Dilated Theatre Company announce SUS at Park Theatre


Set on the eve of Thatcher’s landslide victory in 1979, Barrie Keeffe’s play about a young Black man detained and brutalised by the police for a crime he has no knowledge of is a powerful dramatisation of a true story. Originally staged in 1979, it shows audiences a shocking depiction of institutional racism through the eyes of Delroy, who has been brought to a South London police station on what he thinks is SUS - suspect under suspicion - the law now commonly known as Stop and Search. Unbeknownst to him, two white male police detectives are tasked with drawing a confession for an unspeakable crime, and they go about it in the most brutal of ways.

Dilated Theatre Company staged the play in 2013 at the Lion and Unicorn Theatre, and return to the show for a timely revival. It was originally staged at Theatre Royal Stratford East, and made into a film with Rafe Spall in 2010.

Director Paul Tomlinson said, “SUS was the fourth production I directed of Barrie’s plays. It’s an intensely powerful play, as relevant now as when it was first written. It is with particular poignancy that I embark on this directorial revival, having lost Barrie in late 2019. It was the end of not only a forty year friendship, but also a strong working relationship founded on mutual respect, trust, political viewpoints and creative styles. That said, there is no greater homage we can pay to great writers than to allow their work to live on.”

Barrie Keeffe 1945-2019. English dramatist and screenwriter. His plays include A Mad World My Masters, Frozen Assets, SUS, Bastard Angel, Wild Justice, My Girl, Better Times, Here Comes the Sun, Gimme Shelter (a trilogy-Gem,Gotcha,Getaway) and Barbarians. Also, the musical Chorus Girls with Ray Davie.  Screenwriter of The Long Good Friday, described as the definitive London gangster movie which starred Bob Hoskins and Helen Mirren and won the Mystery Writer’s of America Edgar Alan Poe award. Resident writer at the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Shaw Theatre and the Soho Theatre, and Associate Writer for Theatre Royal Stratford East.

Dilated Theatre Company was founded in 2011 with the aim to stage work speaking for the voiceless in society. Previous productions include Orphans (2016) and For King and Country (2018), both at Southwark Playhouse (2016), and the original run of SUS at the Lion and Unicorn (2013). Director Paul Tomlinson has been directing for many years with productions ranging from classics such as Death of a Salesman and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead to The Who’s Tommy.

Park Theatre presents exceptional theatre in the heart of Finsbury Park, boasting two world-class performance spaces: Park200 for predominantly larger scale productions by established talent, and Park90, a flexible studio space, for emerging artists. In nine years, it has enjoyed eight West End transfers (including Daytona starring Maureen Lipman, The Boys in the Band starring Mark Gatiss, Pressure starring David Haig and The Life I Lead starring Miles Jupp), two National Theatre transfers, twenty-five national tours, six Olivier Award nominations, has won multiple OffWestEnd Offie Awards and won a Theatre of the Year award from The Stage. Park Theatre are grateful to all those who have donated to the Park Life fund, supporting the venue through the pandemic.

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