After the death of SON's Nan, SON returns to his hometown, but MAM's boyfriend MIKE has other ideas about what's best for them. As the town's grip re-takes its hold, SON struggles to suppress his rising grief, tensions with MIKE intensify, and there can only be so long until the levy breaks. Lost, angry and broken, SON is faced with the question: can you ever truly leave the place you're from?
We’re 7th Sense Theatre, and we’re raising funds to get our new show DOG HAIR to VAULT Festival 2023 - the UK's most innovative and exciting platform for new work.
ABOUT THE SHOW
DOG HAIR is a new 3 hander play by emerging working-class writer Phillip Jones. After the death of SON's Nan, SON returns to his hometown, but MAM's boyfriend MIKE, not from the area, has other ideas about what's best for them. Full of wit, warmth and unstereotyped working-class bite, charm and tenderness, DOG HAIR is about the struggle between place and identity, and how 'No matter how far you go from home, you'll always have dog hair on your clothes'. Stylistic influences include Sam Shepard's BURIED CHILD, Kieren Hurley's MOUTHPIECE and Samuel Bailey's SHOOK. (May also include instances of Genesis. We can't make any promises).
DOG HAIR was originally selected as part of Wildcard Theatre’s FOUR OF A KIND Associate Artist programme 2020 and due to scratch at the ‘lost’ 2020 VAULT Festival. 2 years later, we’re bringing it home.
‘Asbestos ceilings don’t break like glass’
As a company, we've been increasingly frustrated by working-class stories being written by middle-class writers and falling into the flat-cap, can-in-hand stereotypes. Though it's great they're being told, we wanted to authentically and honestly represent working-class experiences on stage, including all the charm and humour that Phillip (Playwright) has found so often helps them get through the rougher patches.
Getting working-class stories and artists front and centre without the focus having to be ‘about’ being working-class, and making those shows accessible, is at the core of everything we do. As one of the most exciting, welcoming, unpretentious and affordable stomping grounds for new work, VAULT Festival seems like a perfect place to start.
DOG HAIR is written by Phillip Jones (BWL BOY - BBC WALES, Best Actor: It's My Shout for PACKAGED - BBC Wales), and Produced by Rachel Thomas (Associate Producer: WHOLE, Multi award-winning RUCKUS) - our company 7th Sense Theatre exists to make 'class theatre, without the divide', breaking down class divides in who gets to access theatre and whose stories get told on stage. Our work is supported by RECLAIM project, a charity empowering working-class young people into positions of power.
‘7th Sense are an exciting, driven company, easily selectable with their passion for theatre and new writing’ - Wildcard Theatre
We’re asking for £2500 to cover the upfront core costs of making the show happen. As you can see on our fun piechart below, most of this is going straight into the pockets of the working-class creatives we’re working with.
So how did we get here? Full transparency - since successfully getting ACE funding for the full R&D of the show in 2021, we’ve applied for funding 4 times and counting with no luck. The first 3 times we got no feedback at all. The most recent time, the first time we put VAULT Festival on the form, the feedback translated roughly that VAULT Festival wasn’t seen as somewhere that we’d find audiences for a story like this. We disagree. We think it’s vital that working-class led stories are popping up at the major and most accessible festivals, we know there’s a hunger for it, and we’re determined to make it happen anyway.
SO, here’s the deal. It goes against everything we stand for to offer up creative roles unpaid, and as a working-class led company we don’t have funds to pull on of our own yet. This money will change the game for us by allowing us to pay those we’re working with for doing their jobs (!), and pay for rehearsal space to get the show as polished as we can. We’ll still work overtime to match the rest, but you’ll help us provide paid opportunities and an epic professional platform for artists at a time they need it more than ever. Anything we gain over our target is likewise going straight in those artist’s pockets, and as always, if we miss, we’ll slash our own pay first.
VAULT Festival is just the beginning for us. By taking DOG HAIR to VAULT Festival, we’ll be able to use one of the UK’s hottest and best attended festivals of new work as a springboard for our longer-term goal: getting the show to regional venues and working-class communities across the UK. Being able to pay artists for their time and able to access proper rehearsal space will help us get the show as slick and shiny as possible, ready to shake up the class narratives on regional stages and take DOG HAIR to the people it’s for and about.
Thanks so much for supporting our project and what we do. By supporting us, you’re also chipping in something miles beyond just financial value, helping us get authentic representation of working-class stories on stage, and enabling us to platform epic working-class creatives while doing it. Cheers. You’re a complete legend.
Big love, team 7th Sense (Rachel and Phil) x