Arts & Culture

Death of England: ‘Delroy’ at the National Theatre

26 October 2020
National Theatre | TBC

After five months spent dormant due to Covid-19, the National Theatre is coming back to life with its first live performance since lockdown began.

Creatives Clint Dyer and Roy Williams began working on Death of England: Delroy at the start of the coronavirus crisis. With safety restrictions lifting, the production team and actor Giles Terera (Hamilton) have begun rehearsals, becoming the first artists to set foot in the National Theatre since it closed in March. As the government has confirmed that indoor performance can be resumed with the correct social distancing, Death of England: Delroy will open in late October with reduced seating capacity and enhanced safety measures.

Rufus Norris, artistic director of the National Theatre, said: ‘It is so important for us to be welcoming artists back into the building again, and planning for doing the same for our much-missed audiences. The moment the incomparable Giles Terera steps out on the Olivier stage at that first performance will be an incredible one, and I’m thrilled to be reopening our theatre with such an important and timely piece of work.’

The one-man show is a companion piece to Dyer and Williams’s Death of England starring Rafe Spall, which opened to four star reviews in February and ended just weeks before theatres were forced to close. This new work gives a new perspective to the story of class, race and identity in contemporary Britain, focussing on Delroy, the friend of the protagonist in Death of England.

Set in London 2020, Death of England: Delroy distills the current conversations around Black Lives Matter. It chronicles injustice, prejudice and hope, as Delroy is arrested on his way to the hospital. This prompts Delroy to look back and share the events and relationships that have shaped him and to reflect on what it means to be a Black working-class man in Britain today. Olivier-winning stage and screen stare Giles Terera, who is best known for his bravura performance as Aaron Burr in Hamilton, will command the stage as Delroy.

Speaking about the play Clint Dyer and Roy Williams said: ‘In telling Delroy’s story, we hope to take audiences on an illuminating journey into the Black British psyche and realities of a ‘tolerant’ England in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.’

Tickets for Death of England: Delroy will go on sale from September and details about performance dates and enhanced safety measures will be released in due course.

NB: Scheduled dates: 26th October – 30th November 2020, subject to change.

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