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London Riots Turned Into Dramatic Stage Play

"The Riots" features interviews with residents, police, politicians, community leaders and rioters."
Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images

The events of the London riots earlier this year have been turned into a stage production, the Associated Press reports.

A 250-seat London venue, Tricycle Theatre, opened The Riots earlier this week, recreating the mayhem that took place over four nights in August through real-life testimonies from residents, police, politicans, community employees and rioters.

Director Nicholas Kent said that The Riots was done with the intention of acting as a public inquiry into the riots. The government has not held an inquiry thus far.

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"It didn't have to happen," Kent told the AP. "That's the thing I totally took away from our work on the play. It seemed to us important to explore the reasons for the riots and people's motivations and what happened and what our response was to it as Londoners -- and how we could prevent something like that happening again."

The riots took place after a fatal shooting in the working class neighborhood of Tottenham of 29-year-old Mark Duggan on Aug. 4. The Riots spotlights the events that came shortly thereafter.

Gillian Slovo, who penned the story, and her team of researchers had 56 hours worth of interviews with police officers on duty in Tottenham that night, community leaders, rioters and a man who was left without a home due to arson. Two people who were sent to prison for taking part in the riots wrote letters after Tricycle advertised in a prison paper.

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Slovo defended the decision to include their voices in the production, saying in an interview, "I do think it's important for us to listen and to see how they got caught up, what they think about it afterwards and what provoked them to do it. Because otherwise how can you make sure this won't happen again?."

The production also depicts how different the riots felt depending on a person's perspective.

The Tricycle has been known to put on numerous productions based on true-to-life events, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Riots will play through Dec. 10.

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