Wed 8 Feb | 8pm | Tickets £16.50 (£12.50) | Theatre | All ages
‘An epidemic is sweeping the world: an epidemic of loneliness. Never before have we, the supremely social mammal, been so isolated. The results are devastating: a collapse of common purpose, the replacement of civic life with a fug of consumerism, insecurity and alienation. We cannot carry on like this.’
So how do we respond to this trend towards social breakdown? This project is an attempt to do something engaging, that might not only document the problem, but help to address it. And what has more potential to unite and delight than music?
It all began when Guardian journalist and writer, George Monbiot, approached Ewan McLennan – a musician whose work he greatly admired – and proposed a collaboration. Together they would write a concept album, a mixture of ballads and anthems, some sad, some stirring, whose aim was to try to break the spell which appears to have been cast upon us; the spell of separation.
Their aim was that it would not stop there, that they would perform the material they have co-written to help bring people together, to overcome our stifling collective shyness and make friends among the strangers in our midst.
To coincide with the release of their much-anticipated album, Breaking the Spell of Loneliness, George and Ewan will be performing a limited number of intimate concerts. George will narrate the show, describe the ideas behind the songs, and discuss the broader theme and the politics that underlie it; while Ewan will sing the songs and perform the music that has emerged from this unique and innovative collaboration.
Expect songs and themes that touch on our relationship to nature, ones that enjoin people to Reclaim the Streets, ballads of loneliness, and anthems celebrating our unique capacity for empathy and altruism.
"…a powerful, poignant set." ★★★★
"After writing about loneliness, George Monbiot teamed up with Ewan McLennan to put his words to music. The result is a charming evening"
"Breaking the Spell of Loneliness doesn’t merely tackle the issues raised, it offers solutions; it offers hope. It’s a moving, thought-provoking work that has relevance for all of us."