Detaining Justice is an interrogatory play about illegal immigration and race, in which the urgent issues are brought to life with humour and compassion.
Justice Ncube is locked in a cell, his asylum application pending. If he is deported back to Zimbabwe, he faces the violent retribution of the regime he resisted. His sister Grace is desperate to help, but after trying authorities, God, and even the bed of an immigration enforcement officer, she finds nothing but dead ends. All she can suggest is that he goes back home. Assigned to Justice’s case is Mr Cole, a celebrity prosecution lawyer who is ill at ease in his new job in the cramped office of the Immigration Advisory Centre, and haunted by his last big case. The system is impenetrable and obscure, and there’s no way out for Justice.
In the offices of the immigration authorities, inside the detention centres, and out in the world where illegal immigrants are working, Agbaje examines Britain’s tangled immigration system and the lives of those who slip through the cracks.
Detaining Justice was first performed as part of the ‘Not Black and White’ season at the Tricycle Theatre, London, in 2009.