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Southbank Centre Announces New Partnership With Intelligence Squared Alongside Spring Literature Season

The Spring 2023 Literature Season is taking place from the new year until the end of May.

Southbank Centre Announces New Partnership With Intelligence Squared Alongside Spring Literature Season

The Southbank Centre has announced its Spring 2023 Literature Season taking place from the new year until the end of May. The season welcomes a brand new partnership with Intelligence Squared which brings together leading experts to tackle today's most topical debates, as well as a powerful line-up of authors, activists, poets and politicians in conversation.

Ted Hodgkinson, Head of Literature & Spoken Word at the Southbank Centre says: "We start the year as we mean to go on, with a stellar spring season that brings together iconic authors and poets from around the world with the brightest talents of the next generation. From life-enhancing encounters with beloved figures from across the arts, to unmissable performances including Max Porter reading scenes from his new novel alongside Ruth Wilson, to a wealth of poetry and spoken word, this is a season with something for everyone. 2023 also sees us embark on an exciting new collaboration with Intelligence Squared, jointly curating timely debates on the burning issues of the moment."


The Southbank Centre's new debates programme with Intelligence Squared runs throughout the year, and offers a performance or reading element alongside leading experts in discussion. As we approach a year since the beginning of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the programme opens with a debate on the possible paths to peace in Ukraine and how to end the war, in The War In Ukraine: How Does It End? (23 Mar).

The second event in the series deliberates how important economic growth is in reaching a prosperous society. Can We Have Prosperity without Growth? takes place on 12 May.


Leïla Slimani grapples with the self as she discusses The Scent of Flowers at Night, her new book which confronts her past and her present, through her life as a Moroccan woman, as a writer, and as a daughter (23 Apr). On the same day in the Purcell Room, South Korean International Booker winning author Han Kang celebrates the launch of Greek Lessons, a powerful new novel of the saving grace of language and human connection (23 Apr). Opening up the world's fiction and celebrating the art of translation, the International Booker Prize Shortlist Readings return to the Queen Elizabeth Hall following the shortlist announcement in April (18 May).


Internationally renowned activist and model Munroe Bergdorf launches her life-affirming, heartfelt and intimate memoir Transitional (12 Feb). Comedian Fern Brady discusses her memoir on sexism and neurodiversity, Strong Female Character (15 Feb). Author, broadcaster and host of the hit podcast How To Fail, Elizabeth Day introduces her new book Friendaholic in a special event chaired by Phoebe Waller-Bridge in the Royal Festival Hall (26 Mar). Artist Jeremy Deller celebrates the launch of his book Art Is Magic - drawing together his key works with the art, pop music, film, politics and history that have inspired them (31 May). Mayor of London Sadiq Khan discusses politics, life, and the future of our city and planet as he celebrates the publication of Breathe, his uplifting new playbook that offers actions for tackling the climate crisis (24 May). Chef and broadcaster Andi Oliver introduces her long-awaited first cookbook The Pepperpot Diaries: Stories From My Caribbean Table in conversation with her daughter Miquita Oliver (27 Apr). Michael Rosen returns to the Southbank Centre to discuss Getting Better, his new memoir exploring the roles that trauma and grief have played in his own life (9 Feb).


Eleanor Catton, the best-selling and Booker Prize winning author of The Luminaries, takes to the Queen Elizabeth Hall stage for a London exclusive event discussing her new gripping psychological thriller Birnam Wood (16 Mar). The celebrated and outspoken author of American Psycho Bret Easton Ellis discusses his first novel since 2010, The Shards, in a rare London appearance (2 Feb). The Southbank Centre presents a world exclusive dramatic reading led by Max Porter of scenes from his much anticipated second novel, Shy, followed by a discussion about his writing life with actor Ruth Wilson (2 Apr). For the first time the Southbank Centre hosts Granta Best of Young British Novelists, a celebration of Granta's selection of the next twenty exceptional young writers in April 2023. This special event explores what is shaping the next generation of outstanding British voices with the brightest stars in the literary scene (11 May).


The Southbank Centre's resident music and poetry night Out-Spoken returns with its premier evening of poetry and live music in the Purcell Room and regular masterclasses. In May, Out-Spoken again takes to the Queen Elizabeth Hall stage following last year's hugely successful event, with a special line-up yet to be announced.

Based in the Royal Festival Hall, the National Poetry Library's brand new free exhibition Poets in Vogue (16 Feb - 25 Jun) presents the fashion worlds and poetic work of seven women poets through a series of displays. Sylvia Plath's skirt, a reconstruction of Anne Sexton's red 'reading dress' and creative interpretations of Audre Lorde's, Edith Sitwell's and Stevie Smith's signature looks are among the items on display in this unique exhibition exploring the relationship between the language of poets and the clothes they wear. The free opening night event features live readings of newly commissioned poetry (16 Feb). The European Poetry Festival returns for its sixth year, this time celebrating contemporary Swiss poetry (26 Apr) and Latvian poetry (10 May) with special guests and readings. Special Edition: Non-human Poetry asks if poetry is only for humans and celebrates the nonhuman potential of verse (22 Feb). Special Edition: Grief Time explores the potential of poetry to give voice to the disconnected and non-linear nature of grieving (5 Apr). Poetry London launches its Spring 2023 issue with live readings from Imtiaz Dharker, John Challis, Karen Solie and Qudsia Akhtar in Poetry London Spring Readings (26 Mar).

Tickets go on sale to the Southbank Centre Members on Tuesday 6 December and to the general public on Wednesday 7 December / 0203 879 9555

The Royal Opera House Celebrates International Womens Day 2023 With Performance of BORN TO Photo
This year, the Royal Opera House celebrates International Women's Day on Wednesday 8 March in the Linbury Theatre with a dedicated panel discussion exploring themes of gender equity in dance. The event will be supported by an exclusive performance of Born to Exist – The Women I Know created by Royal Ballet Emerging Choreographer Joseph Toonga for his dance company Just Us Dance Theatre.

Katherine Kingsley Joins the Cast of NOISES OFF in the West End Photo
Michael Frayn's multi award-winning farce Noises Off continues its highly praised and critically acclaimed run at the West End's Phoenix Theatre until 11 March 2023. From Monday 13 February 2023, West End star and three-time Olivier Award-winning actress Katherine Kingsley (Piaf, Singin' in the Rain, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) will play Belinda Blair.

THIS BITTER EARTH Comes to the White Bear Theatre This Month Photo
When award-winning Black US playwright, librettist, and television writer David Harrison Rivers' modern, nuanced, complex portrait of an interracial relationship received its world premiere at New Conservatory Theatre Center, San Francisco in 2017, it received rave reviews. It has since been staged to great acclaim across the U.S. This February, Storefront Theatre and Sarah Lawrie present its UK premiere in a brand-new production directed by Peter Cieply.

Birmingham Royal Ballet Announce World Premiere of BLACK SABBATH-THE BALLET Photo
In Black Sabbath – The Ballet expect a spectacular theatrical evening featuring thrilling dance and original Black Sabbath recordings (including Paranoid and Iron Man) alongside full orchestrations of their work (another first) and new orchestral compositions inspired by the sound of metal - all performed live by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia.

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