Featuring Dame Cleo Laine, Germaine Acogny, Richard Alston, Alfred Brendel, Cheryl Campbell, Lavinia Co-op, Christopher Green, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Judith Kerr OBE, Zandra Rhodes, Nawal El Saadawi, Valda Setterfield and many more

(B)old festival: Monday 14 – Sunday 20 May 2018

Southbank Centre today announces (B)old, a brand new festival celebrating age and creativity, supported by The Baring Foundation. Championing new and established artists aged 65 years and over, (B)old features a week of vibrant programming from Monday 14 – Sunday 20 May 2018 taking place across Southbank Centre’s 17 acre site including the newly reopened 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 showcases 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 said:

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 14 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).

  • Dame Cleo Laine - one of the world’s most original and loved jazz singers steps out on stage for An Evening With Dame Cleo Laine, an intimate evening looking at her extraordinary career, with vibrant conversation, music and song with her band and a special guest appearance from Jacqui Dankworth (18 May, RFH).

  • (B)old – International Symposium Of Creative Ageing looks 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 21st 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 the 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 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
or call 020 3879 9555

Join the conversation @southbankcentre

Press images for (B)old can be downloaded here
Full Listings can be viewed here


About Southbank Centre
Southbank Centre is the UK’s largest arts centre, occupying a 17­ acre site that sits in the midst of London’s most vibrant cultural quarter on the South Bank of the Thames. The site has an extraordinary creative and architectural history stretching back to the 1951 Festival of Britain. Southbank Centre is home to the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Hayward Gallery as well as The National Poetry Library and the Arts Council Collection. For further information please visit www.southbankcentre.co.uk.

About The Baring Foundation
The Baring Foundation is an independent foundation working to improve the quality of life of people experiencing disadvantage and discrimination. We aim to achieve this through making grants to voluntary and other civil society organisations and by adding value, including through promoting knowledge and influencing others. Since 2010, the Baring Foundation has focused its arts funding on work with older people. This has included partnerships with the UK’s four Arts Councils and the British Council. More details can the found in our publication Towards the End.


LINTON KWESI JOHNSON IN CONVERSATION Monday 14 May 2018, Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, £15-£25, 14+ Hear Linton Kwesi Johnson, the living legend and father of 'reggae poetry', share his journey. Johnson joins us as we delve into his career spanning more than 40 years, from his time in the British Black Panthers to internationally acclaimed poet.

Wednesday 16 May 2018, 7pm, Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room, £15, 14+
One of most significant British poets of the late 20th century, Tony Harrison will read his acclaimed elegy Polygons and be joined by Jude Kelly, Artistic Director Southbank Centre, for a post-reading Q&A.

Wednesday 16 May 2018, 8.30pm, Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room, £15, 14+
Age against the machine will look at the careers and practice of renowned artists, looking at their journeys to becoming artists and the evolution and continued innovation in their practice. Speakers include artist, activist and Artistic Director of Daily Life Ltd Bobby Baker, with more to be announced.

(B)OLD – INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM OF CREATIVE AGING Friday 18 May 2018, 11am-4pm, Southbank Centre’s Level 5 Function Room, Royal Festival Hall, £15
A showcase from artists and organisations leading the way on how the arts can have a positive impact on older lives. With keynotes, performances and case studies from Korea, The Netherlands, Sweden, Japan and the UK, The (B)old International Symposium will see inspiring examples of how getting older is not a barrier to creativity, but a benefit and tool.

Friday 18 May 2018, 1pm, Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall Central Bar, free
West London Rhythm Kings will bring the sounds of early New Orleans jazz to the Southbank Centre. With a repertoire of lively, old-school tunes, they pay tribute to the iconic sounds of Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet and other early 20th-century American greats.

Friday 18 May 2018, 3pm, The Clore Ballroom at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, free
A newly choreographed piece that invites dance companies geared towards over-65s to perform together alongside a choir of older voices.

