Seven great children’s books for the Easter holidays

If there’s one thing you can rely on, it’s that April’s weather will be unreliable. Sunny one minute, snowing the next, and that’s just a single afternoon. So if you do find yourself stuck indoors in the Easter holidays, how can you ensure that it’s only the sky beyond the windows that remains miserable?

Well, to help you keep your little ones entertained (and to give you a moment’s peace and quiet) we’ve picked out seven great new children’s books from a diverse range of authors. 

Tomorrow by Nadine Kaadan

Stories of Syria with Nadine Kaadan

Tomorrow from Syrian author Nadine Kaadan (pictured above) was written in the first year of the conflict in her home country. The illustrated book views the outbreak of war in Damascus through the eyes and concerns of young boy Yazan. No longer able to play with other children, or allowed to go outside, everything in Yazan’s world is changing, but he’s not entirely sure why. Initially published in 2012 and translated into English last year, Tomorrow is an uplifting tale about the strength of family love.


The Way Past Winter by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
(Chicken House)

The Way Past Winter by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

The Way Past Winter is the third novel for eight to 12 year olds from prize-winning author Kiran Millwood Hargrave. An ode to the frozen landscape of Scandinavia and the great voyages of myth and legend, The Way Past Winter follows Mila. The middle of three sisters, and brother to Oskar, Mila lives with her siblings in a small forest cabin. One night, a fur-clad stranger arrives through the snow seeking shelter. But by the next morning, he and his men have gone - taking Oskar with them. It is up to Mila to lead the search for her brother.


Is It a Mermaid? by Candy Gourlay

Is it a Mermaid? is the first picture book from Philippine-born much acclaimed children’s writer Candy Gourlay (pictured above) and is illustrated by Francesca Chessa. When Benji and Bel spot an unusual creature on the beach one morning Benji is in no doubt that it is a dugong (sea cow). The dugong however has other ideas, and explains how she is in actuality a very beautiful mermaid.


You're Snug With Me by Chitra Soundar

Tales of Nature with Chitra Soundar

Indian-born British author and storyteller Chitra Soundar (pictured above) has published more than 30 books inspired by India’s rich heritage, including her latest offering You’re Snug With Me. With accompanying pictures inspired by traditional art, You’re Snug With Me tells the story of Mama Bear’s nurturing of her young polar bear cubs, as she teaches them valuable lessons that will resonate with small children as well as small bears.


The Drum by Ken Wilson-Max
(Tiny Owl)

This is the Drum by Ken Wilson at Southbank Centre's Imagine festival

The latest book in his Children. Music. Life. series, which explores different musical instruments from around the world, Ken Wilson-Max’s The Drum is perfect for young children. So feel the rhythm, clap your hands, stomp your feet and enjoy making music with the guidance of the award-winning picture book author and artist.


Asha & The Spirit Bird by Jasbinder Bilan
(Chicken House)

 Jasbinder Bilan: Asha & the Spirit Bird

Winner of the 2017 Times Chicken House Prize, Asha & The Spirit Bird was inspired by the incredible bond author Jasminder Bilan (pictured above) had with her own grandmother. Asha lives on the family farm with her mother in rural India, whilst her father works away in the city. When the money her father sends stops and a wicked debt collector arrives, Asha and her best friend Jeevan embark on a journey to the city. Guided by a majestic bird which Asha believes to be the spirit of her grandmother, they travel to find her father and save their home.


Step Into Your Power by Jamia Wilson and Andrea Pippin

 Andrea Pippins: Step into Your Power 2019

Whatever age we may be, we all have heroes, but how do you actually get there yourself? From the author and illustrator team behind Young, Gifted and Black comes Step Into Your Power promising ‘23 lessons on how to live your best life’. Author Jamia Wilson and illustrator Andrea Pippin share lessons from their own experiences of growing up to mentor other young girls and help them emulate their heroes. A great book that shows children how to harness their own power and make their big dreams a big reality.



