South London actor Urbain Hayo appeals for funding for Custody, his play about a black man’s death at the hands of the police

A powerful play shining a light on young black men’s deaths in police custody needs funding so it can spread its hard-hitting message across the country.

South London performer Urbain Hayo has created Custody with veteran writer Tom Wainwright (Banksy: the Room in the Elephant) based on real life experiences of British families whose relatives have died in police custody as well as his own experiences of stop and searches.

Custody is a fictional narrative about a young black man whose life is taken from him at the hands of the police and his family’s struggle for justice.

Hayo is one of four performers in Custody, all of whom are black or mixed race, as is award-winning director Gbemisola Ikumelo

He said: “I want to raise awareness of black men dying in police custody in the UK and increase diversity in the UK Theatre stage.”

Having been inspired by Migrant Media’s documentaries Injustice and Who Polices the Police?, Hayo also met with several bereaved families in order to gain insights.

He said: “I want to show the world that Blacklivesmatter is not only an American issue but police brutality against the black community has a long standing history in the UK. The effect of which we have seen through the London riots and the emergence of Black Lives Matter UK.” 

An initial performance was a well-received sell-out and now the cast need to raise £20,000 to complement the Arts Council funding they have already received, in order to take Custody around the country.

Click here to donate.

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Richmond and Twickenham Times | Theatre