Second Grenfell Tower investigation game to feature Eric Pickles

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A play dramatizing the “carousel carousel” in the Grenfell Tower public inquiry will begin in February and will star players as Hisam Choucair, who lost former housing minister Eric Pickles and six members of his family. 2017 fire.

Grenfell: System Failure is the sequel to the critically acclaimed one-on-one game investigating the disastrous construction project that caused the West London city block to be covered with plastic panels that burned like gasoline.

Lord Pickles, baffling the mourners when he complained at the inquiry that questioning could leave him late for his next appointment, was accused of failing to tighten building regulations in the wake of an earlier fire, despite being instructed by a coroner.

The game will show you being cross-examined by Richard Millett KC, who closed the evidence hearings last month after more than four years of hearings in which different companies, government agencies and agencies accuse each other. still spinning”.

The “attack on bureaucracy”, initiated by David Cameron in the coalition government, which prevents ministers from introducing regulations unless they remove at least one more rule, will also be scrutinized.

The show is the latest cultural response to the investigation, which includes several other games, books, podcasts and TV shows.

Related: Former ministers could have shown humility and remorse in the Grenfell investigation. They | Lucie Heath

Written by playwright and former Guardian journalist Richard Norton-Taylor and directed by Nicholas Kent, the show will shed light on the stories of two families devastated by the fire: the Choucairs and relatives of Saber Neda, an Afghan officer who arrived in Afghanistan. After fleeing the Taliban in the UK in 1998, he worked as a minibus driver. His wife and son survived the heavy smoke from their 23rd floor apartment; He was going to follow but stayed behind to help the other two women. He fell from the top floor.

The duo’s previous game, Grenfell: Value Engineering, featured none of the bereaved or survivors, but focused on construction companies, city officials, specialists, and firefighters.

Choucair told the investigation that the council did not contact him for days after the fire, while searching for his mother, sister, brother-in-law and three daughters – all of whom died.

He described the possibility of his statement being dramatized as “a little odd”, but told the Guardian: “I hope what is said is understandable and taken seriously. I hope the seriousness of what is said is reflected in the theatre.”

The game will also show current London fire commissioner Andy Roe being cross-examined about corporate failings alongside top government officials and safety experts.

The play will open on 18 February at the Playground Theatre, the Tabernacle and Marylebone Theatre, all in west London, and the head of investigation, Sir Martin Moore-Bick, continues to evaluate the evidence before his final report. Expected before October 2023.

Norton-Taylor said he hopes the game will help “keep the event alive” in the public consciousness. “The evidence needs to be heard and listened to as much as possible,” he said. “This could have been completely avoided, but it is a reflection of other segments of British society that we are still facing right now.”

Kent said: “At the time of the October 2021 screening of the previous game, there was a lot of pressure from the Grenfell community and audience to complete the story of the final phase of the Grenfell Tower investigation. This second game is a challenge from the cladding/insulation manufacturers, the London fire brigade, government regulators and politicians. It focuses on vital questions such as how they can prevent the terrible fire and fail the local community in the chaos that follows.”

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