If you can make it out this Easter, we’ve a great range of free events for musically minded children taking place here in our Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer.

find out more

And we also have a host of other events happening across our site during the holidays, including a stage performance of the much-loved children’s book Tabby McTat.

find out more


Think Aloud podcast - Children's books: why literature for the future is stuck in the past

Children's books: why literature for the future is stuck in the past by Southbank Centre: Think Aloud

Why is children’s literature behind adult fiction when it comes to diverse characters, and who should be changing this? Authors? Publishers? Parents? In this, the latest episode of our regular Think Aloud podcast, host Harriet Fitch Little is joined by paralympian, TV presenter and children’s author Ade Adepitan, and children’s book critic Imogen Russell Williams to discuss the lack of diversity in children’s literature.

Also, in this episode we hear from children's author and illustrator Nadine Kaadan, who answers our burning question, ‘how do you create a character for children?’


I think that it really had an impact on me, on my perception of self, because I never saw positive images of myself in books.”
Ade Adepitan, children's author


Both Ade Adepitan and Nadine Kaadan appeared at Southbank Centre in February 2019 as part of our Imagine Children’s Festival.

more about Imagine

The venue for London Literature Festival and Poetry International, Southbank Centre is the home of literature and spoken word events in the UK. Throughout the year we host talks, discussions, readings and more featuring bestselling authors, award-winning poets and inspirational writers of children's, young adult and adult literature.

upcoming literature events


Don’t forget to subscribe to Think Aloud on your preferred podcast listening platform.

Imagine Children’s Festival returns for February half-term

Our Imagine Children’s Festival turns eighteen this year – where does the time go? Thankfully though it isn’t ready to grow up just yet. 

Across half-term week (13-24 February) Southbank Centre hosts the best in children's theatre, comedy, DJs, dance, family parties, hands-on activities, and immersive experiences as the annual festival returns with full-on fun for children and their grownups. And of the 180 events jam-packed into the festival, half of the programme is, as ever, completely free.

Imagine festival is for kids, by kids. This year we are bursting at the seams with activities and events to inspire, engage and entertain.

Tamsin Ace, Festival Programmer, Southbank Centre

for the musically minded

Peppa Pig's First Concert

This year’s Imagine features several fantastic music events, including a Queen Elizabeth Hall debut for a very special conductor; Mummy Pig. She’ll be wielding the baton for Peppa Pig: My First Concert, a fun interactive introduction to a live orchestra for ages 18 months and older, in which Peppa Pig and George learn about all the different sounds that instruments make together.

Peppa Pig: My First Concert

That’s not the only bit of guest conducting from a big star as Imagine also sees Sue Perkins lead the Orion Orchestra for the interactive concert Noisy Notes. Offering up a different kind of sound, world-record-breaking beatboxer Shlomo brings his Beatbox Adventure for Kids to Purcell Room giving everyone the opportunity to become one of his sonic superhero sidekicks.

Noisy Notes
Shlomo’s Beatbox Adventure for Kids


bringing books to life

2018.02.17_An Afternoon with Jacqueline Wilson_Imagine
Jacqueline Wilson

To celebrate 20 years of the Waterstones Children’s Laureate we welcome three much-loved authors (and past laureates) Jacqueline Wilson, Malorie Blackman and Chris Riddell to discuss their famous stories and treasured characters. And we’ll also have the current Children’s Laureate, Lauren Child, the mind behind beloved characters Clarice Bean and Charlie and Lola with us to discuss her inspirations.

Jacqueline Wilson, Malorie Blackman and Chris Riddell
Lauren Child in Conversation

David McKee, author and illustrator of Elmer the Elephant, Mr Benn and Not Now Bernard, hosts an exclusive event celebrating the 30th birthday of Elmer, his popular patchwork friend, and we also welcome the Syrian author and illustrator Nadine Kaadan, who introduces her story Tomorrow through an interactive storytelling and art workshop.

