Wed, November 16 Sun, November 27

The Ballad of Johnny Longstaff

A Musical Adventure

United Kingdom

A working-man’s true journey through poverty, protest and war with harrowing adventure and some uplifting, heartwarming moments along the way.

$9223372036854775807 - $0

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Wed, November 16 Sun, November 27

The Ballad of Johnny Longstaff

A Musical Adventure

United Kingdom

A working-man’s true journey through poverty, protest and war with harrowing adventure and some uplifting, heartwarming moments along the way.

Ballad of Johnny Longstaff


A North American Premiere! 

Hailed by The Guardian as “the astonishing true story of a working-class hero!” and “A paean to youthful idealism.” by The Times.

In a timely, touching and often hilarious musical adventure, follow the footsteps of a working-class hero who chose not to look the other way when the world needed his help and took part in some of the momentous events of the 1930s.

Directed by Lorne Campbell and co-produced by the Young’uns, Northern Stage and Harbourfront Centre. 

About The Young’uns

Three-time award-winning BBC Radio 2 Teesside folk trio, The Young’uns, will make you laugh and cry with their trademark harmonies, honesty and humour. Through telling stories of real-life people in three-part harmony, The Young’uns share musical memoirs of wartime heroes, news reports of the 21st century, and stories of injustice and everyday people. 

About Northern Stage

Northern Stage is a registered charity theatre that stretches from Tweed to Tyne to Tees, UK.    

Northern Stage is the largest producing theatre in northeast England, with a regional and national sector support role. Backed up by industry-leading facilities and a dash of Geordie genius, we reach beyond the ordinary every time. A theatre where ideas meet and futures change, thousands come to create and share unique live experiences every year. Northern Stage believes in theatre’s social, emotional and political power to challenge the status quo.  

In partnership with The Young’uns and Harbourfront Centre, Northern Stage presented the first theatrical version of The Ballad of Johnny Longstaff in 2020. Directed by Lorne Campbell, this revitalized version offers stunning animation, news clips and the voice of Johnny Longstaff himself as extracted from a six-hour audio memoir by the Imperial War Museum. 

More Bios

About Sam Carter

Midlands-born guitarist and songwriter Sam Carter has earned a reputation for vivid, narrative-driven songwriting and captivating live performances. He is a highly-regarded instrumentalist, renowned by many as his generation’s finest English-style fingerpicking guitarist. Over the past fifteen years, Carter has toured the world, won a BBC Folk Award and made appearances on national TV, including a spellbinding performance on Later… with Jools Holland. He has recorded and performed with some of folk’s leading lights, including Richard Thompson, Eliza Carthy, Martin Simpson and Nancy Kerr. 

In the fall of 2021, Carter embarked on the first leg of the long-awaited Home Waterstour, performing to enthralled audiences accompanied by the specially-assembled Home Waters String Quartet. The quartet was also featured in the streamed show Home Waters in Concert, which was picked as a highlight of the month by Bandcamp’s Editorial Director J. Edward Keyes’ when it premiered on the platform as part of the tour in September 2021. 

About Sean Cooney

Sean Cooney is an award-winning songwriter and folk singer. He is a winner of three BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards with his band, The Young’uns (Best Group 2016, 2015 and Best Album 2018). As a member of The Young’uns, Cooney has performed at hundreds of theatres and festivals in the UK, Europe, Australia, the United States and Canada since 2007. He is the author of The Ballad of Johnny Longstaff, and his songwriting commissions have included the BBC Radio Ballads The Ballad of the Great War, Rising Up! Peterloo and The Transports. He has written and presented documentaries for BBC Radio 4, and TV appearances have included BBC 2 Springwatch Unsprung and BBC Inside Out. Cooney’s songs have been recorded by artists, including the Ivor Novello award-winning Martin Green and the Mercury-nominated The Unthanks. He has worked extensively in education, writing and sharing songs and stories with children from more than one hundred schools across the UK. 

About David Eagle

David Eagle was awarded the New Comedian of the Year at the Leicester Square Theatre in 2019, the Bath Comedy Festival in 2019 and the Nottingham Comedy Festival in 2018. He is a member of the three-time BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winning band The Young’uns. 

In 2018, Eagle began performing stand-up comedy. He was awarded New Act of the Year at the 2018 Nottingham Comedy Festival. In 2019 he won Bath Comedy Festival’s New Comedian of the Year and the Leicester Square Theatre New Comedian of the Year. In 2022 he performed stand-up on BBC Radio 4’s topical comedy program, The Now Show. Eagle frequently supports Boothby Graffoe, and he also starred in Tony Law and Phil Nichol’s improvised 2019 Edinburgh Fringe show.

About Lorne Campbell

Lorne Campbell is the Artistic Director of National Theatre Wales. He began his career at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh. Before joining the National Theatre Wales, he was the Artistic Director of Northern Stage. Highlights include The Bloody Great Border Ballad (2015), Get Carter (2016), The Last Ship (2018) and the Northern Stage’s multi-award-winning showcasing work at the Edinburgh Fringe. Following the smash-hit success of The Last Ship starring Sting, Campbell directs The Ballad of Johnny Longstaff

Before Northern Stage, Campbell worked as a freelance theatre director, creating productions for Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse Theatres, Birmingham Rep, Theatre Royal Bath, Traverse Theatre, The Almeida and Hull Truck. He was Associate Director at the Traverse Theatre between 2004 and 2008. He worked as a Course Director at Drama Centre, a Creative Fellow of the RSC between 2011 and 2013 and as founding Co-Artistic Director of Greyscale between 2009 and 2013. 

Access Info

Access a screen reader compatible version of the show program here.

If you require wheelchair or accessible seating, please contact our Box Office ahead of time at or phone (416) 973-4000, Option 1 – Wednesday–Friday from 1-5pm.

The November 20 and 26 performances at 2pm will be presented with live Audio Description. Audio Description equipment is limited and should be reserved in advance to avoid disappointment. We encourage patrons to bring their own devices and headset and to download the latest version of Sennheiser MobileConnect Audio Description introductory notes will be given 10 minutes before the performance.

Click here for Audio Description Intro Ballad of Johnny Longstaff.

To reserve equipment, contact the box office by email at or call (416) 973-4000 and choose option 1. Please arrive 20 minutes before showtime to pick up your receiver and earpiece. 

Dates & Times

November 16

November 17

November 18
7:30pm – 7:30pm 

November 19
2pm – 2:00pm  7:30pm – 7:30pm 

November 20
2pm – 2:00pm 

November 23
12:30pm – 12:30pm 

November 24
7:30pm – 7:30pm 

November 25
7:30pm – 7:30pm 

November 26
2pm – 2:00pm  7:30pm – 7:30pm 

November 27
2pm – 2:00pm 

Performances run for 110 minutes with a 20 minute intermission.

More Info

Director Lorne Campbell 

Writers & Composers The Young’uns 

Set, Costume, AV & Lighting Designer Kai Fischer 

Animation Designer Scott Turnbull 

Animator Aaron Brady 

Sound Designer Mariam Rezaei 

Sound Engineer Andy Bell 


Harbourfront Centre Theatre

231 Queens Quay West
Toronto, Ontario

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Keywords MusicPerformanceTheatre