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Class Act: The Cultural and Political Life of Ewan MacColl

Biographer Ben Harker discusses the cultural and political life of Ewan MacColl.

Discover the fascinating life of 'the British Brecht', Ewan MacColl, in this talk by his biographer Ben Harker. Ewan MacColl became a communist at fourteen and spent six decades at the cultural forefront of numerous political struggles, producing plays, songs and radio programmes on subjects ranging from the Spanish Civil War to the Poll Tax. As resident dramatist at Theatre Workshop, MacColl’s plays won the admiration of contemporaries including George Bernard Shaw, Sean O'Casey and Hugh MacDiarmid. MacColl went on to become a leading figure in the post-war British folk revival, writing standards such as Dirty Old Town and The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face which have been covered by artists including Roberta Flack, Johnny Cash and The Pogues.

In this talk, Ben Harker will be discussing his critically acclaimed biography of MacColl, Class Act: The Cultural and Political Life of Ewan MacColl (London: Pluto, 2007).


Ben Harker | talks


Date and Time:

3 June 2008 at 7:00 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



Bishopsgate Institute
230 Bishopsgate
020 7392 9200

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£7, concessions £5; advance booking required

Available from:

Call 020 7392 9220 between 9.30am and 5.30pm, Monday to Friday.

Additional Information:

Bishopsgate Institute is two minutes walk from Liverpool Street station.

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