At the beginning of the The Swing, one of the characters explains that in Kentucky in 1911 a black man was charged with murder and lynched on the stage of the local theatre. Bond’s short play is subtitled A Documentary: this true story is sparingly stylised into a powerful and profoundly shocking drama. Bond draws a detailed picture of the quotidian injustice of a community, headed by the store owner Mr Skinner, which can condone violent murder and drive people to madness. When his store is robbed and a young woman appears to have been attacked, Skinner accuses Fred with no evidence, and organises the grotesque staging of his death.
The Swing was first presented in 1976 at Inter-Action’s Almost Free Theatre, London.