It is hard to ignore a storyline such as Custody.
Based in Brixton, Custody, created by Urban Wolf and written by Tom Wainwright tells the fictional tale of a young black man’s death in police hands. As we have seen over the years of news reports with the similar headline but we only see the headline as voyeurs. This production takes the heart and soul behind these and gives them a face in a 2 year play by play of how the family of this fictional yet very real character process through this tragic event.
There’s moments of comedy for light relief, a little of black humour and satire of stereotypes but also such fantastic theatricality.
While there is music, the performers create soundscapes through sound and words. They build this into themselves physically and while it would seem a low physical production, you can tell it takes much hard work and perfection to get all of the timing and embodiment just right.
And the set is fantastic. Move able, dark and deep to bright, white and clinical. We never meet Brian he is spoken to as if he was there but we essentially feel his presence in the performers emotions. And these emotions are natural and relatable.
Attention to detail is key – the weight of Brian’s memory is represented by bags that each performer wears, very little are these let go until they let go of him.
Custody is everything you want in a production, it has heart, theatricality and sends a message.