Joe Guy is a stark and powerful contemporary story about football and fame, exploring the historical tension and bitter prejudices existing between African and Caribbean British communities.
Joseph Boateng is a Ghanaian boy, relentlessly abused at school by white and West Indian peers for his African origins. The only exception is Naomi, his childhood sweetheart, who is British and of Jamaican parentage. The play follows Joe from a nervous boy working in a fast food restaurant to a flash football hero, rolling in money, women and sex scandals. As his celebrity status escalates, Joe disguises his voice and sheds his heritage in order to talk the talk with his fellow stars. The play weaves between the promising start of his footballing career and its arrogant peak, as his ascent brings sacrifices, accusations of selling out, temptations and life-changing choices.
Joe Guy is an urgent discussion of identity and celebrity. It is unflinching in its examination of complex and pervasive racial hostilities.
The play premiered at the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich, in 2007.