See the change in China
On 7 October we celebrate and explore the shifting culture and identity of modern-day China with the latest instalment of China Changing Festival, offering a day of dance, theatre, music, free and family events. The programme spans a broad spectrum, including contemporary dance from Julia Cheng and Si Rawlinson, the puppetry and theatre of Little Soldier Zhang Ga, installation art from Florence To, an empowering talks programme and the fascinating play SINK, based on the life of Chinese writer Lao She. And there are plenty of opportunities to get involved too, from immersive artwork to a square-dancing workshop encouraging you to get down guanchang wu style
five reasons to visit China Changing
see the festival programme
Lose yourself in Classical music
Our 2017/18 Classical Season gets underway in late September, bringing some of the world’s best musicians and conductors to the Royal Festival Hall in a rich and varied programme. As ever, you can enjoy performances from our resident orchestras - the Philharmonia Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Sinfonietta and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment - as well as some familiar favourites, such as Daniel Barenboim who conducts the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra on 28-29 October.
Other highlights include the Emerson String Quartet performing Beethoven’s electrifying late quartets on 31 October and 1 November, and the return of the International Piano Series with performances from Alice Sara Ott (17 October) and Leif Ove Andsnes (31 October).
Look to Literature
Our annual look at the written word returns in mid-October, with a stellar list of speakers exploring how literature and poetry can remind us of our shared humanity in a world on the brink. Though the headline-grabbing talks from Hillary Rodham Clinton and Tom Hanks have sold out, there are no shortage of opportunities to get close to truly global names, including Philip Pullman, Annie Leibovitz and Gugu Mbatha-Raw.
See a poet, and know it
Kick-starting the London Literature Festival, and celebrating it’s fiftieth year is Poetry International. This year’s event features leading poets from around the globe, including Nordic poets Sjón and Athena Farrokhzad and one of the most celebrated poets from the subcontinent, Indian poet Arundhathi Subramaniam. We also host the trailblazing Kurdish-Iraqi poet Choman Hardi; major voices from across North America, including multi-award-winning Canadian poet Anne Carson and groundbreaking American poet Claudia Rankine.
Enjoy a feast of foraging
Partial to a mouthful of sea buckthorn? How about a douglas fir panna cotta? To celebrate autumn, the Executive Chef at Skylon, Kim Woodward, has created a sensational tasting menu inspired by autumn foraging and the wild foo found in British woodlands. This delectable autumnal dinner is available at Skylon at Southbank Centre from 25 September to 31 October.
Free music Fridays
Ease melodically into your weekends with free live music in The Clore Ballroom each Friday. Starting at 1pm our Friday Lunch shows offer a diverse spectrum of performance this autumn, ranging from the Americana-meets-lounge-music of acoustic balladeer Barbara Marion and her band to the Greenlandic rap of Tarrak. And at 5.30pm each Friday the mics are switched back on for Friday Tonic, with sets ranging from the balkan folk music of Raka, to the dub poetry of Roger Robinson
see what's coming up at Friday Lunch
check out the Friday Tonic programme
Gnaw on Nordic cuisine
Get a taste of the nordic countries without having to venture north of the river as we host The Great Nordic Feast from 20-22 October. Eight Nordic destinations come together to serve up the vivid and soothing flavours of Nordic cuisine. A real treat for all food lovers to enjoy.
Go behind the scenes
Love it or hate it, there’s no mistaking the distinctive concrete architecture of Southbank Centre. Each Saturday you can find out more about the meeting of brutalism and modernism that defines our iconic venues on one of our regular Architecture Tours. Alternatively, come beyond our concrete exterior and join us for one of our Behind the Scenes tours, giving you a remarkable insight into the history of Southbank Centre and the people who have shaped us.