Pitlochry Festival Theatre and The Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh, in association with Naked Productions, have announced the exciting World Première of History, Roy Williams’ new play which will give audiences a kaleidoscopic portrait of Black Britain over the last 40 years.
Directed by Ben Occhipiniti, History will première on Pitlochry Festival Theatre and The Lyceum new audio-digital venture, Sound Stage from the 24-26 September.
Told through a series of monologues and duologues, History tells the story of a country still reeling from the events of the Brixton riots in 1981, 9/11, Black Lives Matter, Brexit and Covid, as seen as through the eyes of an extended Black British family living in London, attempting to finding meaning in their lives.
History follows the stories of a naïve young boy, arrested and beaten for a crime he did not commit; a young conservative; a restless woman seeking a better life in a world that will not let her have one; a sweet young girl finding inner strength as she confronts a prejudiced policeman to clear her boyfriend’s name of a dreadful crime; a young gay man who hates his father as much as he loves him, and a bitter, middle-aged activist freed from prison for a crime he did not commit.
Roy Williams began writing plays in 1990 and is now one of the country’s leading dramatists, awarded the OBE for Services to Drama in the 2008 Birthday Honours List and made a fellow of The Royal Society of Literature in 2018.
His most recent plays include the National Theatre productions of Death of England and Death of England: Delroy (both co-written with Clint Dyer); Sucker Punch, The Firm, Soul: The Untold Story of Marvin Gaye, Days of Significance, Angel House, Fallout, Sing Yer Heart Out for the Lads, Clubland, The Gift, Starstruck and The No-Boys Cricket Club.
Playwright Roy Williams said: “We are well into the 21st Century and there are now at least three generations of Afro Caribbean/British people, born and bred as well as living and working in the UK. They have come a long way from their ancestors, the Windrush generation who first arrived to make a life for themselves over 70 years ago.
“The intention with this play is to offer what I hope will be a kaleidoscopic portrait, told through a series of monologues and duologues, of Black Britain over the last 40 years.
“All of this will emerge through a series of sound bites, narrated by one or two characters, over a period of time, from members of one large extended Black British family living in London who are all attempting to find meaning in their lives in today’s Britain.”
Tickets for History, along with the previously announced Sophia by Frances Poet and a new play in October by Timberlake Wertenbaker’s are currently on sale through the Pitlochry Festival Theatre and Lyceum Theatre websites.