The 56


Tom Lodge

Danielle Philips 

Will Taylor

Creative / Production Team:

Deputy Stage Manager            Lauren Archer

Lighting Designer                    James Bailey

Stage Manager                        Dominic Corfield 

Set designers                           Edward Cramphorn                                                          John Woodhead

Sound Designer                      Sam Pope 

Producer                                 Elin Schofield 

Assistant Producer                   Yasmin Williams

Writers                                    Gemma Wilson

                                               Matt Woodhead 

                                              Workshopped and                                                           developed with the                                                           original cast.

Director                                  Matt Woodhead 

‘Nobody dies in football matches in fires. It doesn’t happen.’

At 3.40pm on 11th May 1985, a small fire broke out in the main stand at Valley Parade football ground during the last game of the season. Within four minutes, the wooden structure was ablaze.

Adapted solely from over sixty real-life testimonies, this pertinent piece of documentary theatre pays homage to the supporters who lost their lives in one of the darkest days in British footballing history.

The 56 examines solidarity, strength and community in the face of overwhelming tragedy. 

Shortlisted for ‘Best Drama’ in the

BBC Radio Drama Awards 2017

North East Theatre Guide’s Runner up for

‘Best Drama of 2016’

Directors Guild Award for Best Newcomer

Spotlight Award for Most Promising Actress

Judges Award for Best Ensemble (NSDF)

‘sensitively handled,

a company to watch


The Stage


The Reviews Hub



“poignant and utterly haunting”

A Younger Theatre

Listen Here

00:00 / 04:05

Listen to LUNG talk about The 56 & the tragedy of the Bradford City Fire on

BBC Radio 5 Live


Donate to the BCFC Burns Unit Appeal

LUNG are proud to support Bradford Plastic Surgery and Burns Research Unit (PSBRU)

The PSBRU was founded by Professor David Sharpe following the fire disaster at the Bradford City football club in 1985.


We can never forget the 56 people we lost on the day and 258 others who were injured. But the least we can do is to continue our efforts towards improving the delivery of healthcare to any patient with similar or related injuries.


Today, the PSBRU is led by Professor Ajay L Mahajan, Consultant Plastic Surgeon, who along with his collaborators and research fellows carries out research activities at the University of Bradford. Burn injuries and accidents result in patients being literally scarred for life. Research activities at the PSBRU helps looks at various ways in which wound healing and scarring following wound healing can be improved to deliver the best possible outcome for our patients. It is this research that provides the evidence for practising evidence-based medicine. Research lays down a strong foundation for our young doctors who set out to pursue a career in Plastic Surgery and encourages them to embark on innovative projects.


The PSBRU has had 27 research fellows over the years, most of whom are established consultants in the various parts of the UK.


The benefits of the Unit's work thus spread well beyond Bradford. The advances it makes in medical knowledge and clinical technique are available for use by clinicians everywhere, and nearly all of the Unit's Research Fellows have gone on to practise as consultant surgeons, improving lives both in the UK and around the world.


The infrastructure for the work of the PSBRU is provided by the University of Bradford, where it is attached to the Centre for Skin Sciences. This provision covers laboratory accommodation, academic supervision, administration and professional support. The activity of the PSBRU depends directly on donations from the public, who have supported the Unit so generously over the years. The PSBRU is operated as a separate cost centre within the University, which means that every donation yields an immediate gain to the resources of the Unit.

The Story of the Bradford City Fire

Thirty years after football's 'forgotten tragedy', the truth of what exactly happened when 56 people died in a fire at Bradford City's Valley Parade stadium remains elusive.

Originally by Ian Herbet, The Independent

LUNG is a Registered Charity.

Our Charity Number is 1187346

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