Shôn Dale-Jones is worried he’ll get stuck in a story. He’s spent years as his alter ego, emerging artist Hugh Hughes. But the story he’s scared of isn’t his own. It’s the fictions that form the foundations of our world: money, power, authority.
Me and Robin Hood spins an Inception-style tale: a story in a memory in a memory that’s a story. It skips from a fine in the first class carriage of a train, to his childhood home in Anglesey and into Sherwood Forest. Robin Hood stays with him throughout; as an artist protesting against the banking system and as a kid leading Llangefni FC Under 10s in a heist.
It’s as much about privilege as it is about inequality; facts born out of a fiction, he says. His Thatcherite father bought into one story; his grandmother, under Atlee, invested in another. He flags up key details: that money’s just plastic, paper and metal;and authority, nothing more than a uniform. We buy into it all.
Dale-Jones skips between layers so nimbly that you start to lose track. He spins fictions faster and faster until they collide and combine and each feels equally real and unreal. Before you know it, he really is stuck in a story. We all are.
But, while he hits terminal velocity, Dale-Jones doesn’t take flight. There’s not the release of his very best work. Perhaps that’s the point, but without the right ending it feels like a ruse – a way to pull in donations for Street Child United. Worthy, indeed, but also worthy of Robin Hood.