Whose Anthem is it Anyway?

A raucous night of musical improv, comedy and democratic process hosted by Charlie George.

Wednesday 24 May 2023, 8-9:30PM

Ironworks, 30 Cheapside, Brighton BN1 4GD

Whose Anthem is it Anyway?

Whose Anthem is it Anyway?

A raucous night of musical improv, comedy and democratic process.

England’s having an identity crisis. Comedian Charlie George and our house band front a new show for Brighton Festival 2023, by artist Amartey Golding. Together with the audience, they’ll attempt to tackle the impossible task of delivering a new national anthem in just one night.

There might be a lot about being English we’d prefer to distance ourselves from, but can music bring us together!? What better way to usher in England 2.0 than creating a new national anthem.

Drawing on our nation’s rich musical heritage, from Grime to Triphop, Britpop to Bhangra, nothing is off the table in this raucous night of music, comedy and democratic process.

Witness the sound of our nation come to life through Charlie’s wry and witty takes on the state of the nation, quick thinking improv from our house band, and the most important ingredient: the audience! Can Charlie find a way to bring the room, if not the nation, together to create a song that represents what we’re really about?

By the end of the show, we will have collaboratively created a frankenstein of an anthem, that we will all sing together. No matter how bad it is!

This is a funny and warm look at the impossible situation of creating one song for an entire nation, but also acts as a vehicle to ask how English people feel about themselves and their nation, grappling with that indefinable and elusive thing that makes England ‘England’.

The first in an expanding series, each fronted by a new host, that will make up a country-wide survey of England.

A new work commissioned by Lighthouse in collaboration with Brighton Festival 2023, with additional support from Arts Council England and Art Fund.


  • The event will be BSL interpreted by Sue MacLaine
  • Ironworks Studios is a multipurpose space across two areas with wheelchair entry. The studio is flat and the flooring is a mixture between polished concreate and laminate wood.
  • Wheelchair accessible toilets are available at the Studio
  • Wheelchair viewing positions are included in the seating plans, please add-on a wheelchair space in Eventbrite when booking.
  • The Studio and theatre space are assistance dog friendly.
  • Smoke machines, strobe lights, and other special effects may be in use at the studio. Please contact us for more information if you may be affected by this.
  • Please find further access information for Ironworks here


We are committed to providing a safe inclusive supportive environment for all. We have a zero-tolerance of any behaviour that constitutes discrimination, bullying or harassment of any form. We ask that everyone follows our code of conduct.


Mentimeter is an Audience Participation Tool that will make your experience at the show more interactive and fun! The app does not require a download and is easy to use, allowing you to engage with the host in real-time. Whether it's a multiple-choice, word cloud, or ranking question, you can answer it on your own device and see your response instantly displayed on the big screen. Just scan the QR code with your smartphone and you'll have the opportunity to share your thoughts, ideas, and opinions on the topics discussed during the show!

About the artist

Raised as a Rastafarian between London, Cambridge and Ghana, Amartey Golding was born in London in 1988 to an Anglo-Scottish mother, Ghanaian father and Jamaican stepfather.

Amartey's body of work documents his introspective process of identifying and understanding the primal unifying themes of humanity using his personal context as a starting point. Preferring to work with mediums he is untrained in, to date his practice has incorporated chainmail making, printmaking, film, photography, ballet, fashion and wig making. His works, including Bring Me to Heal, Chainmail, Stasis, Is It Just Me Or Is It You, Amartey has exhibited with, among others, the V&A, Forma, Tramway, 198 Gallery, ACCA Sussex.

Website: www.amarteygolding.com

Instagram: @amarteygolding

About the comedian

Charlie George is an award-winning stand-up comedian and writer. A former circus performer and dancer, Charlie started doing stand-up in 2018 and, since then, has fast become one of the UK circuit’s most exciting new talents. LGBTQ New Comedian of the Year 2019, she was also runner-up in both the prestigious Funny Women and So You Think You’re Funny? comedy competitions of 2019, she has also performed stand-up on BBC Asian Network Live and the BBC’s No Country For Young Women Podcast.

Charlie is also a talented and accomplished writer, having written for Charlie Brooker’s Cunk & Other Humans on 2019 and AntiViral Wipe (both for BBC Two), plus Death to 2020 for Netflix. She has also written for Channel 4’s Alternative Election Night, Have I Got News For You, Joe Lycett’s Got Your Back, E4’s 8 Out of 10 Cats, BBC1’s Blankety Blank, BBC Two’s Frankie Boyle’s New World Order and BBC Radio 4’s Newsjack and The Now Show.

Website: www.charliegeorgecomedy.com

Instagram: @charliegeorgecomedy

Twitter: @CGdoescomedy

Credits & Sponsors

Commissioned by Lighthouse in collaboration with Brighton Festival 2023, with additional support from Arts Council England and Art Fund.

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