The Ballad of Shirley Collins + Q&A12A

The Ballad of Shirley Collins + Q&A

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  • Sun 29 Oct
  • 94 minutes
  • Director: Tim Plester, Rob Curry
  • Cast: Shirley Collins, Hannah Arterton, Stewart Lee, David Tibet, Sam Amidon, Elle Osborne
  • UK (2017)


+ Q&A with Stewart Lee

Widely regarded as the 20th century’s most important singer of English traditional song, Shirley Collins was at the epicentre of the folk music scene during the 1960s and ‘70’s. However, in 1980 she lost her voice in mysterious circumstances, and was forced to retire from musical life. In 2016, after being rediscovered by a new generation of music fans, Collins made a comeback, releasing her first album in nearly four decades, 'Lodestar,' again with huge critical acclaim.

Rob Curry and Tim Plester’s documentary sets out to explore the story behind the icon, and chronicles Shirley’s battle, at the grand old age of 80, to rediscover that voice she lost. Alongside the archive video and audio footage there are contributions from such longtime admirers as comedian Stewart Lee. It all adds up to a mediative and richly textured portrait that explores loss and redemption, sacrifice, healing and rebirth.

+ Post screening Q&A with co-director Rob Curry and Stewart Lee, comedian and Shirley Collins fan.