Published: 16 July 2015 at 13:56
Anglia Ruskin historian takes I’m Backing Britain to the Edinburgh Fringe
Dr Sean Lang, Anglia Ruskin University academic, writer, broadcaster and dramatist, is taking his new show, I’m Backing Britain, to this summer’s Edinburgh Fringe.
Dr Lang’s show is set in Surbiton in 1968 during the time of the I’m Backing Britain movement, which was designed to help pull the country out of its economic problems by persuading people to work an extra half hour a day for free.
The idea was originally put forward by a group of young women working as typists in a heating engineering firm, but it soon swept the country, attracting support from politicians and VIPs.
Its Union Jack logo, with ‘I’m Backing Britain’ written across it, was everywhere, until the movement ran into difficulties. Dr Lang, Senior Lecturer in History at Anglia Ruskin, said:
“This is a story with many parallels with the modern world.
“Trade Unions soon objected to their members’ being expected to work overtime for free; people began to drop out; left wing groups opposed it while far right groups tried to take advantage of it; and eventually the movement petered out in ridicule when it emerged that its Union Jack t-shirts had been made in Portugal.”
The multi-media show is directed by Bryony Webster, a second-year English and Drama student at Anglia Ruskin, and tells the story through drama, music, dance, physical theatre, puppetry and visual imagery. It has previously been performed at the Covent Garden Drama Studio, and was the finale of the 2015 Cambridge Drama Festival.
I’m Backing Britain is produced by Anglia Ruskin Creative (ARC), which brings together students, staff, alumni and friends of Anglia Ruskin to put on original work.
Past ARC productions include Paper Trail, The Road Less Travelled, The Necessity of Atheism, The Usual Incentive and So Much for Buckingham. This is ARC’s first visit to the Edinburgh Fringe.
I’m Backing Britain runs from 10-14 August (3pm) at the Lauriston Halls venue, and tickets cost £8, £6 concessions and 2-for-1 offers are available on Monday and Tuesday.