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Following on from the success of VALUED ENGINEERING and the accompanying education project ‘VALUED’, The Playground Theatre is delighted to once again offer local schools and organisations the chance to be a part of an important cultural event - Nicholas Kent and Richard Norton-Taylor’s follow up play ‘SYSTEM FAILURE’ and its accompanying education project ‘SYSTEMS’.
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. 

We are offering groups the chance to 
have one 90-minute workshop,  attend one performance of ‘Grenfell: Systems Failure’ and post-show talk with creatives, plus receive curriculum aligned resources for continued learning in the classroom.

We know flexibility is key so we’ll arrange dates for workshops that work for you. You may attend the workshop before or after the performance and choose which performance works for you. This opportunity is available for up to 30 students at a total cost of £500.00 (including workshop, theatre tickets, post-show discussion and further learning resources). 

If you’re interested or would like any further information please contact Paul on community@theplaygroundtheatre.london

SYSTEMS In-school Workshop
Exploring themes of human rights, social conditions and the theatrical device of verbatim theatre. How can we use verbatim to tell stories, how might we stage them? Using multi-disciplinary skills, students will devise a piece of verbatim theatre. Please let us know which date can work for you.

SYSTEMS Schools Post-show Discussions 
After matinee performances. Experienced facilitators interview key creatives, giving students the opportunity to ask questions and reflect upon what they have seen. 

inclusive of Introduction to Verbatim Theatre; Introduction to tribunal plays about Public Inquiries; Themes and Device Workshop Plan; Reflection and Response Workshop Plan; Interviews with participating students of SYSTEMS; The production script.

Major supporters of the Educational Programme for Grenfell: SYSTEMS are the John Lyon's Charity 
To accompany this production, we at The Playground Theatre organised an important and inspiring education programme, VALUED, for London schools.

The programme included a matinee performance of the play on the 14th October or the 4th November, two in-school pre- and post-performance workshops that discussed its themes and theatrical devices, curriculum-aligned resources to continue classroom learning, and the opportunity for students to participate in a week-long creative verbatim retreat at The Playground Theatre.

The cost was only £500 in total for 30 KS4/5 students per school.

Our workshop leaders are highly experienced at delivering trauma-informed work through our existing community outreach programmes with local hospitals and schools.

The programme was devised with the highest levels of care and sensitivity, with advice from community representatives and an NHS specialist, and students came away integrating the insights they gained from the play and workshops into their wider life experiences.


On Sunday 28th November, The Playground Theatre hosted a powerful verbatim response performance, made up of speeches made by community members and  by the VALUED Company, made up of students from our schools.  
Feedback from VALUED:

‘This has been a performance experience that will have a lasting impact on our school community’.

“My students were totally inspired by your production… voicing their outrage at the cost-cutting involved. It is so fantastic to see our young people engaged and passionate about the world around them.”

‘For some of our students this would be their first experience of seeing a play. They introduced to theatre as a force for social change, which all of them recognised, but the question asked at the end of our follow-up classroom session was: which play are we going to next, Miss?’
We have created a free, downloadable resource pack.

Designed to support continued learning in the classroom, it provides more information and images about the play, the company, our workshops, the fire, the Grenfell Tower Inquiry and the history of Verbatim Theatre.


Workshop 1 Plan: Themes and Devices 

Workshop 2 Plan: Reflection and Response

Presented by Nick Of Time Productions in association with The Playground Theatre.

Edited by Richard Norton-Taylor & Co-Edited and
 Directed by Nicolas Kent  


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.

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.


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)

Presented by Nick Of Time Productions in association with The Playground Theatre.

Edited by Richard Norton-Taylor & Directed by Nicolas Kent  

For four years, award-winning verbatim playwright Nicolas Kent, has been working with journalist Richard Norton-Taylor, to compose a play using the spoken testimony given to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.

Opening on the night of the fire, with witness statements of the firemen at the scene, we hear the accounts of those responsible for the disastrous refurbishment of the Tower. A not-for-profit venture, Grenfell: Value Engineering – Scenes From The Inquiry Premiere at The Tabernacle from the 13th October - 13th November.

It is produced by the same creative team behind The Colour Of Justice at the Tricycle Theatre about the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry.
For more information about the venue and our Health and Safety policy, please see our your-visit page.

Limited London Season  
18 FEB - 26 MAR 2023
Grenfell: System Failure will tour to three West London venues:

The Playground Theatre W10 6RQ
18 February – 25 February

The Tabernacle W11 2AY
27 February – 12 March

The Marylebone Theatre NW1 6XT
14 March – 26 March
Booking Enquiries:
Contact ticketing@smartentertainment.co or call 020 8960 0110 

Recommended for ages of 12+  
Trigger warnings:
The play contains graphic descriptions of the residents’ evacuation during the fire and their experiences during the aftermath.

Tickets Prices:

£5 - £35

Affordably priced tickets for this production will be available at £5 for residents local to the Grenfell Tower and £15 per student for school groups of 10.

For more information on how to book community tickets, please email ticketing@smartentertainment.co 

Contact Us

 020 8960 0110


The Playground Theatre
Latimer Rd London W10 6RQ

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