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London Literature Festival at the Southbank Centre – 18th to 28th October 2018

Held over eleven days across Southbank Centre’s 17-acre site, the festival features a packed programme of exclusive appearances, live readings, newly commissioned performances, talks, debates, poetry, visual displays, workshops, award ceremonies, book launches, family events, music, free activity and more.

Playing host to a wealth of award-winning literary greats, iconic artists, emerging talent, international writers and leading thinkers, Southbank Centre’s twelfth London Literature Festival explores the world in which we live and celebrates the power of literature to reflect on the burning issues of our times.

 Featuring Akala, André Aciman, Yomi Adegoke, Ellah Allfrey, Becky Albertalli, Laura Bates, Mary Beard, Jay Bernard, Melvyn Bragg, Melvin Burgess, Sam Byers, Soraya Chemaly, Sarah Churchwell, Julian Clary and David Roberts, Roger Daltrey, Juno Dawson, Imtiaz Dharker, Carol Ann Duffy, Aida Edemariam, Esi Edugyan, Olafur Eliasson, Sally Field, Mohsin Hamid, Melissa Harrison, Terrance Hayes, E. Lockhart, Madeline Miller, Robert Muchamore, David Olusoga, Chibundu Onuzo, Sue Perkins, Marilynne Robinson, Salman Rushdie, Samanta Schweblin, Nikesh Shukla, Adam Silvera, Lemn Sissay, Sharlene Teo, Olga Tokarczuk, Elizabeth Uviebinené and more.

Highlights include                                              

Iconic artists and broadcasters reading from and discussing new books including Sally Field, Olafur Eliasson, Sue Perkins, Melvyn Bragg and the exclusive London launch of Roger Daltrey’s new memoir Thanks a lot, Mr Kibblewhite: My Life

A series of London exclusive in-conversation events with award-winning British and international writers including Marilynne Robinson, Salman Rushdie, Mohsin Hamid, André Aciman, Olga Tokarczuk and more

A special one-off live reading of Homer’s The Odyssey commissioned by Southbank Centre in partnership with the TLS and performed by a stellar cast alongside a series of panel discussions co-curated with the TLS and King’s College London exploring this epic poem featuring Mary Beard, Madeline Miller, Sharlene Teo, Simon Goldhill and more

The world premiere performance of Chibundu Onuzo’s 1991, a new commission from Southbank Centre

A series of discussions exploring contemporary America featuring writers and thinkers including Soraya Chemaly, Laura Bates, Terrance Hayes and Sarah Churchwell.

A series of events exploring race and society with writers and artists including rapper Akala and broadcaster David Olusoga in conversation together and Slay In Your Lane co-authors Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinené

Live poetry readings from both emerging and established talent including Jay Bernard, Sarah Howe, Richard Osman, Helen Mort, Imtiaz Dharker, Mark Pajak, Keith Hutson and Carol Ann Duffy who presents her last collection as Poet Laureate in an exclusive event

Inspired by The Odyssey, a series of discussions with novelists exploring the theme of homeland including Esi Edugyan, Aida Edemariam, Samanta Schweblin, Laia Jufresa, Guiseppe Caputo, Melissa Harrison and Sam Byers

Awards celebrating marginalised voices in publishing including the Creative Future Literary Awards presented by Lemn Sissay, a panel with the SI Leeds Literary Prize shortlist chaired by Ellah Allfrey and the Polari First Book Prize

YA Day featuring the best writers of Young Adult Fiction including Nikesh Shukla, Juno Dawson, Nikita Gill, Robert Muchamore, Melvin Burgess, Adam Silvera, Becky Albertalli and more

A broad range of family events and free activity coinciding with half term week including writer Julian Clary and illustrator David Roberts with their latest tale in The Bolds series. 

For more information, visit the Southbank Centre website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
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Exhibition Review: Concrete Dreams at the Southbank Centre – 10th April to 29th April 2018

A new Southbank Centre exhibition, Concrete Dreams explores the remarkable creative history of arts venues, the Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room. The venues are reopening to the public after two years of extensive restoration and redesign.

