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The Song of Peterloo: A Performance

Carolyn O’Brien’s novel, The Song of Peterloo tells the powerful story of Manchester mill-worker, Nancy Kay. Desperate to provide for her ailing mother and sensitive son, Nancy is drawn into the agitation for reform. But as she risks everything to attend a great assembly on St Peter’s Field, Nancy is unaware the day will go down in history not as triumph, but as tragedy; the Peterloo massacre.

A result of a collaboration between Carolyn O’Brien and fellow Mancunians – composer, Shane Cullinan and soprano, Claire O’Brien – The Song of Peterloo: a Performance will combine readings from the novel with music from the time, together with newly-created work inspired by Nancy’s story and the brave reformers of 1819.

As the therapeutic power of music unites two of the novel’s central characters, the performers will be joined on piano by Brigitte Schwarting, a therapist from Nordoff Robbins, the national music therapy charity. The event is held in aid of this remarkable charity. Carolyn will be signing copies of the book after the performance.

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