Tag: southbank

In my opinion, an amazing afternoon tea is a vital cog in the massive and exciting wheel of London life. Theatre is certainly another one. And when you bring the two together? Well, that's a masterpiece.

If you want to try a masterpiece look no further than OXO Tower Brasserie and their newly launched Theatre Not Afternoon Tea. Inspired by London’s iconic auditoriums and the famous productions that have taken place within them it will give you not only the taste for high tea but also a taste for the rich history of London's Theatrical heritage.  Let cake help you journey through neighbouring theatres including the Shakespeare’s Globe, the Old Vic and the National Theatre.

You can book the tea from today at the OXO Tower Brasserie for £38 per person or £18 for children.

So what's included?

The first act will begin at the Globe with a sour cherry and bergamot-filled white chocolate skull, paired with a goblet of Hamlet’s poison. For the main act, OXO has cast a quartet of stunning cakes, each representing a famous show; Wicked, Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King and Matilda, paired with an ensemble of matching bespoke cocktails.

To round off the theatrical experience you'll have a homemade gingerbread biscuit, served with a pot of tea and those hoping for an encore will get a box of treats to take home.

OXO Tower Brasserie’s Theatre Not Afternoon Tea will be available from Wednesday 4 April, Monday to Friday 3pm-5pm and Saturday to Sunday 2pm-4.30pm.


Old El Paso celebrates the launch of their new mini Stand N Stuff soft tacos with free 20-minute sittings at their mini pop-up restaurant in Southbank where you can try delicious mini Mexican tacos with max flavour in a unique environment.


Transport yourself out of the ordinary to a surprising Mexican haven and enjoy a unique experience as the Old El Paso taco tour takes a detour to delight diners at Riverside Grass, Southbank. Visitors will be greeted by a mini mariachi band & maître D mini Danny Trejo before being looked after by his larger than life staff, enjoying a mini taco meal with big flavours, for free.  Each sitting is offered on a first come first serve basis and will last for 20 minutes.

Riverside Grass, Southbank

Friday 19th August, 11:30am – 7pm (sittings are offered in 20 minute slots)

Saturday 20th August, 11:30am – 5pm (sittings are offered in 20 minute slots)

Urban beaches is officially 'A Thing' for us Londoners. The perfect marriage of escapism and stay-cation- they allow us to feel like we've had a little holiday but still get an Uber home.

So if you're looking for somewhere to curl your toes in the sand this summer look no further - here's your choice of the best!


EAST: Beach East at the Olympic Park

Pretend you're in Rio whilst watching the Olympics on your phone at this sandy oasis complete with obligatory deck chairs, ice cream and also fairground rides.


SOUTH: Brixton Beach Boulevard

A bit more than a location with added sand, the Brixton Beach Boulevard is £4 entry and open all the weekends that August has to offer. The beach is on a rooftop in this instance and has a Miami 80s theme. Also added into the mix are retro film screenings, sports broadcasts and lots of food.beach-image-2

SOUTH EAST: Southbank's beach is back

You get some water with this one, albeit the rather murky water of the Thames but water none the less. A firm favourite with any urban beach hopper this patch of sand sits right along side some great bars and restaurants so you can truly urban up your sandy experience. A Brazilian barbecue in a yellow tram is on hand as well as caiprinha's.


NORTH: Camden Beach!

A firm fave of ours down at The Roundhouse. Last year this was a storming success with live performances on in the evenings and an escape form the mental bustle that is Camden Market. This area get's great sun so it's one to run too on those clear days of the summer (all 4 of them). There's rum, ping pong, private beach huts, BBQ and free entry. Just don't forget your bucket and spade.



Southbank Centre’s BAM – Being A Man festival, which launched in 2014, returns at the end of November to explore the challenges and pressures of masculine identity in the 21st century. Taking place a week after International Men’s Day (19 November), the festival will feature a 3-day programme of talks & debates, concerts, performances, comedy and workshops with contributions from over 150 speakers and performers, including Akala, Frankie Boyle, David Baddiel and Kellie Maloney.

Jude Kelly, Artistic Director of Southbank Centre, said: "Men are often under pressure to demonstrate heroism, be daring and ‘man up’. BAM – Being a Man investigates what conflicts the modern man faces in a world where everything is changing: work, family, image and gender balance. It's an opportunity, amidst all the debate about men, for men themselves to come together to share stories, discuss the pleasures and challenges of being men, and look at what kind of world they want for themselves and others.”