The exhibition consists of an immersive audio-visual backstage journey which sets in context the rich history and behind the scenes secrets of the venues. Visitors on the tour start at the Queen Elizabeth Hall artists’ entrance and follow in the footsteps of all the legendary artists who performed on these stages at the start of their careers in the 60s, with a roll call that includes Pink Floyd, Cleo Laine and Daniel Barenboim.  

After collecting your stage pass, visitors are given rare access backstage, travel through the working scene dock, visit an artists’ lounge, go into the dressing rooms and ending on a surprise finale.

Throughout these areas are unique archives in which the past and present is brought to life with live performance footage, recordings and printed materials.

Highlights include 60s and early 70s archives of live performance footage, poetry recordings and print materials from stars including Deep Purple, London Sinfonietta, Imrat Khan, T Rex, David Bowie and Celeste Dandeker. Special events like the live film footage of the very first performance of Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells 1973 and the performance of Schubert’s Trout Quintet in 1967, featuring Jacqueline du Pré and Daniel Barenboim are also shown.

The building of the venues were highly controversial and the archives include some of the previously unseen correspondence between London County Council and the venues’ young architects and early original photography and architect blueprints from 1961.

 In the dressing room area, some of the early art events at the Hayward Gallery are featured with posters about Gilbert and George,Kinetic psychedelia and Bridget Riley.

 The end of the exhibition involves moving on the stage in the Queen Elizabeth Hall  to enjoy an innovative multimedia show that celebrates many of the artists that have graced the very stage you are sitting on.

This fascinating exhibition challenges some of the preconceived ideas that the reopened venues where generally used just for classical concerts. In reality, the venues from the 1960s have been used for a wide variety of artistic events and has often played an important part in the careers of a large number of artists before they became superstars in their particular field. The new diverse programme of events in the venues is not a new beginning for the venues but part of the remarkable legacy illustrated by this exhibition.  

The final weekend of the Concrete Dreams event from the 27th – 29 April will involve three full days of  live performances and participation, with Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room filled with music, dance, workshops and talks celebrating the dynamic and vivid performance history of the 1960’s buildings, whilst looking  to the future.

A large number of free events includes 60s Big Sing, a participatory vocal performance workshop celebrating songs of the 60s – from Bowie to Pink Floyd. These include a new collaborative contemporary dance and music piece Our Veranda, performed by Freddie Opoku-Addaie, a new music composition Echoes in Time: Drake Music and dance company Corali’s new work 9 Windows Reimagined.

Other Concrete Dreams Weekend highlights include:

In conversation with folk singer Sam Lee and folk legend Shirley Collins

A late night concert of Sam Lee’s unique Singing With Nightingales

Rambert Dance, who originally rehearsed in the foyer of QEH in the 60s, returning to the foyer for a family workshop

Fifty Poems from Five Decades – with ten of the finest poets writing in the UK today,including Simon Armitage and Caleb Femi

Performances of South Asian dance, electronica, pop, Indian classical music, western classical music and jazz

The Concrete Dreams exhibition is free, but you must book for tours and opens to the public on Tuesday 10 April and Concrete Dreams Weekend runs from Friday 27 – Sunday 29 April.

Photographs taken with permission of Southbank Centre.

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly  Recommended

For more information, visit the Southbank Centre website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

 

Bill Murray, Jan Vogler and Friends: New Worlds at the Southbank Centre – 4th June 2018

Photo – Peter Rigaud 

Created from a friendship between the legendary actor and comedian Bill Murray, and the acclaimed German cellist Jan Vogler, New Worlds is an intricate encounter of music and literature, exploring themes of American history and identity.

 For this live ‘theatrical album’, Murray performs various texts, including poems by Whitman and passages from Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast and Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s, interspersed with instrumental pieces by Bach, Ravel and Piazzolla and classic songs from the Gershwins, Bernstein and Stephen Foster all the way up to Van Morrison. Murray is accompanied live by a virtuoso chamber trio: Vogler on cello, violinist Mira Wang, and pianist Vanessa Perez.

