Autumn 2013 on London's South Bank

 
 
 
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The National Theatre

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The National Theatre
A Midsummer Night's Dream
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Southbank Centre
Southbank Centre
Southbank Centre
 

 

From theatre and film premieres to live music events and stand-up comedy, London's South Bank has got a fantastic programme lined up for autumn 2013. So, read on to discover LondonTown.com's pick of the best events.

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The National Theatre

New musical The Light Princess premieres at the National Theatre this autumn.

South Bank, South Bank, , South Bank, London, SE1 9PX

Tube: Temple Station , Waterloo Station

 
 

Autumn at the National Theatre welcomes the premiere of a new fairytale musical written by Tori Amos. Staged in the Lyttelton Theatre, The Light Princess previews from 25th September and officially opens on 9th October. The dark fairytale about grief, rebellion and the power of love follows a prince and princess who have both lost their mothers. When they meet in the midst of a war, they begin an illicit affair but the princess must still confront the darkness and her fears. Marianne Elliott, whose previous credits include War Horse and the multi award-winning The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, directs the production.

Open at the Lyttelton later in the year (19th November), Dennis Kelly's version of Georg Kaiser's From Morning to Midnight tells the story of a bank clerk who goes to extraordinary lengths to pursue a woman. The theatre's Olivier stage presents a new family production in November, Emil and the Detectives. An adventurous version of Erich Kastner's book, the play follows a young boy as he journeys alone through 1920s Berlin.

The Shed continues to stage productions throughout autumn, including The World of Extreme Happiness, open on 25th September. The imaginative production tells the story of young Sunny as she leaves her home in rural China for the promise of a job in a factory and a new life. However, as the reality of mopping factory floors dawns, the new future is proving to be hard and leaves Sunny striving for self-improvement. Following this, Debbie Tucker Green's nut opens in the wooden box on 30th October.

Autumn also sees the National Theatre celebrate 50 years on stage with an evening of live performance and rare glimpses from the theatre's archives, featuring a number of celebrated actors who have graced the London stages over the past five decades. Friday 1st November will offer a special preview performance for the public before the gala performance on 2nd November which will be performed in front of an invitation-only audience and broadcast live on BBC2. A host of actors, directors, writers and designers who have worked at the National are taking part including Frances de la Tour, Ralph Fiennes, Rory Kinnear, Maggie Smith and Penelope Wilton.

 
 
 

Southbank Centre

The multi-arts centre offers contemporary and classical music, literature and comedy.

Belvedere Road, South Bank, London, SE1 8XX

Tube: Waterloo Station , Embankment Underground Station

 
 

The Southbank Centre's year-long The Rest if Noise festival enjoys its last few months this autumn before drawing to a close in December. The year-long event used music performances and events to take audiences on a chronological journey through music in the 20th century. The second half of the festival presents music composed between 1945 and 2000. Highlights include rare London performances by Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (4th October), Royal Liverpool Philharmonic (3rd November) and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (28th November). The finale of the festival will come from the London Philharmonic Orchestra who will perform Adams' El Nino.

As well as classical music performances from the Orchestra Mozart in October, a number of contemporary performers also grace the Southbank's stage. On Tuesday 15th October chart-topping and award-winning vocalist Alison Moyet performs blues-infused pop in support of her latest album, The Minutes. While on the 18th October American ensemble Pink Martini perform a mix of jazz, Latin and lounge music with touches of classical. Veteran singer Roy Harper also stops by (22nd October) to promote his album Man and Myth.

Part of the literature and spoken word autumn season, the centre welcomes an array of writers and performers such as Elizabeth Gilbert (25th October), Seamus Heanet (28th November) and Jennifer Saunders, who stops by on 8th October to launch her latest book Bonkers.

David Baddiel's first solo stand-up show in 15 years Fame: Not The Musical comes to the Southbank Centre on 29th October. Following previews at the Soho Theatre and performances at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the TV funnyman is now out of ostensible comedy retirement. This show sees the bespectacled novelist deconstruct his own fame and our culture's obsession with fame in general.

