Scottish Theatre to stage play inspired by death of Sheku Bayoh in police custody

Sheku Bayoh & Family
Sheku Bayoh Family Campaign

source: The Scotsman
published: 1 October 2020

The National Theatre of Scotland is to revive its major productions with the launch of a new stage show inspired by the case of Sheku Bayoh, a father-of-two who died in police custody in Fife.

Hannah Lavery’s play, which will be filmed on the stage of the Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh, which will explore the issues surrounding the case of the father-of-two using real-life testimonies.

However Lament for Sheku Bayoh is also billed as a “non-apologetic reflection on identity and racism in Scotland today.”

The three actors in the show will be filmed in front of an empty auditorium and the full play made available to theatregoers to watch online around the world in November.

There have been widespread concerns from friends and relatives of Mr Bayoh over the circumstances of his death in Fife in 2015 amid claims that racism was a key factor. The 32-year-old never regained consciousness after being restrained by police officers in the street in Kirkcaldy.

A full public inquiry into the case was announced last year by the Scottish Government following prolonged pressure and dismay that none of the police officers involved would face prosecution over his death.

Lavery has described the show, which was initially developed by the Royal Lyceum and the Edinburgh International Festival, as a “personal response to the tragedy and an expression of grief for the loss of the human behind the headlines.”

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