How things fell apart

ANYONE who listened to Jon Ronson’s fascinating, funny and sometimes shocking BBC Radio 4 series Things Fell Apart – or the podcast of the same name – will look forward to hearing the writer and broadcaster on a live tour, coming to Bristol’s Tobacco Factory theatre on Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd April.

Things Fell Apart: Strange Tales from the Culture Wars will include some stories from the show, and some brand new stories, with audio and rare video clips, surprise guests and a Q&A.

Over the past few years Jon, British but based in New York, has watched friends get caught up in the online culture wars to such a degree that they’ve lost everything – their careers, their wellbeing.

By culture wars, Jon means the battle for dominance between conflicting values. Jon wanted to understand how things fell apart and so he went back in time to find the origin stories, the pebbles thrown in the pond creating the ripples. He had no idea of how unexpected, how spellbinding, those tales would be.

Jon Ronson’s nonfiction books, all international or New York Times best-sellers, include So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, The Psychopath Test, Them: Adventures with Extremists, Lost at Sea and The Men Who Stare at Goats (filmed with George Clooney, Jeff Bridges, Ewan McGregor and Kevin Spacey.)

The Observer named his BBC series Things Fell Apart as the number one audio show of 2021. Before that came two Audible Original audio series: The Butterfly Effect (2017) and The Last Days of August (2019). Both went straight to number one in the US and UK audiobook charts, and were named by multiple critics as two of the best podcasts of recent years.

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed is frequently cited as having kickstarted the conversation about the perils of social media shaming. The book is used by hundreds of educators across America to teach compassion and curiosity, and to illuminate the damage that results from a reactionary shaming culture.

Jon’s original screenplays include the Netflix original Okja (Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal), which he co-wrote with Bong-Joon Ho, and Frank (Michael Fassbender, Maggie Gyllenhaal), which he co-wrote with Peter Straughan.

In the UK Jon is a regular writer for The Guardian, while in the US he is a contributor to This American Life, the New York Times magazine and GQ magazine, and has appeared many times on shows including The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The New Yorker Radio Hour and Joe Rogan

More details of the only regional date for the tour at tobaccofactorytheatres.com