In November the World Press Photo Exhibition returns to the Southbank Centre, presenting this year's winning images. With nine categories, the prestigious competition showcases the most powerful and moving images of 2013. Later in the month, the London Jazz Festival returns with a ten-day flamboyant programme that reflects the diverse roots of London. The festival is the capital's biggest pan-city music festival and sees events take place at venues such as the Southbank Centre, Royal Albert Hall, Barbican Centre, Ronnie Scott's and 606 Club. Programme highlights at the Southbank Centre include performances from Hugh Masekela, Patty Griffin and Grammy Award-winning bassist Marcus Miller. The festival conclusion is also hosted by the centre with a performance from singer-songwriter Madeleine Peyroux.

 
 
 

BFI Southbank

The London Film Festival returns for its 57th year.

Belvedere Road, South Bank, South Bank, London, SE1 8XT

Tube: Waterloo Station , Embankment Underground Station

 
 

The main highlight at BFI Southbank this autumn is the London Film Festival, which returns for its 57th year. With hundreds of film screenings, an array of world premieres, gala films and celebrity-studded ceremonies, the festival attracts a number of Hollywood players and Indie film-makers year on year. This year's festival is bookended by films starring Tom Hanks, with maritime drama Captain Phillips kicking off proceedings. A captivating thriller, it's based on the true story of the 2009 hijacking of the US container ship Maersk Alabama by a crew of Somali pirates. Saving Mr Banks brings the festival to a close, which sees Hanks star as Walt Disney and Emma Thompson as author PL Travers in a story about the making of Mary Poppins. Further films on the programme include Stephen Frears' Philomena, starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan; the European premiere of Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave with Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch and Brad Pitt; and Abdellatif Kechiche's critically acclaimed lesbian drama Blue is the Warmest Colour.

The BFI also celebrates the centenary of the birth of composer Benjamin Britten and how he contributed to cinema and television. The Benjamin Britten at 100 season screens productions such as Britten's opera Owen Wingrave; Derek Jarman's War Requiem, for which Britten provided the music; and Tony Palmer's adaptation of Death in Venice.

Complementing the Royal Academy's Australia exhibition, the BFI hosts Australia: Shifting Sands. The season looks at the most significant shift in Australian cinema in the past two decades, when Indigenous filmmaking emerged. Following a referendum in 1967 that ensured Aboriginal Australians should be 'counted', Australian cinema began to change and filmmakers such as Weir, Schepisi and Noyce began to focus on Aboriginal characters. However, it wasn't until the mid-1990s and 2000s that Indigenous Australians got behind the camera, creating a significant shift. Through a number of screenings, this season tells the story of the development.

 
 
 

Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

The Season of Plenty continues throughout autumn.

21 New Globe Walk, Bankside, Bankside, London, SE1 9DT

Tube: Mansion House Station

 
 

The Season of Plenty at Shakespeare's Globe continues throughout autumn with A Midsummer Night's Dream, Macbeth, Blue Stockings and the Lightning Child all running until mid-October. Furthermore, the Belarus Free Theatre Company's production of King Lear opens on 23rd September for a six-night run. The company first performed the production during last year's Globe to Globe event in the World Shakespeare Festival and were described as "energetic...extraordinary...charming" by The Guardian. In Belarus, Europe's last dictatorship, the company is forced to hold their rehearsals and free performances in secret locations, normally small private apartments in the woods. Now, they return to London to tell the famous tale of a King falling into madness. Despite it being performed in Belarusian, this is a performance not to be missed.

 
 
 

Greece is the Word!

The Greek crisis examined by writers, commentators, musicians and comedians

Southbank Centre: Purcell Room, Belvedere Road, South Bank, London, SE1 8XX

Tube: Waterloo Station , Embankment Underground Station

 

Dates: 19th October 2013

 

The Southbank Centre addresses the current crisis in Greece through literature, debate, comedy and music in a day of events at the Purcell Room, Greece is the Word! The day starts with a journey through Greek literature, ancient and modern, with contributions from contemporary Greek writers as well as historian Bettany Hughes and grecophile novelist Victoria Hislop. Late afternoon, Channel 4 News' Paul Mason chairs a debate on the current political, economic and cultural situation, focussing in particular on the media coverage. The day will finish on a high at the Krisis Kabaret, hosted by Greek stand-up Katerina Vrana with music from Pavlos Melas, plus a few surprises.

 
 
 

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