literature & poetry
spoken word & live literature

Polari: Featuring Lucy O'Brien

Mark LGBTQ+ History Month with a special edition of our literary salon, reflecting on the lives of queer protagonists and the lives inspired by them.

Writer, academic and broadcaster Lucy O’Brien gives an illustrated talk based on her biography of the iconic Dusty Springfield, Dusty: The Classic Biography.

Reading from their latest works and speaking to the theme of rich histories and legends are Susie Boyt, author of My Judy Garland Life; Hugh St Clair, author of A Lesson in Art and Life; Michael Brown, author of Meet Me at the Harbour; and TS Hunter, author of Tainted Love.

The evening is hosted by Polari founder, Paul Burston, celebrated LGBTQ+ commentator and novelist whose latest book, The Closer I Get was released to critical acclaim in 2019.

O'Brien is also author of She Bop: The Definitive History of Women in Popular Music and Madonna: Like an Icon.

She has contributed to publications including The Guardian, the Sunday Times and The Quietus, and numerous anthologies.

She played in all-girl band, The Catholic Girls, and is currently working on a memoir about punk and feminism.

Every Polari event is a unique experience. A safe stage to share stories and listen to the wealth of talent in the LGBT+ community, to discover rising stars and established names. Always a great night out, stimulating and thought provoking. Bravo Paul Burston for pushing open the door and making these events possible.
Mari Hannah, Diva Wordsmith of the Year

Dates & times

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Royal Festival Hall
Level 5 Function Room, Green Side


Booking fee: £3.50 (Members £0.00)


25% off (limited availability)
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need to know

Age recommendation
For ages 16+

Content warning
Please note that Polari contains adult themes.

Southbank Centre takes a strong view on secondary ticketing. We require the lead booker to attend (photo ID may be requested). Tickets can only be resold by Southbank Centre or one of its authorised agents.