The Hounding of David Oluwale play brings injustices of deaths in custody to the stage

11Mar09

eclipse_david_oluwale_play_imageoriginally published: 3rd March 2009

A new play entitled, The Hounding of David Oluwale is viewed in many quarters as one of the most important pieces of theatre on the black British experience to grace the British stage.

The Eclipse Theatre Company ‘s compelling production addresses one of the most critical, but least talked about issues facing black Britons living in the UK today. Playing at London’s Hackney Empire this month , this new show is based on Kester Aspden’s award winning book, entitled ‘Nationality Wog ‘. It tells the unsettling story of one of the earliest recorded deaths of a black service user in police custody.

The offensive title of the book, takes its name from Oluwale’s police charge sheets, where an officer at Leeds police station wrote ‘wog’ over the original entry of ‘British’, and another where ‘wog’ was typed in as the original record.

Playwrite, Oladipo Agboluaje first came across Oluwale’s story at Charing Cross station when he saw a stand at Waterstone’s selling the critically acclaimed book.

‘What caught my attention then was the misspelling of David’s surname, given the cavalier attitude with which my named is spelled, I made a mental note of the book, but decided to buy it when it came out in paperback because of this.’ Agboluajie said.

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