 After meeting on worldwide travels and becoming friends back home in New York, Murray and Vogler collaborated on this project from a shared curiosity about each other’s artistic world and interests. New Worlds showcases seminal works of literature and music that reflect American values, and communicates the bridges artists have built between America and Europe.

 Following the album’s release in September 2017 and a tour of the US and Canada last year, Murray, Vogler and friends bring a picture of the charm, energy and creative force of the American New World to London’s Southbank Centre as part of a 2018 European tour.

For more information, visit the Southbank Centre website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

Hotel Review: Novotel London Blackfriars

Novotel London Blackfriars is a contemporary hotel located near the Southbank area of London, the hotel has 182 modern guest rooms and 10 disabled accessible rooms. The hotel is within walking distance of London’s famous Southbank and Bankside, both of which feature many of London’s attractions including the Southbank Centre, London Eye, The National Theatre, Tate Modern, and Shakespeare’s Globe, a short walk across Blackfriars Bridge will take you to the City of London and  St Paul’s Cathedral.

Getting to the hotel is relatively easy, with plenty of transport options near to the hotel with Southwark Tube station (2 minutes) and the transport hubs of Blackfriars Station (5 mins), Waterloo Station (10 mins) and London Bridge Station (12 mins).

The hotel’s main entrance is located on Blackfriars Road, we entered into an open plan reception in which the booking in process was quick, efficient and friendly.

The hotel rooms are new-generation Novotel rooms which are tailored to meet the modern traveller’s needs, with access to modern technology and feature products that are eco-friendly.

Our stay was in an Executive Room on the 12th floor facilities included a 32″ TV with media hub & free WIFI, music docking station, Nespresso machine, safe, and modern bathroom with shower.  The sleeping arrangements featured “smart pillows” and eco-designed LIVE ‘N’ DREAM comfort bedding.  

Some of the Executive Rooms have a spacious balcony which offers magnificent views of the South London skyline dominated by the Shard.

Back on the ground floor next to the reception area is the bar and seating area where we settled down in the comfortable leather settees to enjoy a drink. The colourful Jamboree Foodfest & Bar concept brightens up the hotel bar and restaurant combination area and offers a range of International cuisine with a modern twist.  This bright, snazzy but relaxing environment is a real opportunity to enjoy a quiet drink or trying a range of dishes, and really makes a change from the often staid and traditional hotel bars and restaurants you quite often find.

If you prefer to try different venues for a drink or something to eat away from the hotel, a short walk to Blackfriars Bridge and along the banks of the Thames to the Southbank  and Bankside provide many drinking and eating options.

For those who would like to relax after a hard day’s sightseeing or business, the hotel has a small swimming pool with water jet pool, sauna and fitness centre.

Novotel London Blackfriars is one of the new breed of hotels, catering for the needs of the modern traveller who demands a range of facilities to be part of their experience.  This hotel meets these needs excellently, but even more is situated in a favourable location for either the visitor who is looking to visit the sights of London or the modern business visitor who needs a hotel that is close to efficient transport links and the business community.

The general ethos of the hotel is contemporary, professional  with clear and distinct design features that create a bright and upbeat experience,  the hotel staff follow this approach and were attentive, friendly and efficient  throughout our stay.

Video Review Available here

Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended 

For more information , visit the Accor Hotel website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

 

Southbank Centre 2018 Visual Art Highlights

Lee Bul, Willing to be Vulnerable, 2015-16, Photo: Algirdas Bakas, Courtesy of Studio Lee Bul;

Highlights for 2018 for the Hayward Gallery, Hayward Gallery Touring and Arts Council Collection, include the first partnership with Art Night 2018, a new David Batchelor installation, iconic immersive work by Lee Bul and the first UK retrospective of Andreas Gursky.

