‘Work in progress’ performances of a new play a new play by Bernie C. Byrnes followed by a Q&A session with the author and members of the Stairway to Heaven Memorial Trust plus a chance meet some survivors of the disaster.
The Bethnal Green Tube shelter disaster took place on the evening of Wednesday 3 March 1943.
173 died in a terrifying crush as crowds of people tried to enter the station’s bomb shelter; 62 of the dead were children. However, no bomb struck and not a single casualty was the direct result of military aggression, making it the deadliest civilian incident of World War II.
At 8.27pm the touch-paper was lit. A frightening roar went out as a nearby anti-aircraft battery fired a salvo of a new type of anti-aircraft rockets. The weapon was secret, with an unfamiliar sound.
Apprehension turned to panic. As the crowd surged forward down the slippery steps a woman fell near the bottom of the first staircase. A man tripped over her, and a tragic human domino effect had begun…
The play features sections of verbatim accounts taken from interviews with survivors of the tragedy.
The author wishes to acknowledge the invaluable help of the members of the Stairway to Heaven Memorial Trust in the creation of this piece.
All proceeds from these performances will go to the trust.
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