Past Event

Whose Anthem Is It Anyway?

Wed 24 May 2023
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A raucous night of musical improv, comedy and democratic process with Amartey Golding and Charlie George.

England’s having an identity crisis. Comedian Charlie George and our house band front a new show for Brighton Festival 2023, by artist Amartey Golding. Together with the audience, they’ll attempt to tackle the impossible task of delivering a new national anthem in just one night.

There might be a lot about being English we’d prefer to distance ourselves from, but can music bring us together!? What better way to usher in England 2.0 than creating a new national anthem.

Drawing on our nation’s rich musical heritage, from Grime to Triphop, Britpop to Bhangra, nothing is off the table in this raucous night of music, comedy and democratic process.

Witness the sound of our nation come to life through Charlie’s wry and witty takes on the state of the nation, quick thinking improv from our house band, and the most important ingredient: the audience! Can Charlie find a way to bring the room, if not the nation, together to create a song that represents what we’re really about?

By the end of the show, we will have collaboratively created a frankenstein of an anthem, that we will all sing together. No matter how bad it is!

This is a funny and warm look at the impossible situation of creating one song for an entire nation, but also acts as a vehicle to ask how English people feel about themselves and their nation, grappling with that indefinable and elusive thing that makes England ‘England’.

The first in an expanding series, each fronted by a new host, that will make up a country-wide survey of England.

A new work commissioned by Lighthouse in collaboration with Brighton Festival, with additional support from Arts Council England and Art Fund.