Highlights of the festival confirmed so far, with further speakers and performers to be announced in early November include:

Music and comedy: 

  • BAM Live – an evening of music and discussion of what it is to be a man with guests including BAFTA and MOBO award-winning hip-hop artist, writer, poet and historian Akala, comedian and writer Frankie Boyle

Literature and spoken word:

  • David Baddiel in conversation – comedian, novelist, screen writer and presenter David Baddiel joins Jude Kelly CBE, Artistic Director at Southbank Centre, to discuss everything from huge professional successes to his experiences of depression  
  • Kellie Maloney in conversation – formerly known as Frank Maloney, Kellie Maloney came to prominence as a flamboyant boxing manager and promoter. She discusses her extraordinary journey and the strides taken in promoting greater awareness and understanding of transgender issues
  • Letters to 007 – Why are still so obsessed with James Bond? A cast of speakers read letters to the famous spy alongside letters from Ian Fleming to explore Bond’s past and future selves 
  • Theatre of War – dramatic readings from Sophocles’ Ajax exploring the visible and invisible wounds of war now and in the ancient world
  • Poems That Make Grown Men Cry – Anthony and Ben Holden introduce readings from their anthology Poems That Make Grown Men Cry, a collection gathering one hundred men and the poems that move them to tears
  • Polari – London’s award-winning LGBT literary salon explores queer masculinity celebrates its eighth birthday

Performance and dance:

  • Of Man and Beast – a dynamic new outdoor dance piece by Company Chameleon exploring male group dynamics. The company returns after a successful run at Southbank Bank in 2014
  • Team of Decades – performance artist Will Dickie’s autobiographical piece for an audience of 10 commenting on male role models. Taking place in a local sports field, participants will play sport to understand and explore male relationships, strengths and weaknesses.
  • Hervé – nominated for a Fringe First Award at the Edinburgh Festival 2012, French African busker Hervé Goffings tells the extraordinary story of his adoption by an unconventional white Belgian couple

Film screenings:

  • Jihad: A British Story – documentary by award-winning filmmaker Deeyah Khan exploring why and how young people have fallen prey to extremists
  • BAM NOW – BBC Radio 1’s Gemma Cairney talks to teenage boys from across the UK in an investigation about the reality of being a young man today
  • The Mask You Live In – documentary film directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom following young males as they struggle to stay true to themselves while negotiating our culture’s narrow definition of masculinity. An official selection of the 2015 Sundance Film Festival
  • Inextinguishable Fire and Tiresias – BAM will screen two films by performance artist Cassils who uses the body to comment on gender, societal norms and violence. Inextinguishable Fire depicts a series of treacherous fire stunts which speak to the difficult topic of representing violence and trauma. In Tiresias Cassils draws on the greek myth of Tiresias who spent seven years living as woman. The film depicts Cassils melting an ice sculpture with pure body heat, demonstrating the instability of the body and our desire for a certain unsustainable physique.

Speakers include:

  • Jeremy Hardy (comedian)
  • Jimmie Briggs (one of the most important figures working in human rights activism today)
  • Mads Nissen (photographer and winner of World Press Photo 2015)
  • Charlie Condou (actor)
  • Gemma Cairney (Radio 1 DJ)
  • Jake Mills (stand up comedian)
  • Mark Simpson (writer and journalist)
  • Tim Samuels (documentary filmmaker, broadcaster and host of BBC 5Live’s Men’s Hour)
  • Ekow Eshun (writer, journalist and broadcaster)
  • Deeyah Khan (Emmy award winning film maker)
  • Rick Edwards (broadcaster, television presenter and writer)
  • Harris Elliott (creative director and co-curator of the Return of the Rudeboy exhibition at Somerset House in 2014)
  • James Sutton (Actor, plays John Paul McQueen in Hollyoaks)
  • Asif Quraishi (Britain's first out Muslim Drag Queen and LGBT activist)
  • Justin Coghlan (founder, Movember)
  • Matt Cain (TV presenter and writer)
  • Joris Luyendijk (investigative journalist and writer of the Banking Blog for the Guardian between 2011 - 2013, author of Swimming With Sharks: my journey into the world of bankers)
  • Owen Sheers (novelist, poet and playwright)

Discussion topics include:

