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    Elle McNicoll: Like a Charm

    Sat 19 Feb, 11am
    Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall
    Family & young people
    Adult £10, Child £7.50
    past event
    past event
    Elle McNicoll, writer, photographed in a market

    Elle McNicoll uncovers her mystical new book, Like a Charm, in conversation with Anna James.

    When Ramya moves back to Edinburgh, she isn’t looking for an adventure; she just wants to get through school.

    But she’s soon pulled into her family’s magical secrets, and has her eyes opened to an underground world of unseen mystical creatures.

    Armed with her late grandfather's notebooks, she sets out to discover more and comes up against the mysterious and deadly Sirens.

    Like a Charm is a beautifully written, compelling magical fantasy with McNicoll’s trademark compassion and celebration of difference.

    McNicoll’s debut novel, A Kind of Spark, won the Blue Peter Book Award and the overall Waterstones Children's Book Prize, and is currently being adapted for TV. She is an advocate for better representation of neurodiversity in publishing.

    Anna James is a writer and arts journalist. She is the author of the bestselling Pages & Co series which is published in 21 countries. Formerly Book News Editor at The Bookseller and Literary Editor of ELLE UK, James is also host and co-curator of Lush Book Club.

    James writes about books and theatre for outlets including The Stage, the LA Times and Buzzfeed. She has contributed stories to the Kate Mosse-edited collection I Am Heathcliff and Goldsboro Books’ 21st birthday anthology.

    Need to know

    Age recommendation

    For ages 8+

    Join the author for a book signing after this event, where Like a Charm is available to purchase.

    This event is a Relaxed Performance (RP).

    There is no loud music or flashing lights, and an opportunity to submit questions before the event.

    A Relaxed Performance is perfect for anyone who would benefit from a more relaxed audience experience. Relaxed Performances are adapted in a number of ways to reduce anxiety and create a supportive atmosphere, including adjusting light and sound effects, and having a relaxed attitude towards audience noise and movement in the auditorium, with the option to leave and re-enter.

    To join our free Access Scheme, email [email protected]

    Find out more about our Access Scheme

    Dates & times

    Sat 19 Feb, 11am
    Approximate run time: 60 mins.
    Run times may vary by up to 20 minutes as they can be affected by last-minute programme changes, intervals and encores.


    • Standard entryAdult £10, Child £7.50
    • Concessions25%**

    * Excludes £3.50 booking fee.

    ** Limited availability. Read about concessions.

    Tickets can only be sold through the Southbank Centre and our authorised agents, and can't be resold. You can return your tickets to the Southbank Centre for a credit voucher up to 48 hours before the event. Tickets resold on any third-party platforms will become invalid.

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    Purcell Room

    Our number one priority is the health and wellbeing of our visitors and staff. 

    Check here for our current guidance

    Open 90 minutes before an event until the end of the event. Closed at all other times.

    See the opening times for all our venues

    Our address is: Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX. The nearest tube and train stations within 5-7 minutes walk are Waterloo (Northern, Bakerloo, Jubilee and Waterloo & City lines) and Embankment (District & Circle lines). There are also lots of bus routes with stops 2-5 minutes from our venues. For more information on getting here by road, rail or river.

     Visit our Getting here page

    Pre-booking online is recommended. Check our website on the day for returns. There’s no need to print your e-ticket – just show your phone to our Visitor Assistants on entry.

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    Find out all you need to know about tickets, including concessions, group bookings, returns and more, via the link below.

    Tickets & concessions FAQs

    Get an overview of the seating layout of the Purcell Room by downloading our seating plan.

    Download seating plan


    An accessible toilet is located in the foyer.

    A Changing Places toilet is located on Level 1 Royal Festival Hall next to the JCB Glass Lift, for the exclusive use of disabled people who need personal assistance to use the toilet.

    The facility includes a height-adjustable bench, tracking hoist system, a centrally-placed toilet, a height-adjustable basin and a shower. The key for this room is available from the Welcome Hub on Level 2, Royal Festival Hall. The facility is open daily 10am – 11pm.


    The Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room cloakroom is closed. You won’t be able to bring any bags over 40 x 25 x 25cm into the venues, so please leave large bags at home.

    We're cash-free

    Please note that we're unable to accept cash payments across our site. 

    Purcell Room is located in Queen Elizabeth Hall. For step-free access please use Royal Festival Hall JCB glass lift to Level 2 and enter via Riverside Terrace.

    Talk to a member of staff at the auditorium entrance if you have a disability that means you can’t queue, or you need extra time to take your seat. They can arrange priority entry for you as soon as the doors open.

    Download step-free access map

    More about Access & facilities