David McKee: A Life in Colour
Nadine Kaadan: Stories of Syria

The National Poetry Library, situated in our Royal Festival Hall building, also gets in on the Imagine fun with a number of special events, including Rug Rhymes for the under-5s, Powerfully Persuasive Poems from hip-hop poet Simon Mole, and Picture a Poem Illustration Workshop with Ed Boxall

National Poetry Library events


larks, laughs and lyrics

Captain Flinn:The Magic Cutlass

With live music, puppetry and dastardly dinosaurs the action-packed theatrical pirate adventure Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs 2: The Magic Cutlass is bound to keep little ones entertained. As too will The Singing Mermaid, a magical musical based on Julia Donaldson’s book of the same name, featuring puppetry from Little Angel Theatre

Captain Flinn…
The Singing Mermaid

On 18 February we host a special interactive screening of Michael Rosen’s We’re Going on a Bear Hunt with the soundtrack performed live by the City of London Sinfonia orchestra, and a fun sing-along. And the following day we’ll be laughing our socks clean off thanks to stand-up from children’s comedian Jeremy Strong.

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt
Jeremy Strong: Laugh Your Socks Off


for the active ones

 Introduction to Hip Hop with ZooNation

Our Kids Takeover returns for another year, giving children the chance to take the reins of the festival alongside the Southbank Centre team in all areas of the festival production, from contributing to the line-up to selling programmes, making tannoy announcements and ensuring shows start on time. But that’s not the only opportunity for your young ones to get involved.

For those who like to move their feet there’s Big Moves for Little Groovers, a hip-hop dance workshop for children ages 5+ (with big kids encouraged to join in too). Or if you prefer a more classic step there’s Strictly Kids where families to learn their favourite dance styles featured on Strictly Come Dancing, with demos from leading child ballroom dancers.

Big Moves for Little Groovers
Strictly Kids

If making music is more your thing Chineke! Junior presents a whole day of free music making totally free on 17 February, where budding musicians can explore creating music in an ensemble, and reinterpret the sounds of the orchestra through dance, art and storytelling. Alternatively you can join Ken Wilson-Max for his all-singing, all-dancing This Is The Drum, where you can discover different drums from around the world, how play a simple rhythm and create a drum to take home.

Chineke! Junior
This Is The Drum


for when you need a pit stop

Across our venues we’ve a great number of cafes and restaurants where you can take a seat and refuel before the next burst of fun, such as Skylon, situated in Royal Festival Hall, where kids eat free during half-term.


Elsewhere at Southbank Centre you can find familiar family-favourites. Facing the River Thames are Giraffe, whose kids menu is always popular, and Strada, where kids can enjoy any starter, main course, side, dessert and drink for £6.75. And at the river end of Mandela Walk, Las Iguanas' kids menu offer includes a main course, two sides and a dessert for £5.90.

Las Iguanas



These are just a few highlights from this year’s packed Imagine Children’s Festival line-up, which brings together 180 events across Southbank Centre’s venues on the side of London’s River Thames.

see the full listings

What’s it like to be a young Deaf performer?

George BSL

Forced Entertainment are a Sheffield-based theatre company that are committed to pushing the boundaries of what theatre is. Earlier this year they became an associate company of Southbank Centre, and in December they join us for their first performance of this partnership.

At southbank Centre in Decmber, 2018, the company performed Tim Etchells’ That Night Follows Day, a remarkable play performed by children for adults, which looks at the way adults project their world onto children and young people, and how this world is shaped by language. Among the cast of eight to 14 year olds bringing this story to life are two Deaf performers, Alex and George.

In this fascinating video we meet George, who explains the challenges that can come from being a Deaf performer in a play with multiple speaking parts, and how Forced Entertainment’s BSL Theatre Consultant has helped him and Alex to transform their script into British Sign Language.


I want to be in a professional company. I decided, ‘what’s my dream job?’ and I’d like to do acting, so that’s my aim.
George, performer with Forced Entertainment


With a passion for works that defy categorisation, Southbank Centre is the place to see things you have never seen on stage before. Dance, theatre, comedy, cabaret and all sorts in between, brought to you by international artists and up and coming names. 

upcoming performances

Tim Etchells on That Night Follows Day

Tim Adults only 30 sec

That Night Follows Day by Tim Etchells and Forced Entertainment takes a closer look at the facts, white lies and excuses adults tell children. Performed by children, for adults, the performance invites us to take a playful look at the way we project our world onto those around us. With remarkable clarity and humour, the cast of eight to 14 year olds reveal the ways we are all constrained and created by the words we hear.

