It’s rare in theatre that the opening night is also the closing night but sadly that was the case for Clint Dyer and Roy Williams’ monologue, performed with real sizzle by Michael Balogun, in a reconfigured Olivier auditorium earlier this month. Lockdown 2 may have scuppered the NT’s original plans for live, socially distanced performances but it is an online audience’s gain. That’s because the National Theatre is making the show available for free for 24 hours only from next Friday via its YouTube channel. It should be well worth your time as it follows the fortunes of black working- class bailiff, Delroy, who is arrested as he hurries to the side of his partner who is in hospital and about to give birth.
Watch Clint Dyer and Roy Williams’ Death of England: Delroy, an ‘urgent, timely solo work, performed with firecracker energy’ (★★★★ Evening Standard) by actor Michael Balogun. The play explores a Black working class man searching for truth and confronting his relationship with Great Britain. Death of England: Delroy was the first live production at the National Theatre since closing its doors due to Coronavirus. In October 2020, new national Coronavirus measures sadly meant the production was forced to close mid-way through its run. The play was filmed on its opening and closing night on Wednesday 4 November.