Tiger Aspect Productions); Law and Order (Kudos Film and Television); If The Oil Runs Out (BBC); Urban Hymn (Eclipse Films); Second Coming (Channel Four) and Downhill (Crisis Films).

Nicholas Chambers’ stage credits include: The Department of Distractions and Life and Loves of a Nobody (Third Angel); Hamlet’s Playground (CREW); The Incredible Doctor Guttman (UK Tour); The Great Gatsby (Wilton’s Music Hall); My Dad’s a Birdman (Sheffield Crucible) and Air Guitar (Bristol Old Vic).

His screen credits include: Nolly (ITV); You and Me (ITV); Doctors (BBC); Arthur and George (ITV) and Edge of Extinction (Prime).

Howard Crossley’s stage credits include: Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Coriolanus, Two Gentleman of Verona, Julius Caesar, Pentecost, Camino Real, Romeo & Juliet, A Woman Killed With Kindness, The Virtuoso, Merry Wives of Windsor (RSC); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (RSC on Broadway); As You Like It and Enemy of the People (Aquila, New York) Henry IV (Wyndham’s); Billy Elliot (Victoria Palace) and The Lion King (Lyceum).

His screen credits include: Little Boy Blue (ITV); Emmerdale (ITV); Open All Hours (BBC); Dinner Ladies (BBC); Coronation Street (ITV); Casualty (BBC); Touch of Frost (ITV); Heartbeat (ITV); Peak Practice (Central); Royal Hearts (Hallmark) and Demain Tout Commence (Vendôme Production).

Sophie Duval’s stage credits include: The Watsons (Chichester Festival/Menier Chocolate Factory); The Crucible (The Yard); Invisible Man (Queen’s, Hornchurch); The
Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-Time and Robin Hood (National Theatre); Great Expectations (RSC); Anne Boleyn, All’s Well That Ends Well, Bedlam, As You Like It and A New World: A Life of Thomas Paine (Shakespeare’s Globe); Unless and Soap (Stephen Joseph, Scarborough); Americans (Oxford Stage Company); Great Expectations (Bristol Old Vic); Humble Boy (Gielgud); Anne and Zef, House/Garden, The Rivals, The Secret Garden and One Glass Wall (Salisbury Playhouse); Pal Joey (Nottingham Playhouse); A Christmas Carol and All Souls Night (Lyric Hammersmith).

Her screen credits include: Sliced, Call The Midwife, Doctor Who, Father Brown, Chewing Gum, The Collection, The Coroner, Holby City, Ashes To Ashes, Single, Dickens, The Final and Silent Witness (BBC); Elizabeth David and Harry Hill’s Extreme Soap (ITV); The End We Start From (SunnyMarch); Leave To Remain (Spring Pictures); Adam’s Paradise (Harlan Productions) and Topsy Turvy (Thin Man Films).

Derek Elroy’s stage credits include: Christmas in the Sunshine (Unicorn); The Playboy of the West Indies (Birmingham Rep); Jack & the Beanstalk (Orchard); Grenfell: Value Engineering (Tabernacle, Birmingham Rep & Channel 4); Grimm Tales (Duke’s Theatre); Aladdin (Churchill Theatre); Calendar Girls The Musical (UK Tour); The Wind in The Willows (The Rose); Screwed (Theatre 503); Routes (Millennium Theatre); One Man, Two Guvnors (National Theatre, West End and UK Tour 2014/15); Robin Hood, Kinston 14, Little Red Riding Hood and Aladdin (Theatre Royal Stratford East); The Harder They Come (The Playhouse & UK/International tour /10); 6 Mics No Luggage (Edinburgh Festival); Dick Whittington and his Cat (Barbican); The World Cup Final 1966 (Battersea Arts Centre); The Gruffalo (Tall Stories USA & Canadian Tour); The Blues Brothers (German Tour); ‘666’ (The Riverside Theatre & European Tour); I Was Looking At The Ceiling And Then I Saw The Sky (The Southwark Theatre & The Royal Opera House); Big Nose and Mother Goose (Belgrade Coventry); The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Royal & Derngate, Northampton); Foe (Theatre de Complicité Tour); Carmen Jones (European Tour) and Dirty Reality & Forgotten Heroes (Black Mime Theatre).

His screen credits include: Fortitude 2 (Sky); Rev (BBC); Buried Treasure (ITV); If (BBC); Casualty (BBC); Crimewatch (BBC); Hope and Glory (BBC); Noel's House Party (BBC); Backup (BBC); The Bill (Thames Television); Stupid Boy (Athentiv); Their Story, Your Choice (BB Productions); Val & Elsie (BB Productions); Breakfast on Pluto (Breakfast on Pluto Productions); The Diary of Bridget Jones (Working Title); The Nutcracker (Sands Films) and Revolver (Crucial Films).

Sally Giles’s stage credits include: Grenfell: Value Engineering (Tabernacle, Birmingham Rep & Channel 4); The Colour of Justice (Tricycle, Tour and National); Justifying War (Tricycle); Bloody Sunday (Tricycle and Belfast); Sweet Bird of Youth (National Theatre) and As You Like It (Southwark Playhouse).

Her screen credits include: Paul Merton in Galton & Simpson’s The Clerical Error (ITV); Faith in the Future (LWT); Roger, Roger (BBC); Next of Kin (BBC); Silent Witness (BBC); Midsomer Murders (ITV); Casualty (BBC), Coronation Street (ITV) and EastEnders (BBC).

