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World Exclusive Performance Of Mieko Kawakami's HEAVEN Joins London Literature Festival


The festival runs 21 - 31 October.

World Exclusive Performance Of Mieko Kawakami's HEAVEN Joins London Literature Festival

The Southbank Centre today announces its autumn season, headlined by a global exclusive event with Sally Rooney (QEH, 7 Sep) who inspires the theme of friendship for the 2021 London Literature Festival (21 - 31 Oct), returning for the first time since 2019. Following the success of Inside Out the programme reaches UK and international audiences with a hybrid programme of virtual and in-person events.

London Literature Festival will this year feature a world exclusive performance of Mieko Kawakami's new novel Heaven. Staged by Jack McNamara, Artistic Director of Live Theatre Newcastle, this unique onstage reading between two actors and a musician transports the audience to Japan and delves into the pleasures and perils of adolescent friendship. Described by Japan Times as "one of Japan's brightest stars", Kawakami is the author of the international bestseller Breasts and Eggs, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and one of TIME's Best 10 Books of 2020.

Autumn Literature season line-up:

  • Global exclusive launches with Sally Rooney and Wole Soyinka.

  • Exclusive appearances from acclaimed novelists including Lauren Groff, Ruth Ozeki, Armistead Maupin and Helen Oyeyemi.

  • Major memoir launches including David Harewood and previously announced Bernardine Evaristo.

London Literature Festival 'Conversations with Friends' highlights include:

  • Over twenty talks on the theme with speakers including Ece Temelkuran, Anne Applebaum, Kate Clanchy, Tracey Thorn and Amor Towles alongside rising stars including Caleb Azumah Nelson, Vanessa Onwuemezi and Naomi Ishiguro.

  • Kate Mosse leads discussion with Michael Rosen, Romalyn Ante, Christie Watson on friendship and care in the NHS in An Extra Pair of Hands.

  • A global exclusive from celebrated artist Ai Weiwei and 12 London exclusives.

  • Exclusive performances including premiere of Mieko Kawakami's Heaven and Jade LB's Keisha the Sket featuring Candice Carty-Williams and Aniefok Ekpoudom.

  • Live spoken word and poetry with Out-Spoken, Malika's Poetry Kitchen and the Forward Prizes for Poetry

  • Family programme headlined by Oliver Jeffers with free family programme yet to be announced.

Ted Hodgkinson, Head of Literature & Spoken Word, the Southbank Centre, said: "This year of all years I wanted us to return to our venues with an irresistible line-up, embodying the very best of live literature anywhere in the world and reflecting the power of the written and spoken word to bring us back together. In response to the isolation we've all endured, London Literature Festival creates space for a timely conversation about contemporary friendship, while our autumn season offers unmissable encounters with the writers and artists shaping our cultural life. Truly an exceptional programme for exceptional times.

Building on the success of our streamed Inside Out programme during the pandemic, our new streaming partnership with DICE means our most sought after events continue to be more accessible than ever, while the collective experience of being in the same room as a beloved author or poet remains at the heart of what we do."

Tickets for Autumn and London Literature Festival go on sale to Members on Tuesday 13 July and on general sale Wednesday 14 July, with the exception of Keep The Receipts which goes on sale at a later date.

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