Based on the real events of Ahmaud “Maud” Arbery’s tragic murder in Georgia that was deemed a ‘modern day lynching’ by his family lawyers, Maud follows the subsequent trial of the three white defendants which led to Georgia passing its first ever hate-crimes law. Using media stories, testimonies and historical interviews, the directorial debut from Andrew French (winner of Black British Theatre Award Best Supporting Male Actor in 2021) explores how a harrowing video recording of the deadly shooting opened the door for a trial that gripped a world already reeling from numerous protests over racial justice.
While on a jog in the US state of Georgia, 25-year-old former high school football standout Ahmaud was fatally shot three times after a five-minute pursuit from three men. The trial of his accused killers brought up issues of policing — although in this case, it involved questions about private citizens and their rights to detain people who they believe to be breaking the law. Those rights in Georgia were spelled out in a controversial Civil War-era statute that was significantly weakened by state lawmakers in direct response to the outrage over the Arbery killing.
Maud’s writer and (Sic) Theatre’s founder Jeff Miller said, “Being an anti-racist is not a single box that can be checked. It is a constant way of life that begins with listening and hearing. Bringing Maud to VAULT festival is one step toward not allowing hate to simply become noise. We must break through the noise over and over again, rigorously looking at ourselves and the world from another point of view.”
Maud’s director Andrew French said, “We hope that this piece will help each of us re-examine our own personal relationship with race. That it will increase feelings of both anger and empathy. We invite you to journey with us as we retrace the steps a young man makes. Steps you would. Or could. We feel theatre is the best tool to examine both our society and ourselves. A brutal death doesn’t have to be meaningless. It only remains so if we look away.”
[sic] theatre emerged from devised work at RADA’s MA Theatre Lab.
Running Time: 55 mins | Suitable for ages 18+
Contains racist and mature language with graphic descriptions of violence.
Directed by Andrew French Created by Jeffrey Miller & Jak Watson Sound design by Ben Paveley & Cathy Dixon Lighting and video design by Roberto Esquenazi Alkabes Set design by Libby Monroe Composed by George Rigby Stage Managed by Phoebe Francis
Jeffrey Miller and Jak Watson
21 – 25 February 2023
VAULT Festival, The Crescent, Leake Street, SE1 7NN
Tues – Fri 7pm, Saturday 2.45pm & 6.30pm
£15, £13 concessions, £10 previews | vaultfestival.com | 020 8050 9241