Fighting for justice over black deaths in Custody at The Ovalhouse

Another young black man dies in police custody. Apparently no-one is to blame. In 2017 how can that be so?

Custody, created by Urbain Wolf (The Art Machine) and written by Tom Wainwright (Banksy: the Room in the Elephant), is a contemporary fictional narrative about the moment another young black man’s life is taken from him while in custody.

The play, which opens at London’s Ovalhouse on March 28, follows Brian’s bereaved family’s struggle for justice and resolution and asks: who will protect us from the protectors of society?

Directed by Gbemi Ikumelo, Custody tackles a vital subject in a vivid, timely and authentic way. Black deaths in police custody are often assumed to be an American issue. Custody reminds us that they are not.

Inspired by Migrant Media’s banned cult documentary films, Injustice and Who Polices the Police, Custody draws on the real life experiences of families who have suffered from police injustice.

Its exploration of the way young black men are treated by the police in Britain draws directly from stop and searches experienced by Urbain Wolf.

Urbain Wolf said: “Since I watched the documentary film, Injustice, the voices of the families of people who have died in police custody have stayed in my head, haunting me and bringing me to tears.

“Staging their stories in the theatre will allow more people to hear them and be inspired to do something to bring justice to these families”.

Custody runs at the Ovalhouse from March 28-April 8.

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