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‘Fucking Frogs! My grandfather didn’t die in the English Civil War so’s half the population of France could come over here and live off the soup!’
A riotous journey through four waves of immigration from the 17th century to today. As the French Huguenots, the Irish, the Jews and the Bangladeshis in turn enter the chaotic world of Bethnal Green, each new influx provokes a surge of violent protest over housing, jobs, religion and culture. And the emerging pattern shows that white flight and anxiety over integration is anything but new. Written with scurrilous bravura, Richard Bean’s great sweep of a comedy follows a pair of star-crossed lovers amid cutters’mobs, Papists, Jewish anarchists and radical Islamists across four tempestuous centuries. England People Very Nice enjoyed a sell-out run at the National Theatre.