In this short video we see rehearsal footage of the young performers, who brought Etchells’ text to life here at Southbank Centre in December, 2018, and the writer and director himself explains how the show first came into being.


The idea for the performance was to look at the way the adult world makes and shapes the world that young people inhabit
Tim Etchells, writer and director

With a passion for works that defy categorisation, Southbank Centre is the place to see things you have never seen on stage before. Dance, theatre, comedy, cabaret and all sorts in between, brought to you by international artists and up and coming names. 

upcoming performances

Meet the rising stars of 2017's Young Adult Literature Weekender

The final weekend of the London Literature Festival is taken over by the Young Adult Literature Weekender. It features the most exciting YA novelists, poets, bloggers, illustrators and spoken word artists, with chances to hear what they have to say on issues young people deal with, from sexuality and gender identity, to the representation of minorities in modern culture.

Along with starts of YA literature, our weekender gives you the chance to hear from loads of emerging writers working across a number of genres – find out about just a few of these writers here.

Rachel Long, appearing at the Young Producers Showcase

Rachel is a poet and teacher whose work has been published in anthologies and magazines including Magma, The London Magazine and The Honest Ulsterman. In 2015 she was awarded a Jerwood/Arvon mentorship. At Southbank Centre she has run two sell-out series of workshops for women of colour, under the title Telling her Story, and she is the founder of Octavia, a poetry collective for women of colour hosted here. She has also appeared at Oxford University, the Serpentine Galleries and on the BBC World Service.

Rachel led workshops for young poets and the results of their time together can be heard at the Young Producers Showcase, as part of the Young Adult Literature Weekender.

find out more

Alwyn Hamilton, appearing at World on the Brink

Alwyn’s second novel, Traitor to the Throne, came out in February this year. It follows Amani, a young woman and rebel fighter from the desert who is betrayed and brutally kidnapped. She must then survive life in a sultan’s palace that is rife with intrigue and danger.

This is part two of Alwyn’s trilogy, and it takes place a year after the end of the first instalment, Rebel of the Sands.

Alwyn was born in Toronto and from the age of three grew up with her family in the small French town of Beaune. She studied History of Art at King’s College, Cambridge and lives in London. Alwyn appears at World on the Brink, discussing the parallels between revolutions in fiction and in reality, along with Samantha Shannon and Sif Sigmarsdóttir.

find out more

Mary Bello, appearing at A Change is Gonna Come

A Change is Gonna Come is a new anthology of young adult writing, featuring contributions by established and up-and-coming Black and minority ethnic writers in the UK.

One of those up-and-comers is Mary Bello. Her story is called ‘Dear Asha’, about a young woman who has just lost her mother and who sets out on a journey to find out who her family really is.


#ChangeBook - Introducing Mary Bello

Mary is a published journalist and writer of poetry, prose poetry as well as short stories. She appears with Aisha Bushby, Yasmin Rahman and Phoebe Roy at a Young Adult Literature Weekender event celebrating A Change Is Gonna Come’s publication, where the authors read from their work and discuss their future hopes.

find out more

Lydia Ruffles, appearing at What is Truth?

Lydia’s first novel, The Taste of Blue Light, was published last month. It tells the story of a young woman called Lux, who wakes up in hospital with no idea how she got there. What follows is a soul-searching story about mental illness, trauma, love and art, as Lux desperately tries to uncover the truth about what happened that summer and piece together her fractured mind.

Lydia spent 10 years working in the corporate world and travelling, before signing up to the Faber Academy to focus on writing. She appears at Southbank Centre’s Young Adult Literature Weekender in the session What is Truth, along with Irfan Masters and Patrice Lawrence.

find out more

The Young Adult Literature Weekender takes place on Saturday 28 & Sunday 29 October and entry is by day or weekend pass.

#YALW #LondonLitFest

10 children's book recommendations from Room for Children

Looking for new reading suggestions for your children? You’re in luck. In association with Nordic Matters, here ten traditional and much-loved children’s books from each of the countries celebrated in our year-long dedication to Nordic culture. Each of these books, recommended by the Nordic embasies in London, can be enjoyed in our Room for Children - a comfy space inspired by Stockholm’s Rum för Barn in Kulturhuset Stadsteatern, in which children can read or listen to stories.

