Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room are back! What will you see here first?

Monday, March 5, 2018 - 11:38

We’re so, so happy that as of April 2018, Southbank Centre will be back to full power with the reopening of Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room, completing our Let The Light In renovations.

If the incredible reaction to the return of Hayward Gallery is anything to go by, we know that Southbank Centre fans are going to be clamouring to see what’s new. So we’ve put together a little guide to help you decide what your first events will be.

For architecture enthusiasts: Concrete Dreams

Queen Elizabeth Hall - East wing -1967

The poor architects of our Queen Elizabeth Hall – they threw so much love and passion into its creation only to see it voted the ugliest building in the country by Daily Mail readers, when it opened in 1967. Now we try and right this wrong with our Concrete Dreams experience in Purcell Room giving a unique insight into our iconic brutalist buildings. It’s free to come but you need to book in advance. Takes place from 10 April – 1 May.

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For classical fans: The opening gala – Chineke Orchestra!

#AfricaUtopia | Chineke! Orchestra - conducted by Wayne Marshall

There are just a handful of tickets left for our opening concert in Queen Elizabeth Hall, which stars the incredible Chineke! Orchestra. It’s going to be an electrifying event, made all the more symbolic by the fact Chineke! were born in the same venue, performing their first ever concert here on the day before the venue closed for renovation. Relive that night in the video above, and make sure you join us for their concert on 9 April.

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Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

Roger Montgomery -Is seeing believing- SC1

The chance to hear not one but two of Mozart’s thrilling Horn Concertos, with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment conducted by Sir Roger Norrington is just too good to pass up. Queen Elizabeth Hall is a great venue for work such as this – it creates true intimacy between audience and performer, while letting all those delicious musical vibrations have plenty of space. The concert takes place on 11 April.

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And that, of course, is not our only classical offering – here are a couple of the other names joining us in Queen Elizabeth Hall soon.

Tyondai Braxton
Benjamin Grosvenor


Something genre defying: London Sinfonietta & Philip Venables

A short introduction to the music of Philip Venables

The London Sinfonietta return to Queen Elizabeth Hall in typically eclectic fashion with the world premiere of Philip Venables’ The Gender Agenda. Billed as The Generation Game meets South Park, it incorporates a gameshow, audience involvement, cabaret, spoken word and an irreverent look at gender inequality. This well-rounded performance takes place 12 April.  What else could you want?

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That said, if you do, in fact, want something else, don't worry, we've got more cross arts events you can see.

Hannah Peel


Literature lovers: Chinua Achebe – Things Fall Apart

Chinua Achebe

It’s 60 years since the publication of Achebe’s classic novel of pre and post-colonial life in Nigera. We’re celebrating with this abridged reading, which stars the likes of Chibundu Onuzo, Lucian Msamati, Olu Jacobs, Adesua Etomi and Kele Okereke. If you love the book, you’ll enjoy it in a whole new light. If you’ve never read it, find out why it’s such a huge influence. Takes place on 15 April.

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If your literary interests lie elsewhere, why not take a look at one of the below events instead.

The Golden Notebook
Fifty Poems from Five Decades


Must have GSOH: Richard Herring – Oh Frig I’m 50 – 4 May

Richard Herring on Matt Forde's Unspun

Richard Herring’s turning 50 this year and naturally he’s taking stock of things. The very funny stand-up tracks his path from overgrown kidult to responsible parent, and assesses his chances of receiving a 100th birthday telegram from the Queen.

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Want more comedy? We've got plenty coming up as you can see on the link below.

Great stand-up comedy at Southbank Centre

no ticket? come anyway!

Of course you don’t have to book at ticket to come and see what’s happening. There are plenty of free events and the foyers are open in the hours ahead of shows so do feel free to pop in, have a look – and let us know what you think!

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