Hayward Gallery Roof Lights, credit Richard Battye, FCB Studios;

David Batchelor’s new installation will illuminate Hayward Gallery’s iconic newly-refurbished roof lights from 22 November 2017

The Andreas Gursky retrospective will be the first exhibition to take place at Hayward Gallery since its two-year refurbishment, opening on 25 January 2018

A newly announced mid-career survey by acclaimed South Korean artist Lee Bul will open in May 2018 at Hayward Gallery spanning her iconic early work, immersive architectural installations, and new site-specific commissions.

Dj set by Alva Noto, Installation view at Village Underground. Courtesy the artist and Art Night 2017. Photo by Rama Knight

Hayward Gallery will partner with Art Night 2018 to present an ambitious 24-hour programme of art events and new commissions on 7 July 2018 at Hayward Gallery, and in other venues across London

Hayward Gallery Touring launches a new exhibition Hand Drawn, Action Packed in September 2018, featuring ten major international artists exploring the infinite narrative possibilities of drawing

In 2018, the Arts Council Collection will present three new touring exhibitions: On Paper which will celebrate the physical properties of this commonplace medium; In My Shoes, which will explore the ways UK artists have represented themselves since the 1990s; and Criminal Ornamentation curated by British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare MBE

Counting down to the reopening of Hayward Gallery in January 2018, a major new commission by artist David Batchelor will be unveiled on 22 November. Sixty Minute Spectrum (2017) will transform London’s skyline and celebrate the Gallery’s newly-restored iconic pyramid roof lights, originally designed by Sir Henry Moore, flooding them with dramatic colour that moves gradually through the visible chromatic spectrum – from red to violet – every sixty minutes.

For more information , visit the Southbank Centre website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here

 

Wintertime at the Southbank Centre – 10th November 2017 to 4th January 2018

Wintertime at Southbank Centre presents a feast of offerings capturing the magic of winter from 10 November 2017 to 4 January 2018. The final season of Southbank Centre’s year-long exploration into Nordic arts and culture, Nordic Matters, Wintertime sees a one of a kind Finnish Rooftop Sauna in the picturesque roof garden of the Queen Elizabeth Hall overlooking London’s iconic River Thames (10 Nov – 30 Dec).

Danish children’s theatre company Teater Refleksion and theatre artist Andy Manley invite families and young children on a magical, poetic journey through the dark and beautiful night with Night Light (19 – 31 Dec),

Norwegian musician and the pioneer of ice instruments Terje Isungset presents a stunning live performance of his ethereal ice music (15 Dec) and an afternoon of Nordic themed activities, with music, storytelling and craft for all the family, brings the year-long Nordic Matters programme to a close (23 Dec).

The 17-acre site will be transformed into a winter landscape and the ever-popular Wintertime Market sees alpine chalets lined across Queen’s Walk offering the very best in global street food, artisan gifts and more.

Dubbed London’s pop-up King, Jimmy Garcia presents his pop-up alpine lodge dining experience and The Hoplocker Bar returns for a second year with their Nordic inspired Wintertime Bar, serving local and international hearty craft ales (10 Nov – 30 Dec).

The Rooftop Bar, sat above the bustle in the roof garden of Queen Elizabeth Hall, is the perfect spot to enjoy panoramic views across London following a Finnish Rooftop Sauna experience (10 Nov – 30 Dec).

A giant festive tree surrounded by clusters of smaller trees will take centre stage on the Festival Terrace, twinkly lights will run along Queen’s Walk and giant glittering baubles will shimmer in the Clore Ballroom.

Festive fun and entertainment will be in abundance including the brand new immersive exhibition ABBA: Super Troupers, a journey through the world of the Swedish chart-topping sensation (14 Dec 2017 – 29 April 2018) and the return of the multi award-winning international clowning sensation Slava’s Snowshow (18 Dec 2017 – 4 Jan 2018).

A jubilant programme of choirs and classical music includes the ever-popular Messiah by Candlelight (15 Dec) and the chance to join a carol singalong with the magnificent Royal Festival Hall organ (14 Dec.)

