56Sitting on a wooden football stand with mournful eyes penetrating the audience, three people give their testimonies of the 1985 Bradford City Fire. Devised from interviews with many of those who experienced the tragedy at the Valley Parade Stadium and divided into three distinct voices, The 56 is an intense and uncomfortable experience as we watch these characters looking back at the disaster and try to move on.

FYSA Theatre speaks its remembrance with admirable clarity and feeling, forcing us to try to imagine the unfathomable terror of that day. On Saturday 11 May 1985, fans went to celebrate their team winning a cup but found themselves stuck in a tragic accident, fire licking around the wooden stands and smoke replacing air until there was silence where there should have been cheering and shouts of “We love you City, we do!”

The complete absence of movement is a strong directorial choice from Matthew Woodhead and it makes the piece exceptionally powerful, forcing the audience to meet the unflinching eyes of the performers as they share such traumatic accounts. The drawback of this stasis is that it becomes hard to keep focused on the important words after a while and the show demands a lot of patience from its audience.

The 56 is a fitting tribute told in a respectful tone, narrating the fire from the first signs of smoke to the extensive plastic surgery in the burns unit of the hospital and beyond, into the aftershocks still felt today in the lives of the survivors. FYSA’s straightforward staging is deliberately not the most engaging way of telling the eyewitness’ stories, preferring to keep us at a distance in an incredibly sobering way. The 56 ends with the performers standing and bowing their heads as a list of the 56 dead men, women and children is read out: it is poignant and utterly haunting.

The 56 was at Underbelly Bristo Square (Venue 300) until 25 August. For more information and tickets visit the Edinburgh Fringe website.