Quiet Loner’s Battle for the Ballot

Quiet Loner’s Battle for the Ballot

header“A triumph from start to finish. Ten excellent, interesting, beautiful, humane songs with a few new nailed-on anthems for our time in there as well. When it got to the end I went to cheer but I was too choked to speak. People were in tears. I predict great things for this show.”   Tony Walsh (Longfella poet)

Singer-songwriter Quiet Loner tells the story of how everybody in the UK came to have a vote. Using original songs alongside content from the collection of the People’s History Museum, this live performance crosses the centuries to show how the right to vote was won.

Beginning in the Industrial Revolution the story will take in events like the Peterloo Massacre and introduce the people – radicals, chartists, reformers and suffragists – who fought for the idea of ‘Universal Suffrage’, which was finally achieved in 1928.


This educational, entertaining and thought-provoking show is focused around the song writing of Quiet Loner – the pen-name of songwriter Matt Hill – and the People’s History Museum Songwriter in Residence for 2016. The Songwriter in Residence project aims to interpret the museum’s collection through songs and in doing so increase public engagement with the collection. The project has been supported by a grant from Arts Council England.

The People’s History Museum in Manchester is the national museum of democracy. Following Britain’s struggle for democracy over two centuries it aims to engage, inspire and inform diverse audiences by showing ‘There have always been ideas worth fighting for’. Commissioned as part of the Museum’s ‘Voting for Change’ project ‘Battle for the Ballot’ was premièred in June 2016 as part of Manchester Histories Festival.



  • Shortlisted for ‘best new writing’ at Buxton Fringe 2016
  • “I would recommend you go to the next performance. I certainly will be reading some of the books mentioned. Thanks for this interesting show” Buxton Fringe Review

Direct from its Buxton Fringe debut, Steve will be performing this brand new show about spies in literature, featuring his own songs inspired by classic novels of the Cold War and beyond. Steve’s songwriting casts light on the human costs of the Cold War and bring emotions like loyalty, trust and fear to the fore in songs that have as much to say about our world today as they do the lessons of the past. Exploring ideas like public/private personas and the impact of surveillance this is a thought provoking and entertaining show that will appeal to fans of literature, history and music alike.

Steve’s song – A very British ending – was inspired by the novel by Edward Wilson about a coup plot against the Harold Wilson government in the 1970s. Edward Wilson himself has said “If you haven’t time to read my book just listen to Steve Robert’s song about it”