At 3.40pm on May 11th 1985 a small fire broke out in the main stand at Bradford City’s Valley Parade football ground during the final match of the season. Within four minutes the wooden structure was ablaze. Fifty-four supporters lost their lives.
This unique theatrical experience provides a truthful re-telling of stories of those involved in the Bradford City Fire. Adapted from real-life testimonies and interviews with witnesses, this piece of documentary theatre examines themes of solidarity, strength and community in the face of tragedy. The 56 pays homage to the supporters who lost their lives in one of the darkest days in British footballing history. Interviewees include prolific sporting figures including: Peter Jackson, John Hendrie, Trevor Cherry, Terry Yorath, John Helm and Tony De La Hunty. Sir Oliver Popplewell, Professor David Sharpe (OBE) and various figures within the emergency services and football community have also generously given their time and testimonies to this project.
FYSA (Funny You Should Ask) Theatre is a Yorkshire based independent theatre company founded from University of Sheffield alumni by Barnsley resident Matt Stevens-Woodhead. Matt has also co-written and directed ‘The 56’. Alongside producing a diverse season of work for our northern based audiences, FYSA Theatre is committed to a programme of theatre in education. Having provided free workshops for over 1,000 children in Sheffield, our dedicated outreach team are excited to expand our outreach to a variety of schools and young theatre companies throughout Yorkshire and South East London.
‘The 56’ has been developed with the kind support of The Civic and Manchester’s The Lowry. Considering this, and that Matt is a Barnsley resident, it seems quite fitting that the premier of the national tour will be shown at the Barnsley Civic on 13th March, with all proceeds of the production being donated to The University of Bradford Burns Research Unit.
For more details for the showing at The Civic, visit www.barnsleycivic.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1248:the-56&catid=2:theatre&Itemid=656&catid=2:theatre&Itemid=6
For more details about FYSA Theatre visit their website fysatheatre.com or their twitter page @twitter.com/FYSATheatre