The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) plays host to Seth Lakeman and Nancy Kerr, two of the UK’s most renowned folk singer songwriters, in two separate gigs. These one-off performances are part of the Company’s Live at the RSC strand, which seeks to offer audiences the best in new music and comedy. Past events have seen the likes of Rufus Wainwright, John Grant, Gaz Coombes and Russell Kane all taking to the RSC’s stages.
Although Seth and Nancy will be performing separately at the RSC, they worked together on The Full English tour and album in 2014 (winning two BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards), which came out of a project to draw together for the first time British folksongs from the early 20th century.
The west country folk singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Seth Lakeman performs with his band in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre for one night only on Sunday 23 July, playing tracks from his eighth studio albumBallads of the Broken Few, and live favourites from his back catalogue. Released in September 2016, the album features the single Meet Me in the Twilight which was play-listed soon after on BBC Radio 2. Produced by Ethan Johns, it is a stunning combination of his dynamic songwriting and playing, and the sublime and seamless harmony vocals of emerging young female trio Wildwood Kin, who will appear with Seth as well as opening the concert as support act.
The BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winner’s previous albums include Mercury Prize nominated Kitty Jay (2005), the gold-selling Freedom Fields (2006) – which featured the hit singles Lady of the Sea and The White Hare – Poor Man’s Heaven (2009), Hearts & Minds (2010), Tales from the Barrel House (2011) and Word of Mouth (2014). With Ballads of the Broken Few, Seth demonstrates yet again that, far from being complacent, he is constantly exploring new and bold musical paths.
With her music described as “breathtakingly beautiful” by Mark Radcliffe, Nancy Kerr is one of the most celebrated folk musicians of her generation. To date she has won six BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, including Folk Singer of the Year 2015.
Since her debut solo album, Sweet Visitor, arrived in late 2014, Nancy has cemented her reputation as one of the UK’s foremost composers of modern folk and social commentary songs. She brings her new show Second Instar to The Other Place Studio Theatre for one night only on Saturday 11 November as part of a national tour.
This live performance will draw mainly from her second album, Instar, which explores, amongst other themes, gender identity and sexuality, struggles for human rights, love and consent, colonialism and the effects of austerity on our culture and ourselves. Also featuring songs from Sweet Visitor, this is an evening that promises to challenge and inspire, confront and sympathise.
With her Sweet Visitor Band now an established unit, Nancy is joined on stage by bandmates: Tim Yates (Double Bass, Melodeon and Voice), Greg Russell (Guitars and Voice) and Tom Wright (Drums, Guitars and Voice).
LIVE AT THE RSC: SETH LAKEMAN AND WILDWOOD KIN
SUNDAY 23 JULY, 7.30PM
ROYAL SHAKESPEARE THEATRE, STRATFORD-UPON-AVON
£25, £22, £15
Box Office 01789 403493
LIVE AT THE RSC: NANCY KERR AND THE SWEET VISITOR BAND
SATURDAY 11 NOVEMBER, 7.30PM
THE OTHER PLACE, STRATFORD-UPON-AVON
Box Office 01789 403493