Tanveer Ghani’s stage credits include: Drawing the Line and Loose Ends (Hampstead); In TheBalance (The New End); Macbeth (Tricycle) and Dusky  Warriors (Theatre Royal Stratford East).

His screen credits include: Viceroy’s House (BBC Films); Badla (Red Chilies Entertainment); Bend It Like Beckham (Searchlight Pictures); Bhaji On The Beach (Film4 Productions); Amar, Akbar & Tony (Sash Media); How To Get Ahead In Advertising (HandMade Films); The Royals (Varsity Pictures); Trial and Retribution (La Plante Productions); Dracula (BBC); Doctors (BBC); Gimme Gimme Gimme (Tiger Aspect Productions); Vital Signs (ITV) and The Inspector Lynley Mysteries (BBC).

David Michaels’ stage credits include: Grenfell: Value Engineering (Tabernacle, Birmingham Rep & Channel 4), Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (National Theatre UK and International Tour); The Dishonoured (Arcola); Ticking (Trafalgar Studios); I, and the Village (Theatre 503); Rough Justice (UK Tour); A Doll’s House (Belgrade, Coventry); Herding
 (Hampstead); Death and the Maiden and The Constant Wife (Salisbury Playhouse); The 39 Steps (UK Tour), Betrayal (Sir Peter Hall Company); Three Sisters (Birmingham Rep); Question Time (Arcola); Presence (Plymouth Theatre Royal); The Changing Room (Duke of York’s); A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Winter’s Tale (Regents Park); Fuente Ovejuna (National Theatre); A View from The Bridge (Aldwych); Mumbo Jumbo (Royal Exchange); A Taste of Honey and An Enemy of the People (Nottingham Playhouse); The Hutton Enquiry, The Baha Mousa Enquiry, Called to Account and The War Next Door (Tricycle).

His screen credits include: Treadstone (Amazon); A Confession (ITV); Baptiste (BBC); Waterloo Road (BBC); Missing (BBC); Spooks (BBC); Donovan (ITV); New Tricks (BBC); William and Mary (ITV); Bambino Mio (BBC); Poirot (ITV); Inspector Morse (ITV); As Time Goes By (BBC); Heartbeat (ITV); Family Affairs (Fremantle Media) and Coronation Street (ITV).

Thomas Wheatley‘s stage credits include: Grenfell: Value Engineering (Tabernacle,
Birmingham Rep & Channel 4); Chilcot (Lowry); Half the Picture, Nuremberg, Srebrenica, The Colour of Justice, Justifying War, Bloody Sunday, Called to Account and Tactical Questioning (Tricycle); The Christmas Truce, Love’s Labour’s Lost & Love’s Labour’s Won (RSC); The Madness of George III (Apollo); The History Boys (UK Tour); Oliver Twist, The Madras House and The Master and Margarita (Lyric Hammersmith); The Road to Ruin, A Penny for a Song
and Play With Repeats 
(Orange Tree); The Novice (Almeida); Celebration (Lincoln Center, New York); and The Deep Blue Sea (Royal Exchange).

His screen credits include: Death at a Funeral (Sidney Kimmel); The Murder Room
(BBC); Foyle's War (Greenlit Productions); Second Sight (Warner Bros); Aquila (BBC); Taggart (ITV); Heartbeat (ITV); Bambino Mio (BFI); Selling Hitler (ITV); A Perfect Hero (ITV); First and Last (Netflix); Harry's Kingdom (BBC); The Living Daylights (Eon Productions); The Singing Detective (BBC); Mr Jolly Lives Next Door (Channel 4) and Honest, Decent and True (BFI).
Major supporters of Grenfell: System Failure – Scenes From The Inquiry are the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, The Hollick Family Foundation and the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust.
Facebook: @GrenfellSystemFailure
Website: www.grenfellsystemfailure.com
For more information about the venue and our Health and Safety policy, please see our your-visit page.
Grenfell: System Failure will tour to three West London venues:

The Playground Theatre W10 6RQ
18 February – 25 February

Performance Times:
Mondays - Saturdays | 7.30pm*
Thursday Matinee (23 Feb) | 1.30pm
Saturday Matinee (25 Feb) | 3pm

*Except Thursday 23rd October at 7pm 

The Tabernacle W11 2AY
27 February – 12 March

Performance Times:
Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays | 7.30pm
Thursday Matinees | 1.30pm
Saturday Matinees | 3pm
Sunday Matinees | 4pm

The Marylebone Theatre NW1 6XT
14 March – 26 March

Performance Times:
Tuesdays – Saturdays | 7.30pm
Thursday Matinees | 1.30pm
Saturday Matinees | 3pm
Sunday Matinees | 4pm
Booking Enquiries:
Contact ticketing@smartentertainment.co
or call 020 8960 0110 

Running time: 120 mins
Interval: 20 min
Recommended for +12

The play contains graphic descriptions of the residents’ evacuation during the fire and their experiences during the aftermath.

Prices: £5 - £35

Affordably priced tickets for this production will be available at £5 for residents local to the
Grenfell Tower.

For more information on how to book community tickets, please email

Contact Us

 020 8960 0110


The Playground Theatre
Latimer Rd London W10 6RQ

Google Map

Join our mailing list