Robin is baking. Combining flour, water and salt, with a little help from some friendly microbes, he’ll repeat a process used around the world for over 6,000 years. Until 1961, that is, when a new industrialised process sped things up and stripped bread of much of its nutritional value. Mass-produced loaves became the norm and people forgot how to bake. Now diet culture rules, faddism and myths abound, and body-shaming is the last socially acceptable prejudice.
As a natural loaf forms beneath his hands, Robin probes pseudoscience and interrogates our relationship with food. With a handful of songs, the occasional attempted rap, and a little help from his friends (plus an unexpected psychic nutritionist), he asks: what exactly do we want from our daily bread?
"No Blacks. No Irish. No Dogs. That’s what the signs said. And here we are, fifty years later.
I’m Jamaican. You’re Irish. Both British. But ain’t got no home anywhere. Not anywhere."
Niamh’s Irish but you wouldn’t know it, apart from the name no-one can spell. Paul’s black, well, Jamaican, actually, but English people don’t know the difference. And that’s the way he likes it. ‘Cos at night, at the club, they’re just kids, dancing, free in this new Britain, where you can be anything you want. Can’t you?
No Dogs is a five-hander charting the shared history of journeying and identity between Irish and Afro-Caribbean immigrants to the UK, exploring evolving notions of Britishness down the generations. This powerful exploration of the immigrant experience is based on the stories of real people. Written by Flintlock’s Anna Glynn and Arts Council England Breaking Ground Writer Jacqueline Crooks, No Dogs features evocative music, riotous dancing and a hefty dose of humour, celebrating the people whose labour re-built Britain and asks – what does ‘British’ mean anyway?
Sovereign Nation is part of New Conversations, a programme funded and delivered by the British Council, Farnham Maltings, and the High Commission of Canada in the UK. The fund is designed to encourage and support the development of creative exchange, collaboration and partnerships between artists and arts organisations in the performing arts sector in the UK and Canada.