United British Artists was formed in 1983 by a group of outstanding performers and directors to create new theatre opportunities.

It was already clear that UBA was not planning to take the easy road to success with their debut presentation which opened in early February 1984 at the Riverside studios, Hammersmith.

The text of The Biko Inquest was based on transcripts of the inquest in Pretoria on the death of Steve Biko, the young black South African leader who “died a miserable and lonely death” in the custody of the security police in 1977. Albert Finney who directed, also played the part of Sidney Kentridge, the Biko family lawyer. He was opposed by Jon Standing as Attorney General with Mark Dignam as presiding magistrate. Nigel Davenport was coolly insolent as the head of security police, but most members of the strong cast made brief cameo appearances, including Michael Gough, Michael Aldridge, Michael Turner and Edward Hardwicke. Richard Johnson appeared as a senior medical consultant.