Room for Children - recommended reading part one

Karius and Bactus, by Thorbjørn Egner


Karius and Bactus is a 1949 children’s book by the celebrated Norwegian author and illustrator Thorbjørn Egner. Karius and Bactus are ‘tooth trolls’ who live in the teeth cavities of a boy named Jens. The two live a happy life, as Jens only eats white bread with syrup and doesn’t brush his teeth. However, one day a dentist treating Jens teeth, rinses out Karius and Bactus destroying their homes. With its amusing illustrations and important message Egner’s book has become a classic of Norwegian children’s literature.

Santa Claus, by Mauri Kunnas


Born in in 1950, Mauri Kunnas is undoubtedly Finland’s most successful author of children’s books, having published over forty books, in thirty-five languages. With brilliantly coloured illustrations rich in humourous details, he has an unrivalled gift for taking history and casting it in a new and hilarious way. Santa Claus is Kunnas’ best-known book internationally, in which the author and illustrator allows us to accompany Santa’s elves as they prepare for his Christmas gift-giving.

Enginn Sà Hundinn by Hafsteinn Hafsteinsson


Another book with a Christmas theme, Enginn Sà Hundin (No One Saw the Dog) was nominated for The Nordic Council Literary Prize for Children‘s and Young People‘s Books 2017. Hafsteinsson’s book tells of a group of children, who are delighted to discover a frisky puppy among their Christmas presents. But the following year, their gifts are even more exciting, and when all the presents have been opened, the dog appears to have been forgotten. And so, he has to take matters into his own paws!

Room for Children - recommended

A Dog, a Cat and a Mouse by Bárður Oskarsson

Faroe Islands

The first work Bárður Oskarsson illustrated was one of his grandfather’s, Under the Trollmountains, but the Faroese author writes his own stories, accompanied by his special cartoon-like illustrations. In this book, a dog, a cat and a mouse live together in peace and harmony, but they are all bored. They try to remember the good old days when they had much more fun. Then one day the mouse hits the dog´s tail with a hammer and suddenly things take a turn!

Wildwitch by Lene Kaaberbøl


The award winning and highly acclaimed writer of fantasy, Lene Kaaberbøl has written more than 30 books for children and young adults, having published her first at the age of 15. Wildwitch is the story of Clara, a normal 12-year old girl, until a scary encounter with an unusually large black cat changes her life forever. Now, a Wildwitch she is forced to grow up fast as she must get to grips with her new found powers whilst also facing a powerful enemy.

Little Frog by Jakob Martin Strid


Jakob Martin Strid is a Danish cartoonist who has written a number of comics and books for children. Full of Strid’s idiosyncratic illustrations Little Frog is a witty story about trying not to be bad. Little Frog arrives in a meteor, fallen from the sky, and though Father and Mother Frog think he’s cute, he soon turns out to be very naughty. After storming out Little Frog gains advice from an ancient Old Man, but just as he feels it’s too late and he’s been left all alone, Little Frog receives a surprising rescue.

Kaassassuk - Iliarsuk, by Christian Fleischer Rex


Christian Fleischer Rex is an animator and illustrator who in 2008, published a version of Kaassassuk is one of the most known and loved Greenlandic legends. An orphaned boy, Kaassassuk seeks help from the Lord of Power after being teased and bullied in his village. The Lord bestows supernatural powers on the boy, prompting the villagers to instead treat him with fear and respect. But it is too late, and Kaassassuk takes revenge on his tormentors.

Room for Children - recommended reading part three

Findus Goes Fishing, by Sven Nordqvist


The writer and illustrator Sven Nordqvist is one of Sweden’s most loved authors, and has sold over six million copies of his Findus series, worldwide. In this tale, Findus’ friend Petsson is feeling really grumpy - he doesn’t feel like doing anything, and besides, he has chores he must do. But Findus is in a really good mood and wants to cheer Pettson up, suggests they go out fishing together. Pettson, takes a lot of persuading, but eventually Findus’ reasoning pays off.