Friday 18 May 2018, 5pm, The Clore Ballroom at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, free
Artist Charlie Murphy and neurological biochemist Dr Selina Wray will explain the behaviours and patterns of different dementias at molecular level, all through the power of disco. Neuronal Disco is a playful and interactive workshop that will see people guided around the dance floor with ravers’ finger lights, disco ball headpieces, an obligatory smoke machine and the odd white lab coat, to create and understand the extraordinary patterns and molecular mechanics of brain cells, all set to disco dance tracks. Murphy and Ray are part of Created Out of Mind, a multidisciplinary team working to explore, challenge and shape perceptions and understanding of dementia through science and the creative arts.

FRIDAY TONIC: JULIE FELIX Friday 18 May 2018, 5.30pm, Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer, free Julie Felix has been in the music business for over 50 years, travelling the world with a suitcase and guitar in hand. She found fame in the 1960s and scored many firsts – her own TV show, which was syndicated worldwide, a solo gig and a sold-out concert at the Royal Albert Hall, and a string of Top 20 hits.Her guest slot on The Frost Report became iconic, and she appeared with Bob Dylan at the Isle of Wight Festival. TV pioneer and broadcaster Ned Sherrin said of her: ‘every day is Julie Felix day.’ Whether she is the UK, Scandinavia, the United States, Australia or Europe, she attracts an enthusiastic following of long-standing fans as well as an ever-growing new audience.

Friday 18 May 2018, 7pm, Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, £15
An explosive new work from the mother of contemporary African dance, Germaine Acogny. Created especially for her, by Ballet du Nord provocateur Olivier Dubois, this scenically minimalist, emotionally maximalist solo performance draws deep from Acogny’s prodigious well of experience. As the performance opens to the strains of Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring), a soft glow pulses and the smell of pipe tobacco wafts through the darkness. Confined atop a brutally lit platform of black walls, Acogny confronts the audience with her furious presence, fearlessly carving out a space for her artistry in the deepest trenches of Western modernism.

AN AUDIENCE WITH DAME CLEO LAINE Friday 18 May 2018, 7.30pm, Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, £25-35 Dame Cleo Laine is celebrated worldwide as a singer, famous for her fascinating voice with its extraordinary subtlety of colour and range. As well as jazz, she has performed opera, lieder, and popular musicals and is also a serious actress. Dame Cleo is part of the Southbank Centre's long history of music. Join us as we celebrate Dame Cleo’s extraordinary career in an evening of conversation and music with one of the world’s most celebrated jazz singers. With a special guest appearance from Jacqui Dankworth.

Friday 18 May 2018, 8.30pm, Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room,£15, 15+
Dance meets performance in this provocative and moving one-woman show exploring sexual taboos and mature womanhood, by choreographer and performer Liz Aggiss. In this exploration of girls and ladies, women and mothers, bitches and dogs, pensioners and senior citizens, Aggiss places herself centre stage. The performance moves from spoken word to expressionist movement, from costume change to prop manipulation and from the personal to the historical.

Saturday 19 May 2018, 11am-6pm, Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer, free
A tea party like no other. Entelechy Arts takes the traditional form of a tea dance kicking and screaming into the 21st Century with a royal wedding-themed bonanza of dance, music, song and royal fun. Co-curated with members of Entelechy’s Elders Theatre Company, members of Meet Me at the Albany, and artists in the care homes programme Walking through Walls, the event will include music from Jive Five, the Meet Me Choir and a guest performance from older Heart ‘n’ Soul artists, spoken word performances from older poets, aerialist dancers performing with their mothers, sing-alongs, catwalks, dancing and a big screening of Harry and Meghan’s wedding. The tea party will be hosted by Christopher Green and his alter-ego, the unforgettable Ida Barr.

Saturday 19 May 2018, 11.30am, Southbank Centre’s Level 5 Function Room, Royal Festival Hall, £8
What is the significance of style and beauty in our later years? Does the public gaze wane as we age? Is there liberation to be found outside of trends and fashion? Whether it’s celebrating the bold confidence that can sometimes come with age or challenging the seeming invisibility that can also come with it, Fashion Fades only Style Remains will see a panel discuss the importance of fashion, beauty and style in our later years.

