The Burning Tower

by Helena Thompson
S.P.I.D. Theatre in association with Bush Theatre presents
Sold out

“And I tell you what, most of us ‘heroes’ – we’re still trapped.”

Sarah and Em are best friends who grew up together in West London. Since 2017, they’ve worked hard researching their estates’ past as Living History youth ambassadors. Together they’ve prepared a presentation on the local heritage of social housing.

But Grenfell’s shadow threatens the show as the performance space falls into darkness, fuses blow and Sarah starts to panic. Will a mysterious, old latecomer who keeps trying to take over prove a help or a hindrance?

The Burning Tower, a new play by Helena Thompson, is an interactive response to the Grenfell fire. Inspired by interviews with local West London estate residents, it will be performed in council estate community spaces nationwide before a site specific performance at Kensal House estate.

The company of The Burning Tower consists of three actors and five artists.

“The Burning Tower is a passionate defence of social housing”
The Guardian ★★★★
“Moving and passionate”
The Stage ★★★★
★★★★ The Morning Star
As seen on London Live BBC News and ITV News

The Burning Tower is supported by Arts Council England.
This is a past event
Director
Writer
Set and Costume Designer
Associate Designer
Assistant Director
In association with
Sound Designer

Cast

Bianca Stephens HR bw crop
Bianca Stephens
Bianca trained at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Theatre work includes: Midsummer Night’s Dream (Storyhouse), Julius Caesar (Storyhouse), E15 (Lung Theatre), The Great Austerity Debate (Menagerie Theatre), Always Orange (RSC), Blue (Richard Burton Company), The Rover (Richard Burton Company), Narrative (Richard Burton Company), Macbeth, (Richard Burton Company), In Arabia We'd All Be Kings (Richard Burton Company), Dogville (Richard Burton Company). Radio work includes: Dorian Grey (Big Finish).
Alice b&w crop
Alice Franziska
Alice was born in Cambridge, raised in New Zealand, and eventually transported back to England aged nine. Much to her (and her father’s) disappointment, she lost the accent, but she did gain a love of acting from her new county, Shakespeare’s Warwickshire. Since then she has played roles including Beatrice (Much Ado, SYC), Martirio (Bernarda Alba, Playbox) and “2” in a new piece of writing by acclaimed poet Sabrina Mahfouz (Blame us for the Flood, NYT Epic stages). She has trained with the National Youth Theatre and MN Screen Academy. She is represented by Middleweek Newton.
Hayley Carmichael
Hayley co-founded theatre company Told By An Idiot. Theatre work includes: Crave (Barbican), UnderGlass (Clod Ensemble), First Love is The Revolution (Soho), Beyond Caring (The Yard), Too Clever By Half (Manchester Royal Exchange/ TBI), Forests (Birmingham Rep), Hamlet (Young Vic), Fragments (Bouffes du Nord), Bliss (Royal Court), Cymbeline (Kneehigh), Theatre Of Blood (NT), Zumanity (Cirque de Soleil), I Weep At My Piano (TBI), The Dispute (RSC), Street Of Crocodiles (Complicite). TV work includes: Les Miserables, Witness For The Prosecution (BBC), Kiss Me First (CH4), Chewing Gum (Retort). Film work includes: Casanova (Bluelight), Undergods (Scott Free) Hunger Artist (Daria Martin), Tale of Tales (Archimedes), Emperor’s New Clothes (Bonaparte).

@bushtheatre

@bushtheatre Brilliant. I took part in it one night in Dublin. Great experience.
Stephen Jones
@1stejones
23 May
I’m low key obsessed with the Front of House and Bar team at the @bushtheatre. They’re the loveliest, most fun and… https://t.co/n2f3v45M2w
Emma Coen
@SmallCoen
23 May
@avawongdavies Let’s remember @bushtheatre has the best snack / food options and a Sainsbury’s and Tesco nearby!! Be still my beating heart
Ingrid Banerjee 🚡
@IngridBanerjee
23 May
Such a treat to see @willoconnell in Class @bushtheatre. Witty writing, great acting. Terrifyingly truthful look at education and class.
Victoria Brazier
@BrazierVictoria
23 May
I loved #Yvette @bushtheatre last night. Refreshingly honest, with such a huge heart and soul. @Urielle_KM is 🔥🔥🔥… https://t.co/uOx3mlbXOz
AudreySheffield
@AudreySheff
23 May
In two weeks time we launch @bushtheatre @_ElephantWest funded Buzz from the Bush - a public arts installation that… https://t.co/DYvA67YnKF
Alissa Anne Jeun Yi
@alissa_ajy
20 May

Bush Green

Conversations, dispatches and ideas from the Bush Theatre.

Go to BushGreen
Why did the performance artist walk onto the tv set?

Project 2036 Producer Salome Wagaine discusses the influence of performance art on her upcoming production of Exceptional Promise. What do Britain’s Got Talent, Come Dine With Me, General Hospital, Changing Rooms and Larry Sanders have in common? They’ve all had performance or live artists feature on them. When you hear the term ‘performance art’ in…

Elephant West and Bush Theatre announce a digital collaboration

Elephant West and Bush Theatre announce Buzz from the Bush, a digital collaboration, that will launch on 1 June, showcasing the history of Shepherd’s Bush in a series of prints, installations, animations, and performances. From dissenters to Dickens, chaplains to Charlie, we’re introducing you to Shepherd’s Bush like never before. Join us on a scavenger…

Accessibility in Theatre: Telling d/Deaf Narratives

Accessibility in storytelling lies at the heart of Omar Elerian’s direction of Going Through. In the UK, 1 in 7 of the population are deaf or hard of hearing, with over 156,000 people using BSL nationwide. However, in spite of the vast number of d/Deaf individuals in Britain, inclusion in the national theatre landscape is few…