Goodbye Mr Muffin, by Ulf Nilsson and Anna-Clara Tidholm


Ulf Nilsson is a celebrated Swedish author, and for this book has teamed up with award-winning illustrator Anna-Clara Tidholm to deliver a tender and powerful story about a sensitive subject often seen as taboo for children. Mr Muffin, a family’s guinea pig, is getting old and his health is failing. He is looking back on his life, thinking back to when he was young and strong. Now he’s old, grey and tired. As the story progresses the reader witnesses his decline in health, his death and the preparations for his funeral.

The Sand Wolf by Åsa Lind and Kristina Digman

Åland Islands

Åsa Lind’s read-aloud books aim to inspire both children and adults to take part in philosophical discussion, and are complemented by Kristina Digman’s black-and-white illustrations. The Sand Wolf unexpectedly appears when Zackarina, angry at her dad, digs a hole in the sand. The two become friends and meet on the beach every day where he patiently listens to Zackarina’s thoughts on all kinds of subjects which can occupy an imaginative child’s mind.

the Room for Children

Find out more, and get reading at Room for Children, which can be found in Royal Festival Hall, outside The National Poetry Library on Level 5, Blue Side.

It's Summertime at Southbank Centre

Summertime at Southbank Centre

Join us at Southbank Centre for six weeks of summer fun in the heart of the city. With free family friendly activities on weekends throughout the holidays, you’re sure to find the perfect way to while away the summer with us.


Whether you’re basking on our beach, or relaxing on our roof garden, frolicking in our fountain, or sampling street-food, get your summer on with Southbank Centre.

9 reasons to visit Southbank Centre this summer

Youth Ambassadors’ WOW Top Picks

By Natty Kasambala

WOW – Women of the World festival is Southbank Centre’s festival championing gender equality, celebrating the achievements of women and girls all around the world and seeking to discuss and examine the obstacles they face in their everyday life.

This year, the ever-growing festival ran in London from Tuesday 7 to Sunday 12 March with a vast range of inspiring speakers, workshops and performances scheduled across the week. With a programme as immense as this one, it can sometimes be hard to choose from all the options available. So Southbank Centre’s Youth Ambassadors shared their top picks, to give you a taste of what we were especially looking forward to at WOW festival 2017.

Personal Preview

The first event we’d like to highlight and preview is a huge film event happening on Thursday 9 March – Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise. WOW have collaborated with the BFI and African Odysseys to present the London premiere of the first-ever documentary made about the late inspiring author, poet and civil rights activist, Maya Angelou. This feature documentary is said to be an intimate perspective on one of the definitive voices of the civil rights generation who passed away in 2014 after publishing seven autobiographies, writing plays, movies and numerous books of beautifully written essays and poetry.

While her work has been widely regarded as both inspirational and exceptional, her own story has always been the basis of this. With careers ranging from dancer to sex worker to poet, Maya Angelou’s lived experiences are shared in this long-awaited film, including conversations with a number of her high-profile friends and family such as the Clintons, Quincy Jones, Common and Oprah Winfrey.

Having been received with critical acclaim at 2016 Sundance Film Festival, this screening is sold out but bound to be monumental and important. Her words have famously inspired many throughout the civil rights movement with her evocative and illustrative poetry. In our current political climate, her messages of empowerment remain timeless and universal and her story could not be more pertinent.

Top Picks

1. Angela Davis in Conversation (Saturday 11 March @ 6.30pm) and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in Conversation (Saturday 11 March @ 8.30pm)

The evening of Saturday 11 March is set to be particularly inspiring as two amazing speakers take the stage. We recommend settling in for the long haul, starting with a talk with the incredible activist Angela Davis in conversation with Southbank Centre’s Artistic Director, Jude Kelly CBE. Angela Davis is one of the most prominent and inspirational voices around to discuss topics of race, class and feminism in the world today, as a renowned scholar and author on the subject. After speaking at and leading a branch of the Women’s March this year, she has some unmissable insight into the issues facing us in this post-Trump era.