  • The Beautiful Game – a panel of football fans and sceptics, including poet Paul Lyalls and broadcaster Tim Samuels talk about the positive and negative imagery that surrounds this beloved sport.
  • Breaking the Silence: Rape on Hollyoaks – the producers and cast of Hollyoaks, including Duncan Craig, CEO of Survivors Manchester, actor James Sutton, Bryan Kirkwood, Executive Producer of Hollyoaks, Lee Mason, Commissioning Editor, Drama for Channel 4 and Dr Joanna Jamel, Course Lead in Criminological Psychology at Kingston University discuss the groundbreaking storyline involving the rape of central male character John Paul McQueen
  • Banged Up: Men Behind Bars – a panel of former prisoners and experts debate whether the prison system brutalises male inmates and what reforms are needed
  • He’s a Dedicated Follower of Fashion – stylish men including Terry Betts, formerly of Selfridges, Mr Porter and Harvey Nichols and now Head of Business Development at Thread, Adnan Ansari, founder & Creative Director of Riwayat, TV presenter and Guardian fashion columnist Rick Edwards and Harris Elliott, Creative Director and co-curator of the Return of the Rude Boy exhibition at Somerset House in 2014 explore the relationship between men and fashion
  • Ganging Up – former gang members and leading experts in gang culture investigate the often deadly impact of gang culture on young people and the sense of ‘family’ that attracts young men to gang membership
  • I Had A Black Dog, His Name Was Depression – a panel of experts and campaigners discuss the damaging stigma around depression and how we can enable men to ask for a find help
  • And When Did You Last See Your Father? – Hear men and parenting experts discuss their rites of passage and role models, while sharing their experiences of being fathers and sons
  • Mad Men, X Men and Grand Theft Auto – an exploration of whether our media reflects the men we want to be
  • Being a Black Man – panel exploring the contradictory and complex ideas around black masculinity
  • A Fine Bromance – a discussion on male friendship covering everything from competition and ‘bromance’ to growing up together
  • British Asian Men – How do men in the South Asian community view their manhood and deal with life's big issues? Join a panel of men including writer, performer, storyteller and music producer Shane Solanki, Sandeep Virdee, Artistic Director of Darbar Festival, and Asif Quraishi, Britain’s first out male Muslim Drag Queen, to find out.
  • Sex and the City: the singles, the marrieds and the wanting to have it alls – BAM considers the spectrum of sexual desires and whether promiscuity is built in and inevitable for men.

Workshops and participation

  • Best Mo’ in Show – expert judges from the Movember Foundation, famous for its annual event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of men’s health issues, select the ‘Best Mo’ in this catwalk show.
  • The Relationship between Men and Beer – The Bottle Shop will present an intimate and relaxed beer-tasting workshop
  • Beer Brewing Basics for the Modern Man – Michele Sensidoni, Head Brewer for Mastri Birrai Umbri, the largest craft brewery in Italy will uncover the secrets and trends of brewing today.
  • Broga – a full body workout grounded in yoga fundamentals
  • Pram Jam: Just for Dads – dads, granddads and male carers are invited to move and groove with their little ones
  • Beyond the Bassline – Southbank Centre’s singing initiative Voicelab introduce men of all ages and singing abilities to music which feels good to sing
  • London School of Capoeira will lead a workshop with one of London’s Master teachers of Capoeira, a Brazilian martial art that contains both music and dance as key components.

Tickets: £15 (day pass Friday/Saturday/Sunday), £35 (three day pass)

Please note that certain events are not included in the day pass and will require a separate ticket


0844 847 9944

Friday 27 November – Sunday 29 November 2015

Huffington Post UK is Media Partner of BAM - Being A Man festival 2015

south bank free exhibitionsSouthbank Centre’s Festival of Love will return this summer from 6 June – 31 August. The entire 21-acre site will be transformed with an array of playful indoor and outdoor free installations and exhibitions, with many brand-new commissions, that will explore human love in its many forms.

Installations include Arcadia, a large scale, jewel-coloured pavilion that will connect the riverside and upper level outside the Royal Festival Hall; Provocations, a newly-commissioned artwork from Turner Prize nominee Mark Titchner which will be on display above the Queen Elizabeth Hall main entrance; Ludus Folly, a mirrored maze whose shape is based on diagrams of the chemicals produced when we are in love and The People, the first display of British actor Jim Broadbent’s sculpture work.

Free exhibitions include Love and Liquid Fire, a large exhibition of 40 iconic neon signs by artist and designer Chris Bracey; Wot? No Fish!! a display of illustrated wage packets that inspired the acclaimed bread&circuses theatre production and One Nation Under a Groove, a selection of over 100 images from the Photographic Youth Music & Culture Archive.



