Could you forgive your son’s killer?

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24 July 2019

Could you forgive your son’s killer?

The Long Road
by Shelagh Stephenson

WINNER - Best Restorative Justice Play 2018

The Chris Donovan Trust

Warning: This play contains difficult themes and some strong language


The Long Road deals with the devastating effects of knife crime, and how humanity and forgiveness can help restore hope and dignity. This award-winning production by SMP Theatre is enjoying its debut at the Edinburgh Fringe this year.

When 18-year old Danny is killed in a random stabbing his family struggle to cope with the senseless loss. His mother, wanting answers, decides to contact her son’s killer, bringing them face to face, with remarkable consequences.

Topical, hard-hitting and sensitive, with moments of humour, it was written in collaboration with Synergy Theatre Project, using research conducted in prisons, and explores how Restorative Justice can help with rehabilitation.

Vi and Ray Donovan set up the Chris Donovan Trust when their son Chris was killed in 2001 in an unprovoked attack. Vi came to see the production and commented afterwards: “I was amazed how true to life this play was, the acting was superb and so accurately reflected the emotions Ray and I experienced at the time.”

Director Paul Smith: “Vi’s story of her 11-year fight to meet and eventually forgive the boys who killed her son, motivated us to bring The Long Road to Edinburgh, to help publicise the Restorative Justice process, and the great work she and Ray are doing through the Trust.”

Sian West – Justice Consultant and promotor of Restorative Justice said: “This is a play about seeking hope and answers after tragedy, and the audience will be gripped from start to finish.”

“Wow, wow, wow. A must-see” “Beautifully performed” “Genuine heart and hopefulness”

“Very powerful” “A thought-provoking insight into the restorative justice system”

“A superbly acted, moving and thought-provoking play”

Listings information

Venue: theSpace @ Surgeons’ Hall, Theatre 1 (Venue 53)
Dates: 19th-24th August
Time: 17:35 (90 mins)
Ticket prices: £12 /concessions £8
Venues box office:  0131 510 2384 or email
Fringe box office: 0131 226 0000 or visit our website

Media information:

Contact Fleur de Henrie Pearce 079 6385 8819 or email

SMP (St Michael’s Players) is one of London’s oldest theatre groups, celebrating its 70th anniversary this year.