We are really excited to have been awarded a Project Grant from Arts Council, England alongside a Make Work grant from the Bradford Producing Hub, together with support from Bradford Council and Kala Sangam. We will use this grant to create a studio piece of FULL ENGLISH for Spring 2021, whilst exploring new and innovative ways of making and touring work in this brave new world.
FULL ENGLISH will explore personal histories from the Canterbury Estate, where Associate Artist, Natalie Davies, grew up, along with her mother and her Nan - a reggae loving, dance enthusiast.
Back in the late fifties the first wave of migrant workers arrived from Pakistan and Bangladesh. These young men soon met and started to fall in love with local lasses, including Nan. When she fell for her man, her life was thrown into chaos. It was only when she arrived at Canterbury Estate with her three kids that she found the solidarity of a small group of women who were loving across the boundaries.
Using first hand stories, FULL ENGLISH will be a poignant, funny and life-affirming homage to the strength of the women. Those whom married Pakistani men and brought up mixed race children. Those who struggled with their identity. Those whom never really belonged to any particular culture or race. Those who constantly had to stand up against racists. Those who just didn't care.
Alongside the creation of the play, Bent Architect will also work with young people from around the estate today to explore how much has changed from the time of that first generation of mixed race kids; and older people who are suffering from dementia.
The show will be created in 3 different ways - as a studio theatre piece at Kala Sangam, an outdoor performance event on the Canterbury Estate and as an interactive digital performance, developed alongside the renowned Coney who create interactive theatre, games and adventures where people interact with the story through technology (‘Coney are pushing at the boundaries of theatre and of technology’ Lyn Gardner, Stagedoor).
Bent Architect have a growing reputation for creating innovative new work which challenges expectations. Their acclaimed THIS SPACE IS OCCUPIED (2018) took over a disused pub and turned it into a 1970's commune, whist their international tour of WOMEN OF AKTION (2018) looked at the stories of German women's resistance to war.
Funded by Bradford Producing Hub, the National Lottery through Arts Council, England and Bradford Council, and developed in partnership with Kala Sangam and Grange School, FULL ENGLISH is an exciting new project which delves into an untold seam of Bradford's history and asks how much has really changed?