(On display from 6 June – 31 August, unless specified)


Until 27 June, across Southbank Centre’s site

Originally commissioned for the first Festival of Love in 2014, Turner Prize nominee Mark Titchner’s kaleidoscopic Love Flags return to the site this summer. These flags combine the lovers knot with the colours of the rainbow, symbolising the work of the peace and gay pride movements. The artist refers to the word ‘Love’ as “sincere and cynical, sacred and profane, tender and devastating.” Love Flags is also animated and can be seen on screens across the site.


Until 27 June, Queen Elizabeth Hall exterior

Created in response to Nelson Mandela’s legendary quote “People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love,” Mark Titcher’s newly-commissioned banner Provocations will adorn the Queen Elizabeth Hall main entrance.


Royal Festival Hall, Level 4 Green Side

Academy-award winner Jim Broadbent is one of Britain’s best-loved character actors. In his spare time, he is also a keen sculptor and will exhibit his sculpture work for the very first time at Festival of Love. His installation The People consists of 21 carved wooden sculptures depicting the human form, each dressed in different clothes and with their own very distinct characters. Each figure gazes at us with a disarming directness that Jim sees as simultaneously vulnerable, sad and defiant. 


Until 27 September, Riverside Terrace, Queen’s Walk

Artist Gabriel Lester and architect Martine Vledder of Amsterdam-based studio PolyLester create a majestic pavilion in front of Royal Festival Hall. Connecting three levels of the pedestrian walkway, the walls of the Arcadia pavilion are made from jewel-coloured plastic strips that evoke the stained glass windows in a cathedral and invite visitors to enter from every direction. Intended as a space for peace, love and contemplation, PolyLester believe that, just like their pavilion, “A heart should be colourful, open and light to let in love.”

Royal Festival Hall, Level 2

Artist and designer Chris Bracey was the creator of Soho’s iconic neons and the owner of God’s Own Junkyard in Walthamstow, the gallery of his life’s work and the biggest collection of neon lighting and signage in Europe. During Festival of Love, 40 of Chris Bracey’s neon works from recent years will be on display in the Royal Festival Hall. Three cases of photographs and drawings revealing Chris’ working process will be available to view, as well as the short film Neon Men, produced by Spine TV, which explores his life behind the lights.

Festival Village

An exhibition of photography from the Photographic Youth Music & Culture Archive; a unique archive of photographs sourced from all over the world that document the lifestyles, fashions, hairstyles, music and subcultures of young people from the 1940s to the present day. This exhibition explores various types of love, friendship and closeness within musical subcultures including Mods, Punks, Disco, Funk and Rave.

Festival Village exterior

Crossing the boundaries between art, architecture and design, artist Richard Woods’ work is often made of up exaggerated representations of traditional British architectural and interior motifs such as wooden flooring and chintz wallpapers. For Festival of Love, Woods will create the site-specific installation Love Story, adorning the Queen Elizabeth Hall’s original 1960s concrete walls with his signature cartoon-style cladding, creating a colourful façade that draws attention to this hidden venue.

Festival Village (Lower Level)

In 1926 shoemaker Ab Solomons drew on a wage packet and gave it to his new wife Celie, continuing this tradition throughout their marriage right up until 1982. Years later, Ab’s great nephew Danny Braverman discovered this lost collection of over 3000 illustrated wage packets that depict the ups and downs of family life, from falling in love to quarrels about fish balls. The collection of drawings was the inspiration for the acclaimed theatre production Wot? No Fish!!bread&circuses theatre production by Danny Braverman and Nick Philippou which will take place from 5 – 15 August in the Queen Elizabeth Hall.

Royal Festival Hall, Level 2, Central Bar and Ballroom Balcony

Australian artist Nike Savvas is renowned for her colourful and physically immersive art installations. The site-specific installation Reverie will consist of thousands of brightly coloured ribbons that will ripple across the ceiling of the Royal Festival Hall, creating an undulating field of colour. The artist describes herself as a painter who paints outside of the canvas, with the continual movement of the ribbons “like hundreds of different paintings being made around you.”

Until Sunday 6 September, Spirit Level at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall

Adopting Britain is an interactive, accessible exhibition about immigration that celebrates the positive contribution of refugees and migrants to Britain’s artistic and cultural landscape. Presented by Southbank Centre in partnership with Counterpoints Arts, Adopting Britain shares ways in which, in the midst of Islamophobia and hostility towards immigration, people have reached out to communities that are stitched into the fabric of Britain. Sharing personal stories that range from the 1950s British recruitment campaigns in the Caribbean to Indian sub-continent and Eastern European migration that continues today, Adopting Britain highlights the stories behind migration; why individuals and communities came, what they brought with them, the welcome they received and the process of building a life in a new country.


