Director Turning Tower Block into Theatre before It Is Demolished

Article excerpt

Byline: SHEKHAR BHATIA

ST CATHERINE'S TOWER was once a shining example of Sixties low-cost council housing and had prospective tenants queuing up.

But it is now a haven for crack dealers, prostitutes and muggers rather than families.

The tower block in Leyton is facing the wrecking ball but before its final curtain, the building will act as an unusual stage for a play about the lives of the tenants.

The play, called Home, is by the Offstage Theatre Company which has spent three months interviewing residents.

The production uses four actors to relate the story of the tower block when it was a state-of-the-art Sixties icon and follows it through its grim decline over four decades.

Director and company founder Cressida Brown said she was determined to see how the tower block had left its mark on local people.

She said: "It is not the nicest place in the world but I wanted to explore the many stories that happened here and how people lived and how they felt now that the end is here. …