The 56

FYSA Theatre brings us The 56, a show created from the testimonies of three individuals’ experiences of the Bradford City Fire of 1985, and an honest, respectful tribute to the 56 whose lives were lost.

With a script framed by original news announcements from 11th May 1985, The 56 is a sombre and anguished production.

The staging is plain: the three actors sit on an old wooden mock up of football seats. Staring grimly straight ahead and never interacting, they share their detailed accounts. In a reversal of what you’d expect, the verbatim accounts do not take long to reach the terrible climax of the fire. The show mostly focuses on how experiencing the fire affected the lives of those present, creating a uniquely personal, private tone.

The actors were all convincing, though most impressive perhaps was LAMDA student Danni Philips, whose quietly emotional delivery fitted in perfectly with her character.

Despite this, there were moments towards the end of the hour that started to feel a bit static, due entirely to the actors’ lack of movement on the stage. Although this direction choice was perhaps intended not to detract from the impact of the accounts and help provide an honest insight into the tragedy, by the end it was quite hard to watch.

With a script framed by original news announcements from 11th May 1985, The 56 is a sombre and anguished production.

Reviews by Lottie Scaramanga

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

On the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough Disaster, FYSA Theatre addresses the forgotten tragedy of the 80s. The 56 examines undocumented testimonials from survivors and witnesses of the Bradford City fire, offering a unique perspective on this contentious event. Reflecting on a day that resulted in 56 deaths, this theatrical experience looks at the victims and those they left behind. ‘The acting and direction behind their productions are absolutely impeccable’ ***** (BroadwayBaby.com). ‘Disarmingly relatable. Their work is an absolute must see!’ ***** (Liberty Belle). ‘Poignant, Rich and Thought Provoking Work’ (Now Then).

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