Post-punk pioneers, The Tiger Lillies, return to the Southbank Centre this Christmas with the UK premiere of a brand new concert inspired by Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Giving the novel a dark musical twist, the band dissect and reassemble the story that everyone knows to shine a light on the poverty and depravity laid bare on the cold London streets. Combining grungy cabaret with anarchic opera, the Olivier Award-winning and Grammy-nominated band play the Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room from Tuesday 14 – Thursday 30 December (Press Night: Wednesday 15 December 7:45pm).
Founder of the band, Martyn Jacques, says of The Tiger Lillies’ Christmas Carol: “About ten years ago I did a show based on Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Match Girl. It was a sad tale about a little girl who died at Christmas in the cold Copenhagen streets, without any shoes, because no one would buy her matches. A friend of Hans Christian Anderson in London was Charles Dickens. A Christmas Carol is another sad tale about poverty. There was such an inequality of wealth at the time, death, depravity and addiction on the streets was commonplace. So for writers like Anderson and Dickens to underline and remind people of this inequality was a duty. Eventually welfare states were set up to help children and the vulnerable. Long may they continue!”
The world of The Tiger Lillies is dark, peculiar and varied, with moments of deep sadness, cruel black humour and immense beauty. Having performed at the Southbank Centre multiple times before, most recently with Edgar Allan Poe’s Haunted Palace, the unique street opera band, made up of Martyn Jacques and Adrian Stout, have toured the world playing concerts and theatre shows such as The Ancient Mariner and the Olivier Award-winning Shockheaded Peter. Their songs cover all the dark aspects of life, from prostitution and drug addiction to violence and despair. The music is a mixture of pre-war Berlin cabaret, anarchic opera and gypsy music. Part grand guignol, part seedy vaudeville, part grunge cabaret, The Tiger Lillies never cease to shock, surprise and entertain.
Heather Ruck, Senior Performance Programmer at Southbank Centre, says: “We’re so excited to be welcoming back The Tiger Lillies to the Southbank Centre, especially with their very own adaptation of this Christmas tale. If anyone can bring us joy and beauty through darkness, it’s The Tiger Lillies.”
The Tiger Lillies’ Christmas Carol will run from Tuesday 14 – Thursday 30 December in the Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room.