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Theatre Review: "The Burning Tower"

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On Thursday the 13th, “The Burning Tower” took place. It was based in response to the Greenfell tower being burned down. This is one of the most tragic events in British history. The play writer and actors did an outstanding job covering this devastating incident. The SPID Theatre had an interesting approach to this issue by showing the aftermath of the disaster compared to showing the actual fire taking place. This is a moving subject for many people because of how recent it happened and the amount of people it affected. The play was extremely entertaining and it is a great memory for the lives that were lost.

This plays idea came from a tragedy that happened a year ago. Hannah Gittos and Helena Thompson had to work hard on making this play, so it wouldn’t cross any personal boundaries and hurt anyone’s feelings. Hannah Gittos and Helena Thompson are the director and writer of the play. Hannah and Helena are both specialists in their field with multiple awards. The fire took place on June 14th. It was started by a kitchen fire on the fourth floor and seventy-two people died. There are lots of survivors and witnesses that have horrific stories from the fire. The play was produced by the SPID Theatre Company and composed of three females. The Theatre Company was created in 1999 by Helena Thompson.

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The scenery of the theatre was uniquely built. The play took place in the middle of the room with the audience sitting around the play. Along with the seating, the theatre also had pictures and historical pieces from their interviews. While the play took place, the actors took advantage of the setting and interacted with the audience. They showed an interaction by handing out audio from the witnesses that they interviewed, cupcakes, and numbered sheets they handed out for the viewers to read. The interactions were the best part of the play for multiple reasons. This kept the audience entertained and it helped the writer get their message across by telling the actors to do this.

The play became very moving once you truely found out the meaning of it. One of the actors roles was to play a survivor. She disclosed that she pulled her mother out of the fire. The actor tells the other actor that she still has nightmares from that day. At this point, both actors were almost in tears. During this time, there was an old lady bystander who was bothering the two other actors. She pushed the actor to spill her story about being in the fire. This was a touching moment and it made the audience feel like this was their real lives. The old lady was extremely important to the plot of the story. She used comic relief to break up the dramatic parts of the play. The actor did that by drinking and saying some jokes.The most heart wrenching moment was the last part of the play when they read off the names of the lives that were lost in the fire. There were multiple audience members that couldn’t keep it together and shed tears. Some of the audience that had never heard of this event were shaken up by this part of the show. Plays that can make an audience get to tears are special and deserve to be praised.

The play itself had its ups and down. To begin, the play was much shorter than expected. It lasted about one hour and it should have been made longer. There could have been more content about how it affected the community as a whole compared to just one person. They also should have put more actors into the play. This would give the spectators more to watch and it could have made the play longer. The actors did a great job with emotion and it made the audience feel what they were saying. The loud voices and dramatic scenes kept the audience members on their toes at all times.

All in all, The Burning Tower” was satisfactory and it deserves respect from the theatre community. Besides the short play time and small cast, they did a superb job with what they had. They made do with the small space and unique stage selection. The theatre program also did excellent with the way they kept the audience entertained. They used props and spoke directly to the crowd to get them involved to listen to their message. Overall “The Burning Tower” was above average and any person who is into plays should take a look at this production.


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