Next up, as if that wasn’t enough, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie follows shortly after. The best-selling author of Americanah, We Should All Be Feminists, Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun, graces the stage to deliver a statement on modern day feminism and what it feels like to be a woman in this day and age. There is no doubt that this will be a powerful unveiling of Chimamanda’s newest work, Dear Ijeawele, not to be missed.

2. The Great Imposter (Friday 10 March @ 11.30am)

Another event that we thought looked extremely interesting is a talk regarding a concept known as the Imposter Syndrome. The term was coined in 1978, but has been gaining visibility recently with regards to gender and race inequalities and how these influence our self-perceptions. The syndrome is essentially the pattern of high-achieving individuals being unable to fully accept their accomplishments and the validity of their praise – feeling like an imposter who is undeserved of the rewards or respect they are given in or outside of the workplace. This talk discusses how this feeling can be a direct result of gender and other inequalities, and hopefully equip us with the tools to overcome these obstacles that prevent us from believing in ourselves and fulfilling our potential.

3. THEATREclub presents: The Game (Friday 10 March to Sunday 12 March @ 8.30pm) and Buying Sex (Friday 10 March @ 3pm)

The topic of prostitution and sex work is a pressing and controversial one. Southbank Centre has scheduled a few extremely important events to help combat the stigma and spark discussion surrounding both the acts of buying sex and the challenges of legislating around it. Across the weekend, THEATREclub is presenting an interactive performance The Game that seeks to explore the very act of participating in the sex work industry by incorporating male volunteers to take part in this unscripted performance. The performances sheds light on a realm of interactions that are seldom portrayed and even less frequently witnessed firsthand. The innovation and radical nature of this idea makes it one of our top priorities to get involved with at WOW festival this year.

On the legislative side of things, and coordinating with Southbank’s year-long Nordic Matters programme, there is a panel discussion addressing the challenges and experiences of implementing what has been dubbed the ‘Nordic model’ regarding prostitution. The speakers discuss what is to be learnt from countries like Norway, Sweden and Iceland that have made it illegal to buy ‘sexual services’ but not to sell them. With the growing severity of the problem of prostitution, this talk is bound to be an informative and candid insight into the complexity of the issue.

4. Women Crossing Borders (Sunday 12 March @ 1.15pm)

In partnership with Migrants Organise, WOW has organised an extremely necessary talk concerning the subject of migrant women and their stories. We think this event is so important, as it aims to give voices to the women who have fled their home countries and risked their lives for the prospect of a better future away from conflict. The talk explores just a few of the many inspiring stories of these women and how these urgent international issues of conflict connect directly to the issues ranging more broadly to gender struggles across the globe. With the growing ambivalence surrounding refugees both in Britain and across the world, the talk could not be more relevant.

5. OPEN: A Toolkit with Gemma Cairney (Saturday 11 March)

Hopefully this speaker does not need much introduction, but here goes anyway. The wonderful TV and radio personality that is Gemma Cairney presents her book, OPEN: A Toolkit for How Magic and Messed Up Life Can Be on Saturday 11 March. In this new release, the Southbank Centre Artist in Residence explores issues facing young people in today’s world, ranging from mental health to relationships, to family and technology, in the format of a guide to life. To us, Gemma seems to be the perfect ambassador for youth; she’s joined by several of the young people featured in the book, to discuss the joys, the trials and tribulations of what it feels like and what it means to be a girl in 2017.

Paternity Debate podcast: Being A Man festival 2016

Being A Man Festival 2016 Podcast - The Paternity Debate by southbankcentre

This content is from Being A Man festival 2016.

Festival programmer Ted Hodgkinson introduces this podcast of the The Paternity Debate, exploring what society wants of dads, what sort of dads men want to be, and how helpful our culture and public policies are at encouraging men to be great dads.

The discussion is chaired by writer and researcher Rebecca Asher and features Conservative Party politician Maria Miller, performance poet Yomi Sode, Esquire magazine's Johnny Davis and journalist Jack Urwin.

For more like this visit Being a Man festival

In this partnership between mum and dad [my son] needs to know that he can call on me as much as he can call on mum
Yomi Sode