Saturday 19 - Sunday 20 May, 12.30-2.30pm and 3.30-5.30pm,Mandela Terrace at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, free
A street, an abandoned bed, an older person in their nightclothes; this bold, new street performance has been devised by older performers from Entelechy Arts.

Saturday 19 May 2018, 1pm, Southbank Centre’s Level 5 Function Room, Royal Festival Hall, £8
With changes in health, medicine, work and society, what exactly does it mean to be in your prime? Is the idea itself just a fetishisation of youth? Is creativity a function of youth and naivety or time and experience? Prime will see a panel discuss ideas around physical, mental and creative peaks, highlighting and celebrating the work of older people in arts and society while also interrogating the effects of life expectancy.

Saturday 19th May 2018, 3pm, Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, £15
Legendary British choreographer Richard Alston CBE will come to the Southbank Centre for a night in conversation. His achievements as a choreographer and teacher span over four decades. In 1980 he became Resident Choreographer with Ballet Rambert and was later appointed Artistic Director, creating 25 dances for the company. In 1992, Alston was invited to create a full evening of his own work, including Boulez’s Le Marteau Sans Maitre, for the Ballet Atlantique in France. He made another full evening for London Contemporary Dance Theatre at the 1994 Aldeburgh Festival going on to form his own company when he became Artistic Director of The Place in 1994. Over the past 24 years he has made over 45 dances for the company. Alston was made Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France in 1995, received the CBE in the New Year Honours list in 2001 and also received the De Valois Award for Outstanding Achievement from the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards in 2008.

Saturday 19 May 2018, 4pm, Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, £15, 16+
One of the greatest writers to come out of the Arab world, Nawal El Saadawi will come to the Southbank Centre to discuss her life and writings. Born in a small Egyptian village in 1931, El Saadawi has shown a unique ability to create new worlds in the fight against oppression. In the face of censorship, imprisonment and exile, she has refused to accept the oppressions imposed on women by gender and class. A Daughter of Isis is the first part of El Saadawi’s autobiography. In it she paints a sensuously textured portrait of the childhood that produced the freedom fighter: from the trauma of female genital mutilation at seven years old to eluding the grasp of suitors at the age of ten. Walking through Fire takes up the story of her later, extraordinary life. We read about her as a rural doctor and an activist for female empowerment, and the authorities that try to obstruct her.

Saturday 19 May 2018, 4.30pm, Southbank Centre’s Level 5 Function Room, Royal Festival Hall, £8
Does sex and desire transform with age? What does a healthy sex life look like in our older years? And why don’t we talk more about it? Sex after Dawn will see a panel discuss both our personal and societal attitudes to sex in our later years, from its representation in arts and culture to personal feeling of love, lust and desire.

Saturday 19 May 2018, 5pm, Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room, £12
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. In 1945, Judith won a scholarship to the Central School of Arts and since then has worked as an artist, television scriptwriter and, for the past 30 years, as an author and illustrator of children’s books. Judith is renowned for a trilogy of autobiographies on her experiences of escaping Hitler’s Germany when she was younger and for the children’s character Mog. Her Mog books have appeared on bestseller lists for over 30 years and have sold more than four million copies. An exhibition of her work toured the UK including the V&A Museum of Childhood, and she received an OBE for services to literature and Holocaust education in 2013.

Saturday 19th May 2018, 8-9pm, Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room, £12
67-year-old drag legend Lavina Co-op will come to the Southbank Centre to talk about her queer life as a dancer, comedian, activist, artist and storyteller over the last half century. From her early days as an experimental dance artist in 1970s London to her celebrated escapades in high heels on both sides of the Atlantic, Lavinia Co-op has been raising hell and eyebrows for longer than she cares to remember. Her fascinating onstage life is matched only by her lived experience of the sexual revolution, the AIDS crisis, and the LGBT rights movement, in which she was instrumental as an activist and artist.

