Birmingham youth tackle impact of terrorism

Stage production for theatre group.

“We have the right to live our lives in peace,
By common consent with all humanity.
Mankind must offer shelter to all faiths;
We were humans before we had a creed”

Requiem for Ground Zero is an acclaimed eulogy to the thousands of victims of 9/11 sums up the horror and lasting human damage of September 11, 2001, when 19 militants associated with the Islamic extremist group Al-Qaeda hijacked four airliners and carried out suicide attacks against targets in the United States. Two of the planes were flown into the twin towers of the World Trade Centre in New York City. The attacks resulted in extensive death and destruction, triggering major U.S. initiatives to combat terrorism and defining the presidency of George W. Bush. Over 3,000 were killed, including more than 400 police officers and firefighters.

Throughout its 29 year history, Stage2 has prided itself on its wide ranging productions – from set texts to world premieres and classics to contemporaries. Since we chose to revive our acclaimed production of Berkoff’s Requiem for Ground Zero, Donald Trump has become the American President, Brexit looms, most recently the Bombings in Syria have increased and closer to home Manchester has been devastated. This means that the young cast and crew, most of whom were not born at the time of 9/11, are now acutely aware of the threats and impacts of terrorism. Add this to the diverse ethnicity of Birmingham (and Stage2’s members) and it makes for a truly powerful and thought-provoking production.

First performed by the author as a solo work in progress at the Edinburgh Fringe, Requiem for Ground Zero was then premiered, with Berkoff’s support, by Stage2 in 2004.
Now, thirteen years later, a multi-cultural cast of young people reprise the piece, to demonstrate that, much as it was written as a response to the events in the past, it is just as much a plea for the future.

“I think it is important to perform pieces that look at issues like 9/11 that was relevant both in the early 2000s and still is today.” – Georgie Nott (age 13)

Requiem for Ground Zero not only tells the story of real people who were affected by this horrific event, but also gives the perspective of those helplessly watching the attacks happen on a TV screen in England, a point of view a lot of the audience will unfortunately be able to relate to.

“When New York got hit, the shockwave that went through Britain was unbelievable. This poem is merely a result of that wave.”
– Steven Berkoff

Tickets for this production, which take place at the Crescent Studio, Brindleyplace from 19th-22nd July, are on sale from