Staged in the newly opened Playground Theatre, barely a stone's throw from Grenfell Tower, SHIRLEYMANDER tells the story of the central London Council, which, thirty years ago, was at the centre of a major scandal. Westminster Council, under Porter's bullying, autocratic style, was led into a mire of paranoia, fear and skulduggery as it pursued secret, illegal policies that destroyed communities, reputations, lives, hopes... and finally Porter herself. Exploring perennial themes of greed, ambition and the normalisation of corruption, SHIRLEYMANDER is a shocking, funny and moving reminder of how it is the weakest who bear the brunt when institutional wrong-doing takes control, and has been programmed to coincide with the anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire.
Inspired by BBC journalist Andrew Hosken's book Nothing Like A Dame, Gregory Evans' docudrama opened on 23rd May to admiration from the national press:
‘Gregory Evans’s fascinating play looks likely to put west London’s splendid newish fringe theatre, The Playground, on the map’ The Telegraph
‘undeniably entertaining’ The Independent
‘ nimble multitasking by Jack Klaff ... Jessica Martin is immaculate, eerily beady’ The Guardian
‘Evans rehearses the story in a way that is brisk, informative and enlightening’ Michael Billington
The production plays until June 16th, and tickets can be bought here: https://theplaygroundtheatre.london/events/shirleymander/