Lament for Sheku Bayoh

Auckland Arts Festival

Thu 10 - Sun 27 March | New Zealand, Online


A young black man lost his life. Six years ago. In police custody. In Scotland.

Soon after 7am, on a Sunday morning - May 3rd, 2015, Sheku Bayoh, a 31 year-old gas engineer, husband and father of two died in Police custody on the streets of his home town – Kirkcaldy, Fife.

Bayoh’s family launched a campaign seeking justice and in 2019 a judge-led inquiry was announced to determine the manner of his death and whether ‘actual or perceived race’ had played a part in it.

Lament for Sheku Bayoh is an artistic response to this tragedy, an expression of grief for the loss of the human behind the headlines and a non-apologetic reflection on identity and racism in Scotland today.

Lament for Sheku Bayoh asks the urgent question, is Scotland really a safe place?

A recorded version of the production will be streamed as part of Auckland Arts Festival from 10-27 March 2022 (only available to viewers in New Zealand).

A National Theatre of Scotland, Edinburgh International Festival and Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh co-production.

Lament for Sheku Bayoh was originally commissioned and presented as a rehearsed reading by the Lyceum Theatre, supported by the Edinburgh International Festival as part of the 2019 International Festival’s You Are Here strand.

Development work supported by the Stephen W Dunn Creative Fund

4 Stars

Urgent, intimate... demands our attention

The Times

4 Stars

a painful and beautiful melding of irony and hope...

The Scotsman


Creative team



The recorded version of the show is available with BSL interpretation, Closed Captions and Audio Description.