Taylor Mac - A 24-Decade History of Popular Music: The First Act

LIFT 2018

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Fabulous and fearless, Taylor Mac reframes the social history of America through three decades of song in this no-holds-barred extravaganza of music, art, activism and hugely entertaining mass ritual.

Joined onstage by a 24-piece orchestra and host of local special guests, New York’s Mac has created a Pulitzer Prize-nominated, once-in-a-lifetime, immersive performance in a quest to chronicle how communities grow stronger as they are being torn apart.

Charting the years 1776–1806, he asks the audience to conspire with him to reimagine rebellions, revolutions, triumphs and tragedies. Bawdy pub songs, sea shanties and subversive anthems are rearranged as musical mash-ups to take on a chapter of the defining early years of America’s history. The New York Times critic has described it as 'one of the greatest experiences of my life'.  

A 24-Decade History of Popular Music: The First Act is part of our 2018 Season, The Art of Change, which explores how artists respond to, reflect and can potentially effect change in the social and political landscape. Find out more here.

Part of LIFT 2018, a London-wide festival of international performance taking place throughout June 2018.

Approximately 3 hours/no interval
The audience is invited to enter and exit at liberty during the performance

Age guidance 16+

USA

Presented by the Barbican and LIFT 2018

Produced by Pomegranate Arts and Nature’s Darlings

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Reviews

‘Explosive, spectacular, heartbreaking ... this show is everything‘
‘We were delirious and smitten, sundered and remade ... An unutterably brilliant masterwork‘
‘Awake and sing! The church of Taylor Mac has opened its doors. Let the rejoicing begin … Go. Now‘
‘The show tells an alternative, underdog’s history of America via an extravaganza of costumes‘

Discover

The Art of Change

Can the arts change the world? How does the role of artists and the arts help bring about change? How does culture borrow from society – and vice versa? We look ahead at some of the highlights from our 2018 annual theme

Collection: Theatre & Dance

Meet the directors, makers and actors who help us produce and present our rich programme of international theatre, creating dance, theatre and music that hovers on the very edge of classification as we push the boundaries of what theatre could be.   

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