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Tim Arnold To Play ‘Super Connected’ Tour Date at The Florrie

British singer-songwriter and filmmaker Tim Arnold has announced a run of unique tour dates in support of his nationally acclaimed new album and film Super Connected – a Black Mirror fusion of film, live music, and theatre about the existential ticking time bomb of social media and big tech.

At each show, Arnold will perform the Super Connected album live to its accompanying feature film in which he stars. The film’s collaborators include the creatives behind Oscar-winning ‘Gravity’ and Monty Python‘s ‘Holy Grail’, with a thrilling vocal cameo from actor Stephen Fry.

Tim Arnold To Play 'Super Connected' Tour Date at The Florrie

Supported by Arts Council England the tour starts on 9th May at Quay Arts on the Isle of Wight, taking in further dates in Liverpool, Brighton, Bath and Reading before ending at The Cockpit Theatre in London on 4th June, with tickets available here.

Originated and developed at London’s Roundhouse in partnership with Help Musicians, the ‘Super Connected’ live show is a digital-age take on the original silent movie format of film with live music, with Arnold performing on stage and on screen at once. Full of dark wit, wisdom, passion and terror, the show chronicles one family’s encounter with addictions to technology. Super Connected was inspired by psychiatrist Ricardo Cavrioli’s work in the mental health field, assessing teenagers suffering with screen addiction.

Similar to the theatrical style of his 2015 album The Soho Hobo (BBC Radio London Album of The Year), Arnold wrote Super Connected ‘in character’, where each song is sung from the perspective of different people, each with a unique mental condition. On completion of the album, Arnold was unexpectedly diagnosed with his own real-life condition, autism.

Playfully addressing our dependency on tech screens, the audience members at each show are invited to take part in a ‘PhoneFreeze’ ritual by placing their phones into a lockable pouch to experience the freedom (or discomfort) of being completely free from the digital tug of constant connectivity. (Audience remain in possession of their own phones for the entire event. Phone pouches are unlocked before leaving the venue.)

After each show there is an optional ‘Screenless Social’, where the audience can meet the creative team.

Arnold said: 

“Super Connected focuses on how much our lives are dominated by tech and screens. Actress and theatre maker Kate Alderton fused the album and film into a live piece of ‘gig theatre’. 

“The compassion for people suffering from screen addiction that I’d written the songs with is something I get to perform to those characters while I’m on stage. The audience hear the songs, watch the film and see me in relationship with the story.”

The show’s director Kate Alderton adds: 

We learnt in rehearsals that it was impossible for an audience to simultaneously watch a live performer sing in ‘gig-style’ and pay attention to a film. It’s the epitome of attention distraction, which is exactly what the film and album are about. So thinking back to the old silent movie format, I asked Tim to perform it again, this time facing the film rather than the audience, so we could focus on the story. 

“With Tim as the ‘watcher/witness’, giving voice through song, a completely surprising relationship emerged between him and the on-screen version of him in the film; a past self, a memory becoming ‘live’. This shift in perspective was an igniting moment for the development of the piece. The creative conundrum—”where does our attention go/who is watching?”—is at the heart of the album and the film. It became the question that informed our entire creative process. 

“The result is a dialogue between Tim, the film and us as the audience, as we journey through the complex relationships we have with our screens, our desire to be watched, to hide, and to be seen.”

Performance artist and pianist Sarah Kershaw performs alongside Arnold throughout the show, playing a pivotal role that harkens back to the classic era of silent films, where live music was an integral part of the cinematic experience.

The sound designer for all dates will be Jim Warren, longstanding live producer for Radiohead, whose credits also include Arcade Fire, Peter Gabriel and Nine Inch Nails.

The full list of tour dates for Tim Arnold’s ‘Super Connected’ live dates is as follows: 

9th May                 Isle of Wight       Quay Arts

17th May               Liverpool             The Florrie

21st May               Brighton               Ironworks Studios (Brighton Fringe Festival)

29th May               Bath                       Chapel Arts (Bath Fringe Festival)

30th May               Reading                South Street Arts Centre

4th June                London                 The Cockpit Theatre

READ MORE: ASTRONAUT TIM PEAKE HEADS TO LIVERPOOL WITH NEW TOUR

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