Until 27 September, Mandela Walk

Artists Simon & Tom Bloor are inspired by histories of play and the urban environment. Taking influence from Eighteenth Century Romantic landscape traditions and Twentieth Century art and architecture Ludus Folly is an architectural sculpture which will explore the chemistry of flirtatious love within mirrored walls, a maze and tower. The shape of the structure is based on diagrams for Serotonin and Dopamine, chemicals associated with happiness, pleasure and excitement that are produced when we are both at play and in love.

Royal Festival Hall, Level 4 Blue Bar

Textile artists Lasmin Salmon and Celia Pym work with wool to create vibrant, sensuous artworks. For Festival of Love they have developed a process of shared knitting, working side-by-side and gradually adding individually knitted pieces to a larger work. Visitors are invited to participate and knit with the artists to add to this large-scale piece of textile art, which will grow larger throughout the course of the festival. No knitting experience necessary, all welcome.

Royal Festival Hall, Level 3 Promenade, Blue Side

Artist Linda Bell creates intricate, interactive art works which explore the tactile qualities of different materials. Stretch & Squeeze brings Linda together with artist Sam Hynes to create site-specific sculptures that will stretch out along the Royal Festival Hall.

Royal Festival Hall, Level 4 Lift Lobby, Blue Side

The Lotus flower is one of the world’s earliest spiritual symbols and references beauty, prosperity and fertility in many Asian cultures and religions. The installation Pulse and Bloom created by artist Shilo Siv Suleman consists of giant fabricated lotuses that glow in response to human interaction. Each lotus is equipped with two pulse sensors that when pressed by one or two participants translates their heartbeats into pulsing LED lights, illuminating the stem and petals in a rhythmic pattern. As the stem pulses with both heartbeats, heart rates of different people in intimate spaces start to beat in sync with the effect becoming increasingly meditative as more people interact with the lotuses.

Royal Festival Hall, Level 3 foyers

In the short films screened in these kiosks many different types of human love can be seen, from the love between siblings to unexpected friendship developing between strangers. The kiosks have been designed by architecture and design practice Lyn Atelier, with the furniture designed by Restoration Station, a Shoreditch based social enterprise that restores vintage furniture and provides training for people recovering from addiction.

Front Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall

This installation is an audiovisual showcase by PeaceNiche that covers aspects of Pakistani street culture, cult cinema, visual memory and matters of the heart. PeaceNiche are a Pakistan-based organisation promotes democratic discourse and conflict resolution through intellectual and cultural engagement. Presented in partnership with British Council.

Royal Festival Hall, Level 2 Foyer

Jones and Bulley are an artist duo whose collaborative practice explores the boundaries of sound art, music and composition. For Festival of Love they will create Vespers, an installation which celebrates digital creativity and togetherness. Jones and Bulley will create unique scores that are created using threads of content captured from the web. Visitors to Southbank Centre will also be able to watch the score's live formation in the Royal Festival Hall via a physical interactive digital installation, with each score performed live as part of the festival programme.

Across Southbank Centre’s site

Sarah Carne has been co-commissioned by People United, an arts charity which explores arts & social change, to be artist-in-residence for Festival of Love. Sarah will examine psychologist Barbara Fredrickson’s description of love as “micro moments of positive connection” between strangers and those closest to us. Working with Southbank Centre staff, Sarah will create these moments in film, spoken word and text.

Open until late September, 10am until 10pm daily (weather dependent)

The Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden, designed by the Eden Project and maintained by Grounded Ecotherapy gardeners, is a true oasis at the heart of Southbank Centre, with stunning riverside views, a cafe bar run by Company of Cooks (also open 10am to 10pm daily, depending on weather), a wildflower meadow, mini allotments and a woodland garden.

Open now until 27 September, outside Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall

Jeppe Hein’s Appearing Rooms makes a welcome return this summer. Combining sculpture with architecture and technology to playfully solicit the viewer’s direct participation, jets of water shoot into the air, creating 'rooms' that disappear as quickly as they emerge, inviting visitors to try their luck at predicting its next move. This aquatic sculpture was first installed in 2007.

Open now until 27 September, Queen’s Walk

Southbank Centre’s popular riverside urban beach returns.