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The Magnetic Fields | 2017 International Festival © Matthew Allen

The Magnetic Fields

50 Song Memoir: Part 1

Part 1 of 2. The master craftsman behind US indie band The Magnetic Fields, Stephin Merritt, has created a brand new set of 50 songs - one for each year of his existence – divided across two separate concerts.

Part 1 of 2

Leftfield pop’s answer to Stephen Sondheim, Stephin Merritt has been called one of the greatest songwriters of the 20th and 21st centuries.

And to celebrate his 50th birthday, Stephin has created a brand new set of 50 songs – one for each year of his existence. In this magical mystery tour through Merritt’s life – from the Vietnam War to New Romantics in London, from painful medical conditions to his ups and downs in love – some things are true, others less than true. He divides the 50 numbers in his 50 Song Memoir across two separate concerts.

Merritt is the master craftsman behind US indie band The Magnetic Fields, whose epic 1999 triple album 69 Love Songs has been described as one of the great songwriting feats of the 20th century. He is joined on stage by a specially expanded Magnetic Fields septet, in a spectacular staging featuring 50 years of artifacts – both musical and decorative: from vintage computers and reel-to-reel tape decks through to a tiki bar and vintage magazines for the persual of idle musicians.

The advertised time is approximately when the performance will start. Doors will open at least 30 mins prior to this time. 

Co-commissioned by Edinburgh International Festival, BAM, the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA, The Barbican Centre and the Melbourne Festival

Stephin Merritt Writer
José Zayas Director
Arnulfo Maldonado Set designer
Alex Basco Koch Projections designer
Mark O’Maley Lighting designer
Dan Bora Sound designer


The Magnetic Fields
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25 August 2017

  • King's Theatre (Show on map)
  • 1hr 40mins (one interval)
  • £20 - £32*

This event was part of a previous International Festival and is therefore unavailable to book. The 2018 programme is now available to browse online. Click on What's On from the menu to see the full programme.

Merritt has been called the Cole Porter of our time

BBC News

a surreal masterwork

The Observer

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