The Barrack-Room Ballads


2017 marks the 125th anniversary of the publication of Rudyard Kipling’s The Barrack-Room Ballads; it’s also the 40th anniversary of the iconic LP in which folk music legend Peter Bellamy set those poems to music. We're delighted to present an imaginative new performance featuring an all-star cast, timely narration, and innovative musical settings that breathe new life into these much-loved songs.

Martin and Eliza Carthy, Jon Boden, Damien Barber and The Wilsons are not only some of the biggest names of the UK folk scene, they each have a close association with Peter Bellamy and his work. The ten-piece on-stage orchestra, inspired by the concept of the ‘Indian wedding band’, will use new arrangements and specially-written incidental music to conjure the atmosphere of the period, from rousing martial brass to the evocative strings and percussion of Indian classical music. Broadcaster, writer and actor Hardeep Singh Kohli will counterpoint the songs with spoken-word narration drawn from a range of Kipling’s writing, including his later anti-war poetry.

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