UK premiere of fierce family drama The Book of Grace at Arcola Theatre

When an abusive husband is awarded a medal for his service patrolling the Texas-Mexico border, it brings to the fore the family conflict between him, his estranged son and his hopeful wife, Grace. Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and Tony nominee Suzan-Lori Parks (Topdog/Underdog), The Book of Grace paints a visceral family portrait, reflecting on society’s hostility towards immigrants with timely new resonance as the world watches its own borders, with another Trump election on the horizon and the UK government continuing to push their ‘stop the boats’ campaign. The UK premiere will be directed by award-winning and Olivier nominated director Femi Elufowoju jr OBE and stars Ellena Vincent (Sylvia, Hamilton, Coronation Street), Associate Artist of the RSC Peter de Jersey, and Daniel Francis-Swaby (Barbershop Chronicles).

Grace, a hopeful woman desperately seeking positivity in the world, keeps a book of everything good she witnesses, and lives with her abusive husband Vet, a patrol officer on the Texas-Mexico border. When Vet is awarded a medal for his services in catching smugglers trafficking marijuana at the border, Grace invites his estranged son Buddy to join them at the ceremony that is to be celebrated by the whole town. But Buddy arrives armed with resentment, an ultimatum and (several) hand grenades. Can Grace heal the rift, and contain the threat?

Director Femi Elufowoju jr said, “Eleven years after observing Suzan-Lori Parks and director George C Wolfe in rehearsals with Topdog/ Underdog at the Royal Court, it gives me much pleasure directing the UK premiere of its companion piece The Book of Grace. It is a fascinating character study of a deeply troubled family led by a brutal husband to a wife whose only goal in the world is to see the good in everything. I look forward to opening the can of worms the story’s universal themes entreats us to, and the extreme solutions we consider coming to terms with them.”