festival

How Do We Live with Death?

22 Feb - 25 Mar
Does modern society distance us from our own mortality? And how are we able to live with the death of a loved one without the promise of seeing them in an afterlife?Death and taxes unite us all, so join us for an exploration of the way that death affects our life, an issue with which thinkers, artists and composers have long struggled.

The London Philharmonic Orchestra showcases works including Berg’s Violin Concerto, dedicated to ‘the memory of an angel’, which conveys a bottomless depth of personal loss. They also perform the monumental centrepiece to their year of Belief and Beyond Belief concerts, with Penderecki’s St Luke Passion, a work which struggles and laments towards redemption.

The composer is at the festival to introduce the work and speak through his inspirations. Plus the BBC Concert Orchestra perform music for film and theatre which explores the representation of death and spirituality.

On the weekend of Saturday 4 – Sunday 5 March, speakers including Nick Baines, Bishop of Leeds, and Sarah Bakewell, author of How to Live: A Life of Montaigne in one question and twenty attempts at an answer, join together for talks, panels and debates covering topics such as whether we have the right to die, burial rites, apocalyptic religions and the way to immortality.

This is the third part of Belief and Beyond Belief, our year-long festival exploring religion, spirituality, belief and the world.

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Classical music
Orchestra
7:30 pm, 25 Feb 2017
The BBC Concert Orchestra explores the representation of death in music for film and theatre

4 Mar 2017

Free

Art
10:00 am, 4 Mar 2017 - 5 Mar 2017
Come see an exhibition of elaborate, customised replica ‘Crazy Coffins’
Talks & Topics
Nature & Environment
11:30 am, 4 Mar 2017
Get ready to debate what happens when we die
Literature
11:30 am, 4 Mar 2017
Join talks and debates on living with death at the third Belief & Beyond Belief weekend
Literature
Religion & Beliefs
11:30 am, 4 Mar 2017 - 5 Mar 2017
An exploration of religion, spirituality, belief and the world

Free

Literature
Spoken word & Live literature
12:00 pm, 4 Mar 2017 - 5 Mar 2017
Write a humorous commemoration for someone you love – while they are here to hear it
Teacher teaching a young girl at a craft workshop

Free

Art
12:00 pm, 4 Mar 2017 - 5 Mar 2017
Contribute to a growing collaborative installation of love for people you’ve lost or miss
Two young boys being taught by a teacher at a craft workshop

Free

Art
12:00 pm, 4 Mar 2017 - 5 Mar 2017
Craft a model viking burial boat with a message to a loved one and contribute to a growing fleet

Free

Art
1:00 pm, 4 Mar 2017
Join this workshop to decorate a coffin in the style of cultures which celebrate the end of life
Talks & Topics
Health & Wellbeing
1:00 pm, 4 Mar 2017
Debate the controversial issue of a person’s right to choose to die
Talks & Topics
Health & Wellbeing
1:00 pm, 4 Mar 2017
What makes a good life and what can we do to make the most of here and now?
Talks & Topics
Global Culture & Ethnicity
2:30 pm, 4 Mar 2017
Come on a journey through the world of funerals
Talks & Topics
Health & Wellbeing
2:30 pm, 4 Mar 2017
Hear a range of speakers tackle all kinds of topics from Belief & Beyond Belief
People parading at the Festival of Death

Free

Art
Performance
3:00 pm, 4 Mar 2017
Inspiration from dancehall funerals in Jamaica, New Orleans jazz funerals and Mexico’s Day of the Dead

Free

Talks & Topics
3:00 pm, 4 Mar 2017
Take part in a tea party-style discussion of death and dying in a supportive environment
Talks & Topics
Global Culture & Ethnicity
4:00 pm, 4 Mar 2017
In a chaotic and violent world, how do we make sense of death?
Performance
12:00 pm, 4 Mar 2017 - 5 Mar 2017
Confront your own mortality at Dead Line, part installation and part theatre performance
Krzysztof  Penderecki

Free

Classical music
6:15 pm, 4 Mar 2017
One of the most important living composers speaks about his work
Performance
Cabaret
7:30 pm, 4 Mar 2017 - 5 Mar 2017
Be moved by this show about how we respond to grief and the difficulties of talking about death
Classical music
Choral
7:30 pm, 4 Mar 2017
Hear Penderecki's St Luke Passion, a powerful choral retelling of the last days of Christ

5 Mar 2017

Free

Art
10:00 am, 4 Mar 2017 - 5 Mar 2017
Come see an exhibition of elaborate, customised replica ‘Crazy Coffins’
Literature
Religion & Beliefs
11:30 am, 4 Mar 2017 - 5 Mar 2017
An exploration of religion, spirituality, belief and the world

Free

Literature
Spoken word & Live literature
12:00 pm, 4 Mar 2017 - 5 Mar 2017
Write a humorous commemoration for someone you love – while they are here to hear it
Teacher teaching a young girl at a craft workshop

Free

Art
12:00 pm, 4 Mar 2017 - 5 Mar 2017
Contribute to a growing collaborative installation of love for people you’ve lost or miss
Two young boys being taught by a teacher at a craft workshop

Free

Art
12:00 pm, 4 Mar 2017 - 5 Mar 2017
Craft a model viking burial boat with a message to a loved one and contribute to a growing fleet

Our weekend pass for Belief and Beyond Belief: The Quick and the Dead – How Do We Live With Death? gives you access to talks, panels, and debates throughout the Saturday and Sunday of the festival.

Weekend Pass: £25

Book a Weekend Pass

Day Passes: £15 / £7.50 concessions

You can also book a pass to attend one or more days

Book a Saturday Pass

Book a Sunday Pass

explore our themes

This festival is comprised of a series of themes, find out more about them below.