Roy is a play about justice, identity, based on the true story of the last Black man to be hung in the UK.
Roy is sent to Britain from the West Indies by his guardians, however, on arrival his sense of rootlessness is compounded rather than resolved. Through a series of unfortunate events, Roy finds himself incarcerated facing the ultimate punishment by a jurdiciary in 1962, the death sentence. Roy Grey was hung on 20 November 1962 in Winson Green Prison, Birmingham.
On the same day, less than a mile away, Gregory was born. Adopted by a white family, Gregory sees in Roy a reflection of his own rootlessness and is drawn deep into his tragic story. As the play unravels we discover that Greg’s adoptive father was one of the jury members present at Roy’s hearing.
Based on trial transcripts, interviews and research, Roy was a powerful and provocative play which explored the issues that bind two generations of young Black men together. Though the central plot is specific, the key issues raised of justice, identity and race had great relevance for the teenage audiences which saw the production. Roy toured to schools.