St. Ann’s Warehouse, in association with the National Theatre and KPPL Productions, presents the U.S. premiere of playwright Gillian Slovo’s Grenfell: in the words of survivors, co-directed by Phyllida Lloyd and Anthony Simpson-Pike. The “electrifying, edge-of-the-seat gripping…” (Time Out London) production from London’s National Theatre follows the resilient, multicultural North Kensington community who protected and cared for one another before, during, and after the devastating 2017 public housing tower fire.

The hundreds of residents of West London’s Grenfell Tower had their origins in the Caribbean, Portugal, Syria, Morocco, Ethiopia, Britain, and more: a thriving community of communities immediately familiar to any New Yorker. They protested loudly for years as their mismanaged public housing fell into disrepair. When the building went up in flames in 2017, there was no shock, only horror. In the end, 72 people lost their lives. Grenfell: in the words of survivors offers a compelling investigation into the catastrophe, driven by the survivors’ stories, their heroic acts, and their impassioned, ongoing struggle for justice.

South African-born writer and former English PEN President, Gillian Slovo, compiles haunting testimonies drawn from public inquiries and interviews with some of the survivors and bereaved. Woven together, they reveal what happened that night and the impact of the multiple failures that led to the national disaster, the UK’s worst residential fire since the bombings of World War II.

In connection with its American premiere of Grenfell: in the words of survivors, St. Ann’s Warehouse will present two community-forum panel discussions. “Can Tragedy Change Policy?,” moderated by NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, will feature Grenfell survivors and bereaved in conversation with NYC-based activists including Karen Blondel (Recent David Prize winner and President of the Red Hook West Tenant Association and the Public Housing Civic Association) and Salim Drammeh (president of the Gambian Youth Organization, which has been central in advocating for survivors of the Bronx’s 2022 Twin Parks fire), following the matinee performance on Saturday, April 20. “Art as Activism,” moderated by actress, playwright, and MacArthur Fellow Anna Deavere Smith, will bring together the creators of the production and the people whose stories and words comprise the text of the play, on Wednesday, April 24 at 6:30pm. This talk will take place at the New School’s Theresa Lang Center, located at 55 W. 13th Street in Manhattan.

Schedule and Tickets

Tickets for Grenfell: in the words of survivors are on sale now and can be purchased at The production opens on Sunday, April 21.