Paul Heaton Presents… The 8th

Soul opera featuring Paul Heaton, The Wire's Reg E Cathey, Ex-Beautiful South singer Jacqui Abbott, Cherry Ghost, Gareth Paisey from Los Campesinos! and many more. Album out on 2 July; see below for show dates or visit

Former Housemartin and Beautiful South main man Paul Heaton will celebrate his 50th birthday by taking his acclaimed soul opera The 8th onto the road this July. Performing two different shows each night – The 8th followed by a career spanning set of greatest hits – Paul will will be accompanied by star of US hit series The Wire Reg E Cathey, Ivor Novello winning artist Cherry Ghost, ex-Beautiful South singer Jacqui Abbott, Los Campesinos! vocalist Gareth Paisey, sweet soul singer Wayne Gidden, Scottish singer-songwriter Aaron Wright, The Earlies' Christian Madden, Hull country & western singer Mike Greaves and the gospel tinged voices of Yvonne Shelton and Steve Menzies.

The 8th is one of the longest songs ever written and was one of the hits of last year’s Manchester International Festival 11.  A song in eight chapters, it looks at the seven deadly sins through a series of scenes taking place in a single poverty-stricken neighbourhood, one where a new, thoroughly modern sin, "The 8th", is able to insinuate itself into every person’s life…

The performance of this electrifying musical will be followed by a set of some of Paul’s greatest hits as he is joined by the performers of The 8th for a tune packed journey through his back catalogue featuring tunes from his Beautiful South, Housemartins and solo career.

Given a theatrical narrative by award-winning playwright Che Walker (Royal Court and Young Vic) and directed by Paines Plough’s joint artistic director George Perrin, The 8th features a cast of performers from across many musical genres who join Heaton for some very special shows in July.

The staging of the show at the Manchester International Festival last year was a massive success, with three sold out shows across the event.

The album for The 8th is released on 2nd July on Proper Records.


The staged version of The 8th was commissioned by Manchester International Festival and Paines Plough and premiered at MIF 2011. Forthcoming dates for the show are as follows:

  • Thurs 5 July 2012 – London Barbican Centre
  • Friday 6 July 2012 – Salford The Lowry Theatre
  • Saturday 7 July 2012 – Leeds Harewood House The M Fest (festival appearance)
  • Tuesday 10 July 2012 – Sheffield Lyceum
  • Wednesday 11 July 2012 – Birmingham St Paul’s Church
  • Thursday 12 July 2012 – Latitude (festival appearance)

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