Powerful and hard-hitting, the trailer for Custody cuts straight to the heart of the hit drama about police brutality. Steel yourself, watch the trailer, then book your tickets for the play’s Ovalhouse season.
Following a tour during May, the play, created by Tom Wainwright and written by Urban Wolf, runs from 5 to 22 June 2019 at Ovalhouse.
When another young black man dies in police custody and apparently no-one is to blame, one bereaved family battles for answers and justice.
A contemporary fictional narrative built on truth, Custody tackles an uncomfortable and devastating truth often naively assumed to be an American issue and questions the ability of the police to police themselves.
Urban Wolf takes the role of Brother in the play, with Muna Otaru (Broken, The Keeping Room) as Mother, Rochelle James as Lover and Ewa Dina as Sister. Gbemisola Ikumelo, whose performing credits include Twelfth Night (Young Vic), Oliver Twist (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre) and The New Nigerians (Arcola Theatre), directs.
Custody arrives at Ovalhouse at a time when the police’s use of ‘stop and search’ has risen by 400%, while black people remain disproportionately targeted by it. According to government statistics, in 2017/18, Black people were almost 10 times more likely to be stopped and searched than White people. In London, the Metropolitan Police carried out 16 stop and searches for every 1,000 people.
The piece is inspired by Urban Wolf’s own experiences of stop and search, along with Migrant Media’s banned documentary films, Injustice and Who Polices The Police. It draws on the accounts of real families who have suffered police injustice.