Sun 15 Oct 2023, 5pm
Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall
From £5
past event
past event
Artist Mantawoman, holding their arms out to their sides, palms up, singing, with eyes closed. Someone plays the piano in the background.
Zen Grisdale(@zodnix)

The yangqin innovator welcomes you to the seascape of the human heart in a musical journey, flowing through kaleidoscopic portals and vast emotional geographies.

The yangqin is a traditional Chinese instrument with 144 steel strings which the player strikes with bamboo mallets.

As one of the world’s leading yangqin players, Mantawoman combines virtuosity and versatility across a wide spectrum of music, ranging from boundary-pushing commissions and textural improvisations to original songs reminiscent of Perfume Genius and Björk.

She treats the instrument as an interface for exploring magical dimensions of queer and transcultural experience.

This evening’s show is directed by Emma Henry Wolf, with Momoko Watanabe Gill on drums. The performance is followed by a Q&A session.

About the artist
Trained in San Francisco and Beijing, Mantawoman has toured internationally with the Grammy Award-winning Silkroad Ensemble and recorded on soundtracks for Marvel’s Shang ChiI: Legend of the Ten Rings and Netflix’s 1899. Videos of her playing have garnered millions of views on social media.

In London, she co-founded the transnational music collective Tangram, which became a platform for her to collaborate with composers and push the boundaries of what her instrument can do. Her talent has attracted illustrious collaborators ranging from Caroline Polachek to Yo-Yo Ma, who calls Mantawoman’s work ‘courageous, passionate, truth-seeking’.

Part of Southbank Centre Studios

Need to know

Smoke and haze are used during this performance.

Dates & times

Sun 15 Oct 2023, 5pm
Approximate run time: 2 hours.
Run times may vary by up to 20 minutes as they can be affected by last-minute programme changes, intervals and encores.


  • Standard entryFrom £5*
  • Concessions25%**

* Excludes £3.50 booking fee.

Book as early as you can to ensure the best choice of tickets. Ticket prices may be adjusted without notice to reflect demand.

** 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

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

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Frequently asked questions

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

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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. Please visit the Welcome Desk on Level 2, Royal Festival Hall, where a member of staff can provide you with the key. You can also use the phone next to the Changing Places toilet to speak to a member of staff. 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.

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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.

Please bear with us while we update our access map to reflect the refurbishment of the Royal Festival Hall’s Level 2 foyer spaces. The step-free routes remain the same.

Download step-free access map

More about Access & facilities