News - (B)old


Southbank Centre in London announces (B)old, a brand new festival celebrating age and creativity...

Championing new and established artists age 65 and over, (B)old features a week of vibrant programming from Monday 14th - Sunday 20th May taking place across Southbank Centre's 17 acre site, including the newly re-opened Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room.

(B)old explores and challenges cultural perspectives of age and the role it plays in arts and society, as well as the impact of creating and experiencing art at a later age. The new festival offers something for all ages and s​howcases work from artists across dance, music, theatre, visual art and literature. The programme features free events and activities, and an array of engaging workshops, talks and debates bringing the idea of ‘age’ into discussion.

Jude Kelly, Artistic Director of Southbank Centre said​, ​"​(B)old ​is just that, a bold new festival ​showcasing the work of older artists, and celebrating age as a powerful force in arts and culture. ​We're looking forward to exploring and challenging cultural perceptions of growing older - both in the arts and in modern society. We are very grateful for ​The Baring Foundation​’s support in making this festival happen. Their work in the field of ageing is exemplary and leads us into powerful conversations and ideas about age and creativity.”

David Cutler, Director​ ​of The Baring Foundation added, “The Baring Foundation has been championing creative ageing across the UK since 2010. There could be no better climax to this support than the Southbank Centre’s​ (B)old​ festival. It will make ageing a highpoint of the arts calendar.”


(B)old​ ​highlights include:

● Fashionista ​Zandra Rhodes will open the festival on the morning of Monday​ 14th May​, by raising the flags that she has designed exclusively for the roof of Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall.

● Legendary reggae poet ​Linton Kwesi Johnson delves​ into his​ journey from Black Panther to internationally acclaimed poet, and a career spanning more than 40 years, in a special in conversation with Robin Denselow (14 May, QEH).

● (B)old ​- ​International Symposium Of Creative Ageing looking closely at how other countries and their societies are leading the way when it comes to how they treat their aging population, with keynote events and performances from attending artists from countries including Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Netherlands (18 May, Level 5 Function Room).

● New York dance legend ​Valda Setterfield ​performs ​Lear​, a deeply personal and riveting interpretation of Shakespeare’s masterpiece, choreographed by John​ Scott (20 May, QEH).

● Up Yours! a vibrant new commission about queer life over the last half century, as the legendary Drag Queen ​Lavinia Co-op,​ performs, dances and shares memories and reflections of her extraordinary career (19 May, Purcell Room).

● Acclaimed writer and illustrator Judith Kerr OBE​, best known for The​ Tiger Who Came to Tea ​and the Mog​ series, discusses her life, career and her creativity in later years, in conversation with Southbank Centre Artistic Director ​Jude Kelly CBE (19 May, Purcell Room).

● BAFTA award-winning actress Cheryl​ Campbell performs ​Moving The Goalposts​, a moving new monologue and true story about surviving cancer after having said goodbye, by ​Juliet Ace ​and directed by the renowned Shared Experience’s ​Nancy Meckler ​(20 May, Purcell Room). 


● Southbank Centre will be the venue to celebrate Prince Harry and Meghan​ Markle’s​ Royal Wedding with a free 7 hour party extravaganza 21​ ​ Century Tea Dance Party including: tea and a giant wedding cake, wedding outfit catwalk, circus acts, tea-trolley dance troop, DJ and live coverage of the wedding in Windsor on the big screen. This will all be hosted by the glamourous ​Ida Barr, ​played by Olivier-award winning ​Christopher Green​ (19 May).

● Poet and Playwright Tony Harrison -​ who​ began his performance career in the 1960s as part of Southbank Centre's Poetry International - reads his acclaimed elegy Polygons followed by an in-conversation and Q&A with ​Jude Kelly CBE (16 May, Purcell Room).

● Nawal El Saadawi​, one of the most important writers to come out of the Arab world, discusses her life and drawings (19 May, QEH).

● Olivier award-winning writer and performer ​Christopher Green ​invites participants to attend a welcome meeting for residential care in this ​experimental theatre piece Welcome to the Home ​(20 May, Level 5 Function Room).

● The formidable pianist Alfred Brendel ​talks about the music that inspires his life and work (20 May, Purcell Room).

● Renowned choreographer and Artistic Director of The Place ​Richard Alston discusses his extensive career in dance (19 May, Purcell Room).

● Choreographer and performer Liz Aggiss ​explores ​sexual taboos and mature womanhood in the provocative dance and performance piece ​Slap and Tickle ​(18 May, Purcell Room).


● Mother of contemporary African dance Germaine Acogny ​performs her explosive​ new work ​Mon elue noir (My Black Chosen One): Sacre #2​ (18​ May, QEH).

● From their beds, older performers from Entelechy​ Arts share​ glimpses into the secret lives of so many of their generation, in their street performance ​Bed​. Performances scattered across outside areas of Southbank Centre (19 & 20 May).​

● Panel discussions explore issues including the impact age has on artistic practice, and how to stay relevant. Age and sex are liberated in a ​Sex After Dawn​; the idea of an optimal age is dissected in ​Prime ​and ​Fashion Fades Only Style Remains sees a discussion of bold confidence or seeming invisibility in older age in beauty, fashion and style.

● A multitude of free events throughout the festival include the late night (​ B)old’s After Show Party ​celebrating growing old disgracefully; and a scientific experiment with artist ​Charlie Murphy and neurological biochemist Dr Selina Wray ​at the ​Neuronal Disco ​- creating the extraordinary patterns of brain cells, with disco dancing.



For more information or to buy tickets please visit the Southbank Centre website​ ​HERE​ 

Images - Southbank Centre