Ten years ago Cressida Brown set about capturing the spirit of a community as residents watched the Beaumont Estate Towers in Leyton being dismantled brick by brick around them.

The drama student, who was working in the Tricycle Theatre box office, spent months talking to resident of the buildings, which were notorious for violent crime, and created her first ever play Home to celebrate their lives there.

The story caught the imagination of the media and public but once the cameras were switched off and newspapers thrown away those involved scattered.

But a twist of fate brought Cressida back to Waltham Forest and without realising it she found herself back at the site and revisiting the stories of its residents in new play Re:Home.

“Years later I moved here and was cycling passed and had a really weird sensation of knowing the area but because the towers had gone it had completely transformed,” says the 35-year-old.

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“The Beaumont Estate is pretty much unrecognisable. It is very quiet whereas before it had a lot of energy and it seemed like there were a lot less people walking around.”

Cressida, whose company Offstage Theatre won the Kevin Spacey Foundation Artists of Choice award to help put on Re:Home, found her creativity sparked once again and says: “I thought it would be interesting to see what had happened to those people who had so much hope of either leaving or despair at the towers coming down. I wanted to see what they now felt about it.”

But as only 234 of the original 4,490 residents remain on the new low-rise estate, she found it extremely difficult to track them down.

“It was really tricky, there’s very, very few people left on the estate who were there ten years ago. A lot chose to move out to get away from the gangs, especially those with young families. Some who had been there for 40 years, families who had been there for generations, had moved.

“It was a lot of hard graft and talking to a lot of people. I did find quite a few of the 80 people I interviewed originally but there is quite a significant amount I haven’t and that became part of the story - the disappearance of these people after the towers have gone.”

She managed to speak to 35 former resident including a group of young men she first met when they were 11-year-old schoolchildren.

“It has been quite hard deciding whose stories to tell and I hope the piece does them justice. We became interested in them because in the last ten years they have grown up immeasurably compared to everyone else.”

She adds: “These boys have experienced a lot of death and its extraordinary the life experience on a 20-year-old’s shoulders that I have encountered.

“Some people have just evaporated completely. There are hopeful stories in there but their relationships and memories of the towers are quite contradictory and complex.

“One boy is now building towers as a scaffolder, so there are some beautiful cycles that are explored in the play.”

Re:Home also questions what right she has to go into the community and create a play and the surprise of Home becoming a theatre hit.

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And Cressida (pictured above) reveals she was shaped by the experience, perhaps more than anyone else.

“Doing this has been quite a love affair with the area. I feel very attached to it.

“It has not only shaped me and my career and my entire theatre company, and ethos about finding unheard voices to put onto the stage but it also completely shaped me creatively and therefore my brain. It’s had a massive impact on the way I see life and the people that I want to meet and get heard.”

Re:Home plays at The Yard Theatre, Queen’s Yard, White Post Lane, Hackney Wick, E9 5EN, until March 5. Details: theyardtheatre.co.uk

Former and current residents of the Beaumont Estate community can apply for free tickets to the show. Details: info@offstage.org.uk, 07464 758165