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Nathaniel  McBride

Nathaniel McBride is crowdfunding

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£910raised of £5,100 target by 23 supporters

Weʼre raising £5,100 to kickstart a theatre production about the circumstances that led to the Grenfell fire.

Kensington
11 days to go

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Story

What is the play about?

Dictating to the Estate is a documentary play recalling the events that led up to the Grenfell Tower fire of June 2017. Using contemporary blog posts, email correspondence and council reports, it tells the story of the refurbishment of the tower and of residents’ attempts to hold the contractors and local council to account. At the same time, it places this conflict in the wider context of the redevelopment of North Kensington, relating it to local people’s efforts to resist the privatisation of their public spaces and the dispersal of their community.

Background

The idea for the play predated the fire. Early in 2017 I started thinking of writing something on the history of housing activism in Kensington and Chelsea, from the foundation of Notting Hill Housing Trust in the 1960s down to the introduction of Right to Buy twenty years later. I picked up some books on local history, leafed through a few old Council records, and compiled a few dozen pages of disparate notes.

Then the fire happened. At first it posed a dilemma, seeming both impossible to write about and impossible not to write about. It was only after coming across the Grenfell Action Group blog that some way of approaching the event started to become clear. On the one hand, the blog placed the fire in the strictly local context of North Kensington and the Lancaster West estate. At the same time, it related this local context to national issues of austerity, deregulation, estate regeneration and, of course, housing activism. Everyone knows these days that the Group predicted the fire: the play aims, among other things, to show is how it came to make this prediction. This is why a documentary approach has been so important: nothing in the play has been invented or fictionalised, and pretty much every word of it has a source in a contemporary document.

Development so far

I have been working on the script for well over a year now. In June I conducted a residency with theatre maker Ryan Kiggell and a number of his regular actors and collaborators to develop the structure of the play. I have now written a second draft, in which a number of theatres have shown interest. Justice4Grenfell and the housing activist and Grenfell resident Francis o’Connor, have both given their support for the project. The Playground Theatre in North Kensington, a short walk from Grenfell, will host a staged reading of the latest draft at the end of January. This will be an opportunity to test run the script and to hear local audience feedback on the plays content. It will also provide a platform for the project in general, in order to attract further industry support.

Making it happen

To make this play happen we need seed funding to develop the script, raise the profile of the project and build a longer term funding strategy.

In real terms this means venue hire, marketing, artists and producer fees. I have applied a number of times to Royal Borough Kensington and Chelsea but have been rejected. That is why I am asking you to help get the project started.

I believe that this documentary matters, and that it can be an important contribution to the debate on Grenfell by throwing light on the factors that gave rise to it.

Please donate whatever you can - however much your contribution, it matters and will be gratefully received.

Thank you.

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Nathaniel  McBride

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    5 months ago

    Nathaniel McBride started crowdfunding

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    Page last updated on: 2/3/2019 22.41

    Supporters

    23

    • Anonymous

      Anonymous

      Feb 3, 2019

      £10.00

    • Will Forester

      Will Forester

      Jan 30, 2019

      Great work so far Nathaniel!

      £80.00

    • Hannah Kawa

      Hannah Kawa

      Jan 28, 2019

    • Delia Stearnes

      Delia Stearnes

      Jan 28, 2019

      Good luck 💚🍀💚

      £10.00

    • Anonymous

      Anonymous

      Jan 23, 2019

      £20.00

    • Happenstance Gallery

      Happenstance Gallery

      Jan 13, 2019

      This is an awesome project. Thank you for this inspiration, Nathan. We will try our best to raise more money to go ahead with this.

      £100.00

    • Anonymous

      Anonymous

      Jan 9, 2019

      £20.00

    Nathaniel  McBride

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    About the fundraiser
    Nathaniel  McBride

    Nathaniel McBride

    Kensington

    Nathaniel McBride is a German to English translator. He has published translations of works by the German playwright Heiner Mueller and the novelist and filmmaker Alexander Kluge.

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