England, race and football fans | Death of England by Roy Williams and Clint Dyer


My best mate Delroy, his… his parents come over
from Jamaica, right? And he voted
fucking Brexit! He’s a fucking Leaver. Can you believe that?
Delroy… I mean, what’s the matter with you? When they talk of a curb on immigration, who do you think they’re talking about? Delroy, I love you, yeah, like a brother, but you may act like us, you may sound like us, but you will never be one of us, and deep down, you know it. I mean, you must do,
because this is England we are talking about. Banana-throwing on the pitch, that’s a thing of the past,
but the anger is still there. It’s making a comeback. It’s coming out in droves. Maybe…maybe you just choose not to,
Delroy, but… Delroy… This is…this is not me talking… This is my dad…
Or maybe it isn’t. I don’t know. I don’t know any more. I think one thing
that shows with that segment is, you know,
words are powerful. They can be as potent and dangerous as a bullet coming out of a gun. He launches at everybody. He takes no prisoners. He attacks his family,
he attacks his friends, particularly Delroy, his black friend, who he grew up with. I mean, he realises something’s wrong. Everything is wrong that he feels and he just wants to do what he can
to strip it down, even if it means attacking
his best friend, who is black, to point out their own inconsistencies as such, and also, you know, what he feels what a black person should be about, what they believe in and such. He wants to tear it all down. It’s at its most lethal
and most dangerous. The relationship between Michael and Delroy… This is played out with the backdrop of Delroy experiencing racism, of Delroy trying to assimilate, Delroy trying to fit in, of Michael recognising what the attributes of Delroy that he is somehow having to shave off to be accepted. For Michael, this observation gives him an insight into what Britain does on a whole to its ethnic minorities. For Michael to be then met with Delroy, who has embraced it to such a degree, or to drink the Kool Aid of the United Kingdom… at what cost? When I was a child growing up on a council estate
in West London, at the time, it was predominantly white. There was a lot of things
we had in common. We all grew up on council estates… black and white, working class, just striving to earn a crust, getting by. So, there wasn’t that much difference between us, so I grew up with
a level of understanding them and them with
a level of understanding me. We hope that it’s a fascinating take on how complicated it is to grow up in Britain. It’s Michael trying to reference how history has marked him, and how his core beliefs are almost a trained response. And he doesn’t know if he can unpick these core beliefs. I would long for, I don’t know, some kind of atmosphere, climate in this country where we’re allowed, or encouraged, to be more forensic
about what we really believe in, where we question ourselves and say, ‘Do I really, really believe in that?’ ‘Do I honestly have a view ‘or am I just uttering the words
of somebody else?’ Having Michael go through it in the play is our way of kind of arguing that.

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