The Things He left Behind

The life of Anthony Burgess reimagined through six objects


You know: the Clockwork Orange guy!
Manchester native Anthony Burgess led a fascinating life, and we’ve been rifling through the objects he left behind for the past four months.

We’ve got poets, spoken word artists, film makers, and of course composers. In September, we paired five writers with five composers and gave them an object from the International Anthony Burgess Foundation archive. In the months since, each pair has come back with their unique take on Burgess’s life. On top of our new collaborative pieces, we have experts from the Foundation to tell each object’s story and a word-less piece from James Chan.

Expect to hear:

  • Tarot cards brought to life through film.
  • A nostalgic look back on Burgess’s childhood, skipping through the back gardens of Manchester.
  • The heartbreaking tale of a stray cat and the importance of pets.
  • The romance found in an old house key and the dangers of holding on.
  • Burgess’s musical version of T. S. Eliot’s seminal work The Waste Land is brought back to life after being lost to water damage… in his bath… (true story)
  • A creepy musical response to the death mask commissioned by Burgess’s wife and rescued from a corner of the sculptor’s studio by the Foundation.


Last year’s words + music event, Last Christmas, was completely sold out, and met with rave reviews. Don’t miss your chance to catch our unique words + music format: book now. Book yourself some time in to cosy up with a warm brew or a chilled pint to some of Manchester’s best new music.

A collaboration with the International Anthony Burgess Foundation and The Writing Squad.


James Chan Records of a Life

Joshua Ballance & Jasmine Simms Manuscript Ruined by Water

Mark Bowler & Laura Potts The Bramblelands

Matthew Lomax & George Miaris Anthony’s Keys

Hugh Morris & Georgia Affonso ‘Y’alright, pet?’

Reuben Rowlands & Sarah Gonnet Eyes of Tarot

* Writers in italic

7:30 7th December 2019
International Anthony Burgess Foundation

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