The Dug Out

Commissioned by Splice Theatre, 2013.
Published by Samuel French

Photo: Toby Farrow

“Tick-tock-tick-tick …. the future is now, man, it’s now, man - it’s now. And what are you doing with it, ey?”

In 1944, a black GI is shot dead in a race riot. In 1974, on the same Bristol street, an IRA bomb explodes. Both events have a powerful impact on The Dug Out: the only place in town where black and white teenagers drink and dance together; a world of escape and promise, where dreams are shared, battles fought, identities forged and dance steps perfected.

This uplifting tale of young lives in ‘70s Britain is set against a cross-culture love story of thirty years earlier, and unfolds to a glorious soundtrack of ska, reggae, funk and 1940s black American jive.

Facts & Figures

The Dug Out was produced by Splice Theatre at the Tobacco Factory, Bristol, and directed by Kath Rogers.

The first production featured a community chorus of Bristol dancers and a live set by DJ Kinsman.

The soundtrack includes music by Desmond Decker, The Deltones, Dandy Livingstone and Cab Calloway.


The Dug Out

“This nostalgic show wins out as unassuming, feel-good fun ... it has a defiant, ramshackle charm.”

The Times

“The play skillfully crosses over real life events, visualising the peripheral stories of the two ill-fated days, merging choreography across the decades, to fade in and out of each era with ease.”

What’s On Stage

The Dug Out

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Also by Amanda Whittington