Stage Adaptation of SITTING IN LIMBO Comes to the Watford Palace Theatre

Performances run 19-22 June 2024.

By: May. 30, 2024
Stage Adaptation of SITTING IN LIMBO Comes to the Watford Palace Theatre
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A new stage production, based on the 2020 BAFTA winning film Sitting in Limbo by Stephen S. Thompson, and adapted for the stage by Shenagh Cameron, will run at Watford Palace Theatre. This production will not only be marking Windrush Day (22 June) but also sheds a light on the injustices faced by the Windrush generation. The play will also help raise awareness of the government’s mistreatment of those wrongfully deported and the failure of the compensation scheme to reach the majority of those affected. 

Shenagh Cameron’s stage adaptation follows the true-life events faced by Anthony Bryan, a painter and decorator, and Tottenham Hotspur fan. After fifty years in Britain, Byran applies for a passport to visit his ailing mother in Jamaica. Having originally travelled to Britain from the Caribbean on her passport, he finds himself in a never-ending series of humiliating struggles which result in him being wrongly detained by the Home Office and threatened with deportation. Throughout this ordeal, his loving family fights to prove his legal existence in Britain, amidst the crossfire of the government’s ‘Hostile Environment’ policy.

Stephen S. Thomson’s original film for the BBC follows his own brother’s experiences, highlighting his disgraceful treatment and honours all those who suffered during the Windrush Scandal, which began in 2018.

Stephen’s partner, Kass Boucher has said, “It’s coming up to two years since Stephen died, and four years since the film was first broadcast, so it’s heartening to think that the play may shine a light on the continuing injustice. I think Stephen would be disappointed at the lack of progress but not, sadly, surprised.

Sitting in Limbo was never meant to be Stephen’s swansong. He was on the cusp of great things as a screenwriter when he died, having already established himself as a novelist of distinction. Instead, however, his BAFTA winning film has become his legacy. When first broadcast in 2020, the urgency of the subject matter was already a tragedy; innocent people had become ill, some had already died, waiting for redress for the financial, psychological, and emotional pain caused by the ease with which they were criminalised, detained and, in some cases, deported.

Stephen used his BAFTA acceptance speech to honour all the victims of the Windrush Scandal. He’d want us to do the same now; by watching the play and understanding the full, human impact of this assault on the lives of people of the Windrush Generation, and then continuing to hold the Government’s ‘feet to the fire’, as he put it, until justice is fully done”.

Shenagh Cameron, writer of the stage adaptation, has said, “This play is a reminder that the Windrush Scandal has not gone away. Although there have been apologies, most are yet to receive compensation, and unforgivably, many died waiting. Stephen was a long-time friend whose career was cut short not long after winning a BAFTA for Sitting in Limbo. It is an honour to adapt his screenplay for the stage and to carry on his legacy. The theatre production will bring a visceral and transformative experience to a new audience.”

This powerful story highlights the ongoing impact of the Windrush scandal and the resilience of those affected. It is being directed by Directed by Philip J. Morris and stars Doreene Thompson, Gary Mcdonald, Rich Dodd, and Victor Masha Jr. and is produced by Viva Theatre and Watford Palace Theatre.



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