The spectacular A Vintage New Year’s Eve created by HemingwayDesign also returns for another unmissable year with five floors of entertainment and a private view of London’s world-famous fireworks (31 Dec).

There will be an array of free events to get everyone involved from dances to music performances including: an afternoon of Tango featuring introductory classes, tango performances, DJs and live music from La Terra Tango Band (28 Dec); a day inspired by ABBA with ABBA-oke and a fancy dress screening of the hit film Mamma Mia! (17 Dec); and the return of Rave-a-Roo Winter, an all inclusive dance party for the whole family (21 December). East London Drag Star Ginger Johnson presents Glamorous Gran! And other tall stories, a family Christmas show packed with music, dancing and glitter (30 Dec), Our Lady J, celebrated by Dolly Parton herself, performs some of the Queen of Country’s most beloved music, accompanied by The Train-To-Kill Gospel Choir (29 Dec) and Danish keyboardist and composer Morten Schantz performs futuristic electronic jazz from his Godspeed album (22 Dec).

For more information , visit the Southbank Centre website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
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Nordic Music Days festival at the Southbank Centre – 28th September to 1st October 2017

The world-famous contemporary classical festival Nordic Music Days will come to the UK, and take over Southbank Centre’s site, for the very first time this September.

The Nordic spectacular showcases pioneering contemporary compositions by Nordic composers and sound artists, performed by some of the UK’s most exciting ensembles and soloists, alongside a wide-ranging programme of talks, workshops and family events. Almost all performances and events are free to attend.

The globally renowned contemporary classical music festival Nordic Music Days celebrates new Nordic music and was founded in 1888 to promote musical collaboration between the Nordic countries. Held annually in one of the Nordic capitals, Nordic Music Days will make its UK debut this year as part of Nordic Matters, Southbank Centre’s year-long exploration of arts and culture from across the Nordic regions. The festival introduces UK audiences to the best contemporary Nordic music, encourages collaboration between Nordic and UK musicians and composers, and provides a platform for experimentation through a series of workshops and performances. The festival will also see the return of The Virtual Orchestra: Sibelius 360, the acclaimed 360 degree virtual reality experience that places viewers at the heart of the Philharmonia Orchestra on the Royal Festival Hall stage.

Highlights include:

Esa-Pekka Salonen conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra, performing Sibelius’ 6th and 7th Symphonies alongside works by contemporary Icelandic composers Anna Thorvaldsdottir and Daníel Bjarnason (28 September)

A collision of cutting-edge electronica and visuals with traditional Nordic influences at Late Night Nordic Sounds, featuring performances from Swedish artists TMRW and Gidge, with visuals by Annie Tådne (30 September)

The Riot Ensemble presenting a concert of works by five Nordic contemporary composers including Kaija Saariaho from Finland, Djuro Zivkovic and Ole Lützow-Holm from Sweden, Bára Gísladóttir from Iceland and Ruben Sverre Gjertsen from Norway (30 September)

Manchester’s acclaimed ensemble Distractfold presenting a concert inspired by Nordic forests, using non-traditional instruments such as transducers and solenoids (29 September)

One of the world’s leading vocal ensembles for new music, Exaudi, performing joiks, the traditional folk songs of the Sami people, as well as a Joik Big Sing where visitors can get involved (29 September–1 October)

Finnish musicians Pekka Kuusisto and Ilona Korhonen presenting a concert inspired by traditional Finnish music including runosong, the oldest known Fenno-Baltic singing style (28 September)

A large-scale musical sculpture inspired by the colours and movement of the Northern lights, by British artist Paul Jefferies (28 September–1 October)

The Nordic Lights Lounge – an immersive sonic experience that invites visitors to listen to electronic music by Nordic composers including Ann Rosén, Osmo Tapio Räihälä, Mirjam Tally, Camilla Söderberg and more (28 September–1 October)

Nordic Music Days also focuses on creative workshops for children and adults, encouraging experimentation and collaboration between Nordic and UK musicians.

For more information , visit the Southbank Centre website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in January 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website
here