festival

Alchemy

19 May - 29 May
Alchemy returns from 19 – 29 May, showcasing the dynamic creativity and cultural connections between South Asia and the UK. Over ten days, Southbank Centre is enlivened with contemporary dance, performance, music and literature from international and British artists.

Alchemy is a space for the innovative and curious, where artists and audiences can exchange ideas. You're invited to explore a programme packed with artistic collaborations, workshops, talks, food and drink, along with a range of free events for those looking to try something new.

Now in its eighth year, Alchemy has grown to become the largest festival inspired by South Asian culture outside of the subcontinent. 2017 sees the festival continue its work with national partners Oldham Coliseum Theatre, Black Country Touring, and Cast, Doncaster. Each partner curates their own bespoke Alchemy programme, featuring local and regional artists, running alongside the festival in London. This tour is generously supported by Arts Council England.

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Help us to be a place where everyone can experience world-class art and culture that can stimulate, educate and inspire.

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18 May 2017

Tray of Food

Free

Global Culture & Ethnicity
Children & Young people
12:00 pm, 18 May 2017 - 29 May 2017
Explore Alchemy with a belly full of spice as street food pioneers KERB return

19 May 2017

Installation by Faiza Butt

Free

Art
10:00 am, 19 May 2017 - 29 May 2017
See London-based artist Faiza Butt's large-scale light wall installations
Tent with Installation

Free

Art
10:00 am, 19 May 2017 - 29 May 2017
Delve into a man’s search for meaning and identity within ever-changing India and Pakistan
Tray of Food

Free

Global Culture & Ethnicity
Children & Young people
12:00 pm, 18 May 2017 - 29 May 2017
Explore Alchemy with a belly full of spice as street food pioneers KERB return
Classical music
Opera
7:30 pm, 19 May 2017
Myth, music and dance meet in this extravagant operatic show

20 May 2017

Installation by Faiza Butt

Free

Art
10:00 am, 19 May 2017 - 29 May 2017
See London-based artist Faiza Butt's large-scale light wall installations
Tent with Installation

Free

Art
10:00 am, 19 May 2017 - 29 May 2017
Delve into a man’s search for meaning and identity within ever-changing India and Pakistan
Literature
Spoken word & Live literature
10:00 am, 20 May 2017
Take a seat as travelling storytellers stop by to share enchanting tales of adventure.
Tray of Food

Free

Global Culture & Ethnicity
Children & Young people
12:00 pm, 18 May 2017 - 29 May 2017
Explore Alchemy with a belly full of spice as street food pioneers KERB return
Literature
Talks & Topics
11:00 am, 20 May 2017
Start your day with Mohammed Hanif as he gives insights into Pakistan’s history, hopes and dilemmas
Contemporary Classical
Spoken word & Live literature
11:45 am, 20 May 2017
Bring the littles ones along for songs and stories
Literature
Talks & Topics
11:45 am, 20 May 2017
Explore characters and fictions inspired by exile and displacement with Kamila Shamsie and others
Talks & Topics
Artists & Thinkers
11:45 am, 20 May 2017
Hear from directors, filmmakers, documentarians and designers on the Pakistani Renaissance
Literature
Talks & Topics
1:30 pm, 20 May 2017
Speakers weigh up the challenge of portraying Pakistan’s gender and class divide in fiction
Talks & Topics
1:30 pm, 20 May 2017
Debate the dangers of poor provision in a talk with educations, entrepreneurs and experts
Literature
Spoken word & Live literature
1:30 pm, 20 May 2017
See Fauzia Minallah’s animated film about Malala and hear of her ‘art beyond the walls’ experience
Literature
Talks & Topics
2:45 pm, 20 May 2017
Hear Baroness Warsi discuss her book, The Enemy Within: A Tale of Muslim Britain, with Suniya Qureshi
Talks & Topics
Global Culture & Ethnicity
2:45 pm, 20 May 2017
Analyse the geopolitical and internal challenges facing Pakistan
Talks & Topics
2:45 pm, 20 May 2017
Examine if Urdu is under threat from English or regional languages in this talk
Literature
Talks & Topics
3:45 pm, 20 May 2017
Witness a medley of readings, film clips, recitals and poetry about the Partition of India
Literature
Poetry
4:00 pm, 20 May 2017
Join us to discover outstanding poetry and prose by writers and poets of Pakistani origin
Talks & Topics
Global Culture & Ethnicity
4:00 pm, 20 May 2017
Partake in this debate on the challenges faced by diaspora Pakistanis in Europe and how they cope
Talks & Topics
Global Culture & Ethnicity
5:15 pm, 20 May 2017
Discuss the legislations around transgender people and women in Pakistan
Talks & Topics
Society & Activism
5:15 pm, 20 May 2017
Discuss the battle for Karachi and its resilience in spite of the gang wars and political conflict
Talks & Topics
Politics & History
5:15 pm, 20 May 2017
Can social media change the political scene in Pakistan?

don't miss

28 May
Classical music
Gigs
Hear Abida Parveen, one of the finest Sufi vocalists of the modern era, in this special performance
see all events

alchemy stories

video
An interview with celebrated Indian film composer A R Rahman ahead of the London Philharmonic Orchestra
podcast
Qawwali singer and composer Shye Ben-Tzur and guest guitarist Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood perform 'Challa Wahi Desh'

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