Spitalfields Music Festival 2023

A Line in the Sand

An exploration of protest songs ft. Roderick Williams, Nardus Williams, Allyson Devenish, Rommi Smith and Lladel Bryant

Friday 30th June, 7:00pm (2023)

Shoreditch Church

Uncover the centuries-long history of protest song

PRICE: £32 / £15

A song recital with a difference: words and music explode in an exploration of challenge and protest in art song, with an all-star line-up of pianist Allyson Devenish, soprano Nardus Williams, baritone Roderick Williams and poet Rommi Smith.

Protest songs by Franz Schubert, Johannes Brahms, Richard Strauss, Benjamin Britten, Nadia Boulanger, Errollyn Wallen, Kit & The Widow and many more are contextualised by readings from poet and performance artist Rommi Smith, who will be our guide through the maelstrom of debate, dissent, dissemblance and decency.

The evening plays out in the ‘actors church’ of London’s Shakespearean theatreland, Shoreditch, itself a building with a history of protest: in 1574, entertainers gathered here and demonstrated against a ban on playhouses.


Nardus Williams soprano
Roderick Williams baritone
Allyson Devenish piano
Rommi Smith poet and narrator
Lladel Bryant narrator

Duration: 75 minutes


With the friendly support of

This concert is dedicated to the memory of John Critchley, a long-time friend to Spitalfields Music

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Venue information

Shoreditch Church

Shoreditch High Street
E1 6JN
United Kingdom

Underground, Overground & National Rail

Shoreditch High Street Overground (7 mins)
Liverpool Street (12 mins)
Old Street (12 mins)
Walking times are given in brackets.


All of our venues are easy to reach by bus. To plan your quickest route use TFL’s journey planner.


Explore more of the Spitalfields Music Festival Lineup