The Gift, by Roy Williams, is a touching and vibrant exploration of one family’s loss and their love for each other.
When Heather left Jamaica to join her parents who had moved to England, her half-sister Bernice stayed at home. Thirty years later, Heather returns to the island to bury her much-loved son Andrew after he was killed in a street fight. Since their childhood, Bernice always claimed to have ‘the gift’ of talking to the dead; now Heather begs her to talk to Andrew, to give her back her son. But it is Andrew’s sister Janet who feels that she can reach Andrew beyond the grave.
The Gift is about separation, spiritual as well as geographical: both sisters struggle with the hole left by Heather’s emigration, as the family tries to find ways to talk to each other again after Andrew’s death and long years apart.
Williams’s play premiered in 2000 at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre.