Art 50 Weekender

When We Collide, A British Songbook

Presented by Hanbury & Groves and Art 50

Sage Gateshead Concourse

This event is part of Art 50 Weekender, a free festival showcasing some of the 50 artistic projects commissioned by Sky Arts, exploring what it means to be British today.

When We Collide is a songbook written by the people of the United Kingdom about our collective identity in the wake of the EU referendum. This historic moment has forced the British nation to re-evaluate how we define ourselves, how we distribute power, our place within the EU and our relationship with the rest of the world.

In order to start untangling this complex personality, Rebecca Hanbury & Alex Groves spoke to people in community choirs across England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. 24 groups and over 600 people took part in these storytelling workshops including fishermen from Yorkshire, teenagers in Grimsby, a cross community choir just outside of Belfast, and a police choir in Edinburgh. Every word, every phrase and every story as part of the songbook has been taken from these workshops.

This afternoon, see a selection of choirs from all around the country come together to perform this songbook for the first time.

Composer Alex Groves and writer/director Rebecca Hanbury have been working together since 2010. United by a love of stories and live music, they started exploring new and exciting ways to combine them. They create everything from installations to theatre shows to immersive performances. Together they have been developing projects at Snape Maltings as resident artists on their Open Space scheme, which is where the songbook was dreamt up.

Storyvault Films Limited is recording at this venue for a programme provisionally entitled “Art 50: This is Britain” for Sky Arts and it is possible you may appear in shot. By attending this event you consent to filming and sound recording which may include you and its use in commercial distribution without payment or copyright.

Duration: 15 minutes (except for 3pm, when the full songbook is performed for 45 minutes)

Part of Art 50 Weekender

Presented by Sage Gateshead, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Sky Arts & Storyvault Films Art 50 – a debate about our national identity. In March 2017 Article 50 was invoked. Sky Arts invited 50 artists to respond to the question of what it means to be British today. From this...

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