Saturday 19 May 2018, 9pm, Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer, free
A late night DJ set hosted by a musical maverick guaranteed to be over 69 with no sign of slowing down or getting to bed early with a crossword and a cup of cocoa.

(B)OLD LIVING LIBRARY Sunday 20 May 2018, 12-5pm, Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer, free
An interactive event that allows people to hear stories from people aged 70 years and over. (B)old living library will give people the chance to gain direct access to someone else’s lived experience through listening to the reflections of older people from different cultures and backgrounds.

Sunday 20 May 2018, 12-5pm, Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer, free
The stalls at (B)old Market will display a range of creative products and activities from artists aged 70 years and over.

WELCOME TO THE HOME Sunday 20 May 2018, 12-5pm, Southbank Centre’s Level 5 Function Room, Royal Festival Hall, Free
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. This will be a taster for the full project, which is set to be staged in 2019 and is made in association with Entelechy Arts and The Albany.

(B)OLD COMMUNITIES WORKSHOP Sunday 20 May 2018, 12-12.45pm, Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer, free
The (B)old Communities workshop will be led by artists creating some of the most innovative performance work with older communities around the country. It is aimed as a taster session to give participants and idea of what joining their local arts project might be like.

(B)OLD COMMUNITIES Sunday 20 May 2018, 2-5pm, Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer, free
(B)old Communities is a celebration of people who are challenging society’s perception of age through arts and creativity. The afternoon will feature performances from artists and communities who are showing what work created and performed by older artists can be. There will also be talks with the creators of the performances about what drives their creativity and how their projects are impacting people’s day-to-day lives and the wider community.

MOVING THE GOALPOSTS(https://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whats-on/128356-moving-goalposts-2018#events ) Sunday 20 May 2018, 3pm, Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room, £12
BAFTA award-winning actress Cheryl Campbell takes to the stage to perform the fourth monologue in Juliet Ace’s popular radio drama series for Radio 4, with direction from Nancy Meckler. Juliet began writing the fourth monologue, Moving the Goalposts, five years into her cancer diagnosis. She originally wrote it in her head as she had no energy or stamina to write it down. One day, in an isolated spurt of determination and propped up by pillows, she managed to get it all down on paper.

Sunday 20 May 2018, 5pm, Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, £18
New York dance legend Valda Setterfield takes to the stage in this deeply personal and riveting interpretation of Shakespeare’s masterpiece by John Scott. Setterfield gives a moving performance that explores the unravelling of a universe, parental love, fear of death, enlightenment, ageing and dementia. Toppling the gendered hierarchy, Goneril, Regan and Cordelia are portrayed by three virtuosic male dancers. Lear was originally commissioned by Kilkenny Arts Festival 2014 and subsequently performed to full houses at New York Live Arts and Dublin in 2016, and at Dance Base Edinburgh 2017 where it won a coveted Herald Angel award for Setterfield’s outstanding performance.

Sunday 20 May 2018, 5:30pm, Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room, £12
Until his retirement from public performance in 2008, Alfred Brendel was one of the world's truly great pianists, renowned for his interpretations of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms and Liszt in particular. Brendel will present a survey of his musical life, considering what stimulated, formed and amused him, and to point out how it is feasible in this profession to remain largely independent.

Sunday 20 May 2018, 5.30pm, Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer, Free
‘Queen of the Blues’ Honey B Mama makes her debut at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall. Following in the footsteps of the greatest early-American blues singers such as Bessie Smith, Memphis Mini and Ma Rainey, Honey B Mama will perform a high octane performance of classic blues and boogie. She will be joined by Pete Spence on the guitar, Max Eves on saxophone, Tim Penn on keyboard, Mick Scriven on bass and Mick Parker on drums.

For further information please contact:
Deborah Goodman at DGPR

+44 (0)20 8959 9980

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