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The Ballad of Shirley Collins

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When we started this journey several years ago, there was no expectation at all that Shirley would ever sing again. What initially attracted us to making the movie was Shirley’s deep commitment to English folk tradition, and her little-known involvement in arguably the most important field-recording trip of all time; back in 1959 with her then-lover, the iconic ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax. The film was going to be about the past, and about the 30 years she had spent living without the thing she loved most. It’s been an absolute privilege to be with Shirley on this long journey back to her singing again, and along the way, the film has evolved into something we never expected.


Type of film
Running Time
94 mins
Rob Curry, Tim Plester
Paul Williams
Executive Producer
James Nicholls
Rob Curry
Rob Curry, Tim Plester
Director of Photography
Richard Mitchell
Principal Cast
Shirley Collins, Stewart Lee, Lotti Maddox, Sam Amidon, David Tibet, Elle Osbourne, Ossian Brown, Stephen Thrower, Ian Keary

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Last updated 24th April 2017

Production Company

Fifth Column Films
c/o Paul Williams