literature & poetry

Polari: Featuring Diana Souhami

The LGBTQ+ literary salon shines a spotlight on the writer best known for her biographies of personalities including Gluck, Radclyffe Hall and Alice Keppel.

Double Lambda winner Diana Souhami tells the story of four women who changed history in her latest book, No Modernism Without Lesbians.

Steven Appleby and James McDermott join Souhami, reading from their latest works, with more guests to be announced.

The evening also reveals the shortlist for the Polari First Book Prize, hosted as ever by the event’s celebrated founder, journalist and author Paul Burston.

Diana Souhami’s first biography, Gluck: Her Biography, was published in 1988. It has since been used as the basis for a BBC documentary and an exhibition at the Brighton Art Gallery.

Two of her books, The Trials of Radclyffe Hall and Coconut Chaos, have been broadcast as BBC Radio 4’s Book of the Week. The Radclyffe Hall book was also shortlisted for the James Tait Black Memorial Prize.

Mrs Keppel and Her Daughter was a New York Times ‘Notable Book of the Year’ and featured on Radio 4’s A Good Read.

Among other titles, Selkirk’s Island won the Whitbread biography award, Edith Cavell won East Anglia Book of the Year and Murder at Wrotham Hill was shortlisted for a Crime Writers' Golden Dagger Award.

Souhami is a Rainbow List National Treasure and she lives in London.

Dates & times

31 Jul 2020
Approximate run time: 135 mins
Run times may vary, find out more


Royal Festival Hall
Level 5 Function Room, Green Side


Booking fee: £3.50 (Members £0.00)


25% off (limited availability)
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need to know

Age recommendation
For ages 16+

Content warning
Please note that Polari contains adult themes.

Southbank Centre takes a strong view on secondary ticketing. We require the lead booker to attend (photo ID may be requested). Tickets can only be resold by Southbank Centre or one of its authorised agents.