Introducing a new year of performance and dance at Southbank Centre

Friday, February 23, 2018 - 10:08

As we announce our new Performance and Dance programme,  who better to guide you through the key events from the year ahead at Southbank Centre than our Senior Programmer for Performance and Dance, Rupert Thomson?

Rupert Thomson

It’s your programme…

It is a dangerous time for conventional wisdom. The world is changing fast. But you already knew that.

Our politics is changing, with new voices and causes emerging as fast as the past keeps repeating itself.

The possibilities of new technology, from artificial intelligence to the possibility of digital immortality, are changing our most basic ideas about what life is or could be.

You know that to remain relevant art has to speak to these new realities. And you believe that art, like it always has, can help to scout out what’s really going on in human experience. What’s changing, what the future holds. You know the power of the imagination.

So what do you do?

If you are Bush Moukarzel of theatrical innovators Dead Centre, you might decide that people need to see more things they have never seen before: so you cast a child in a moving and technologically playful hour-long monologue.

Hamnet by Dead Centre

Hamnet by Dead Centre

Or if you are Tim Etchells of Forced Entertainment you might flip roles and responsibilities and have children telling adults what’s what, with funny and provocative results.

That Night Follows Day

If you are Scottee, you probably figure that the things we should most be talking about are often the things considered taboo, off limits, so you make a show called Fat Blokes that puts the marginalized front and centre in joyful force.

Fat Blokes

If you are Isabelle Huppert, you may well go looking for the outer limits of eroticism in the writings of the Marquis de Sade, bringing the acting mastery you have developed over decades of top level performance to unlock this radical masterpiece of philosophy and sensuality.


If you are Kirsten Dehlholm of Hotel Pro Forma, you might work towards an epic, poetic, choral and electronic spectacle in honour of our fragile and increasingly defiled natural world.



And what else could you do?

Well, you want to experience some of these things live and in person. You want to be there to be see the incredible movement of Leah Marojevic in Colette Sadler’s Learning from the Future, pushing the limits of the human. You want to holler along with Busty Beats to the sexy subversion of Hot Brown Honey. And you want to show your children that fairy stories are dark and joyful and, like everything, adaptable, so you head along to Windmill Theatre’s anarchic Rumpelstiltskin.

Learning from the Future
Hot Brown Honey

Because you want to ask questions, to frame things differently, to see things you’ve never seen before and wonder what they mean.

Why? Because you are the audience. And you are an active part of this.