Benjamin Zephaniah explores the passion, community and history of Britain’s high-octane Caribbean domino clubs, where each table is a stage and every game tells a story.
The mesmerising sound of the dominoes being shuffled keeps many players at the table into the small hours. Benjamin visits his home town of Birmingham to find out how the dominoes scene has changed since his father taught him to play, and learns how the “bones” have been the soundtrack to centuries of Caribbean history, a thread linking slave plantations to south London bus stations.
Amid the high-decibel action of the Anglo-Caribbean Domino League Final, clubs from all over the UK battle it out in a fierce showdown of mind games, table slamming and dramatic winning poses.
Benjamin hears the stories of some of the nation’s finest players – Black Hat, The Enforcer, Lady Sassy, Big C, Virgo, The Screamer – and finds out how the “sweet sound of the shuffle” plays on their subconscious, long after the slamming and cheering have died down.
Featuring Kenneth Ward, Earl John, Kingsley Douglas, Errol Richards, Carlton Witter, Mervin Stuart, Janet Francis, Gary Lewis, Austin Agard, Rudi Page, Millicent Wilks, Clive Milanese, Donald Douglas, Felix Whittley, Vida Tucker.
And with thanks to Anita Witter, Kingsley Douglas, Norris Mckenzie and the Anglo-Caribbean Domino League.
Presenter/ Benjamin Zephaniah Producer/ Cicely Fell and Mark Dormer for Redlight Productions
Friday 18 April @ 11.00-11.30am
BBC RADIO 4
BBC Radio 4 Publicity