Courtney Stoddart, Patricia Panther, Saskia Ashdown (cast)

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 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.

The resource pack on this page is designed to support educators and other group leaders to approach an anti-racism conversation in response to the production. In addition, there are links below to videos of conversations with some of the creative team and a writing workshop with Hannah Lavery. These links can also be found within the resource pack.

If you are registered with our Education Portal, you will be able to watch the full length film of the production, using the link below, with your group for free.

Video Resources

In Conversation with Hannah Lavery - Part One

Clementine talks to Hannah about the creation of Lament for Sheku Bayoh and how its story can be used to explore the wider issues of race and diversity in Scotland.

In Conversation with Hannah Lavery - Part Two

In this video, Clementine explores Hannah’s practice as a writer, actor, and poet and how her life experiences inform the work she creates and shares. Find out what unites her work and what sustains her in her practice, plus what she wishes she’d known when she was younger.

In Conversation with Courtney Stoddart

In this video, Clementine chats to Courtney about the issue of race at the centre of Lament for Sheku Bayoh, about life growing up in Scotland, and her practice as an actor and poet. Find out how she came to play the role and what her tips are for those starting out in their performing career.

Hannah Lavery Writing Workshop

Join Hannah for this 35min interactive, practical creative writing workshop. Using the same techniques and exercises Hannah herself used when writing Lament for Sheku Bayou, the workshop will focus on how to respond to news stories and facts to develop a creative response.

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