Literature Music

Southbank Centre announce Inside Out, a 3-month series of multi-arts events broadcast from the Royal Festival Hall and beyond

Inside Out, a brand-new online season of music, literature and comedy from 17 September – 30 December.

With over 40 events across three months, audiences will be able to take advantage of a truly diverse range of programming coming from the Royal Festival Hall and beyond. There will be 30 orchestral concerts, including the culmination of the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2020Vision seriesInside Out will also feature acclaimed musicians including Tasmin Little, Víkingur ÓlafssonRoderick WilliamsAlina Ibragimova and Pekka Kuusisto, and iconic writers and activists such as Alicia Garza – co-founder of Black Lives Matter, Angela DavisArundhati Roy and Kae Tempest who willbring art and ideas back to the Southbank Centre – Europe’s largest multi-arts centre. 

The Autumn season will be the first time these once vibrant spaces will be reopened to artists since doors closed on 17 March. This includes welcoming home the Southbank Centre’s world-leading Resident and Associate Orchestras as they begin their 20/21 seasons. They come with updated programmes to reflect vital contemporary cultural conversations around the renewed focus on the Black Lives Matter campaign, with over 16 of the overall 57 pieces of music by composers of colour.

Seven literature events will feature: John Cleese, Angela Davis, Alicia Garza, Dawn French, Claudia Rankine, Arundhati Roy and Kae Tempest. Classical music highlights include: Tasmin Little’s last ever recital at a major UK venue; a special installment of the International Piano Series from Southbank Centre Artist-in-Residence, Víkingur Ólafsson; and the world premiere of James B. Wilson’s new commission, in collaboration with poet Yomi Sode, inspired by a resonant moment in the recent Black Lives Matter protests, performed by Chineke! Orchestra

BBC Radio 3 will be in residence at the Southbank Centre this Autumn, continuing its lasting relationship with the venue. Broadcasting over ten live concerts from the Royal Festival Hall, BBC Radio 3 will amplify the stand-out Autumn programming for audiences nationwide. Alongside the classical music programme, the Southbank Centre will also host a series of BBC Radio 3 speech and literature events recorded at the venue, reflecting both organisations’ ongoing commitment to speech programming. 

Inside Out will be streamed online from 17 September – 30 December. Full listings and details about additional events will be announced later this month.

Gillian Moore, Director of Music and Performing Arts at the Southbank Centre, said: “When the Southbank Centre’s doors closed on 17 March, we could never have imagined that the spaces would remain silent for so long. This has been a devastating time for the arts. We’ve all been yearning to get back to what we love: making music and sharing this with our audiences. We are delighted to welcome back our Resident & Associate Orchestras this Autumn to launch their 20/21 season, alongside some of the greatest authors, writers and thinkers of our time, exploring some of the most urgent issues of the day. The Royal Festival Hall needs to reverberate again and we are so grateful to all our partners who will be helping us bring it back to life, allowing us to reconnect with our audiences through streaming and radio broadcasts. We need the arts to make sense of the world: they show us how far we’ve come and how far we’ve got to go. Never have we needed them more.”

Ted Hodkingson, Head of Literature & Spoken Word at the Southbank Centre, said: “After five months of closure I’m delighted to announce an online series of talks that offer a timely response to our tumultuous present and celebrate our capacity for creativity and connection. We have living legends including Angela Davis alongside leading voices in the fight for racial and social justice such as Alicia Garza, with boundary-pushing authors, thinkers and poets of global renown including Arundhati Roy, Claudia Rankine and Kae Tempest, as well as beloved comedians including Dawn French and John Cleese. We look forward to bringing the London Literature Festival back bigger and better than ever in 2021, but for now, we’re thrilled to be able to bring authors and audiences together from all around the world as part of Inside Out.”

Literature events from California to India via the Royal Festival Hall

Due to the ongoing effects of the pandemic, the Southbank Centre’s flagship London Literature Festival will not take place this October, however in its place the Southbank Centre is proud to announce a series of exclusive author events will be streamed from various locations across the world, kicking off with a UK exclusive with writer and activist Angela Davis direct from Santa Cruz (17 Sep).  In a collaboration with the Stuart Hall Foundation, the streamed event will be chaired by lecturer and author Brett St Louis. 

Award-winning poet and author Claudia Rankine will discuss her new book Just Us with journalist Gary Younge from New York (9 Oct). The Southbank Centre is proud to welcome back one of the UK’s most beloved and virtuosic talents, Kae Tempest, as they discuss their first book of nonfiction, On Connection streamed from the Royal Festival Hall stage(13 Oct). Internationally acclaimed author and activist Arundhati Roy is set to discuss her new book of essays, Azadi, and reflect on the meaning of freedom in a world after the pandemic from her home in India in an event chaired by journalist Razia Iqbal (22 Oct), and the co-founder of Black Lives Matter, Alicia Garza will be live from the Royal Festival Hall (28 Oct) to discuss her book The Purpose of Power. Actors and writers Dawn French (UK exclusive, 19 Oct) and John Cleese (2 Nov) will launch their respective new books from the Royal Festival Hall; Dawn French will launch her new novel Because of You and John Cleese his book On Creativity: A short and cheerful guide. 

Tickets for literature events within Inside Out will be on sale to Members on 4 Sep and general public from 7 Sep via the Southbank Centre website, with exception of the John Cleese event which will go on sale to Members on 11 Sep and the general public on 14 Sep

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