Dominic Cook's adaptation of Malorie Blackman's series of novels for young adults (launched with Noughts & Crosses, published in 2001) is a love story set in a society divided by racial bigotry and a world rocked by terrorism. The play was first performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Civic Hall, Stratford-upon-Avon, on 29 November 2007.
The play's action takes place in an alternative 21st-century Britain, where the darker-skinned Crosses have an advantage over the underclass Noughts, who suffer from widespread discrimination. Sephy (a Cross) is the daughter of the Deputy Prime Minister, while Callum is the son of a Nought agitator. United by a shared sense of injustice as children, and separated by intolerance as they grow up, their desire to be together begins to eclipse all family loyalty, sparking a political crisis of catastrophic proportions.
The Royal Shakespeare Company production was directed by Dominic Cooke and designed by Kandis Cook. It was performed by Charles Abomeli, Davinia Anderson, Doreene Blackstock, Daniel Bowers, Michelle Butterly, Louise Callaghan, Christopher Daley, Tyrone Huggins, Tracy Ifeachor, Richard Madden (as Callum), Jo Martin, Phil McKee, Jenny Ogilvie, Clarence Smith, Ony Uhiara (as Sephy) and Freddy White.