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Max Porter: Shy

PAST EVENT
Accessible
Sun 2 Apr 2023, 7.30pm
Queen Elizabeth Hall
Literature & poetry
From £15
past event
past event
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‘Max Porter is one of my favourite writers in the world.’

George Saunders

The author leads a world-exclusive dramatic reading of scenes from his new novel, Shy, with a cast including Ruth Wilson, Toby Jones and David Alade.

The performance is followed by a conversation between Max Porter and Wilson about the author’s writing life.

Shy tells the story of a few strange hours in the life of a troubled teenage boy. He is wandering into the night listening to the voices in his head: his teachers, his parents, the people he has hurt and the people who are trying to love him.

He is escaping Last Chance, a home for ‘very disturbed young men’, and walking into the haunted space between his night terrors, his past and the heavy question of his future.

Shy is a novel about guilt, rage, imagination and boyhood. It is about being lost in the dark, and realising you are not alone.

Opening with an exclusive performance led by Porter, this unique event takes you into Shy’s world and inner life.

Max Porter’s first novel, Grief Is the Thing with Feathers, won the Sunday Times/Peters, Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year, the International Dylan Thomas Prize, the Europese Literatuurprijs and the BAMB Readers’ Award. His second novel, Lanny, was a Sunday Times bestseller and was longlisted for the Booker Prize. His work has been translated into 30 languages.

The performance is directed by Jack McNamara, Artistic Director of Live Theatre Newcastle, whose previous productions for the Southbank Centre include Don DeLillo’s The Word for Snow and Samuel Beckett’s Texts For Nothing, as well as recently co-directing the In The Black Fantastic Live performance with Tian-Brown Sampson.

Two-time Olivier award-winner, Golden Globe winner, and Tony- and BAFTA-nominated actress Ruth Wilson is best known for her portrayals of Mrs Coulter in His Dark Materials, Alison Bailey in The Affair, Alice Morgan in Luther and for her work on the London stage. Wilson has quickly become one of Britain’s most lauded actresses.

Toby Jones is a BAFTA-winning actor whose work can be seen in two of this year’s leading films, Sam Mendes’ Empire of Light and Netflix’s The Wonder. His innumerable critically acclaimed work includes roles in projects like ?Infamous, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and The Girl, as well as on stage in productions such as Uncle Vanya and The Birthday Party.

David Alade is an actor and writer; he featured in the West End production of The Fishermen and his screen credits include Documentary Now! and Casualty. His most recent work was a one-man play, written and performed by himself, fully commissioned by Theatre Peckham, called Sunny Side Up. Following on from its success, he’s now working with Distant Voices on a new project.

Need to know

Age recommendation

For ages 16+

This event is British Sign Language interpreted (BSL) Paul Michaels (subject to change).

To book tickets for these services, call our Ticket Office on 020 3879 9555 or email [email protected].

You can join our free Access Scheme through your online Southbank Centre account or via email.
Find out more about our Access Scheme
All our Access & facilities information

There is a 15-minute interval between the performance and conversation sections of this event.

Copies of Max Porter’s new book, Shy, are available to purchase as an optional add-on for £9.99 (RRP £12.99) when you buy a ticket to the talk. These may be collected at the event.

Dates & times

Sun 2 Apr 2023, 7.30pm
Approximate run time: 1 hour 45 mins.
Run times may vary by up to 20 minutes as they can be affected by last-minute programme changes, intervals and encores.

Price

  • Standard entryFrom £15*
  • 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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Venue

Queen Elizabeth Hall

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

Check here for our current guidance

The Queen Elizabeth Hall is open daily from 10am.

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.

Some free events don't require a ticket. Found an event labelled FREE on our website with no way to book? Simply turn up on the day.

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Your e-ticket will be sent to you seven days before the event date from [email protected]. If you don't receive your e-ticket, and it's not in your junk or spam folder, please get in touch. 

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More information

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

Frequently asked questions

Get an overview of the seating layout of Queen Elizabeth Hall by downloading our seating plan.

Download seating plan

Toilets

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 phone outside the Changing Places toilet will connect you with a member of staff, who can provide you with the key. The facility is open daily 10am – 11pm.

Cloakroom

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

We're cash-free

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

For step-free access from the Queen Elizabeth Hall Slip Road off Belvedere Road to the Queen Elizabeth Hall auditorium seating (excluding rows A to C) and wheelchair spaces in the Rear Stalls, plus Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer and the Purcell Room, please use the Queen Elizabeth Hall main entrance.

To reach this entrance, enter the Royal Festival Hall via the Southbank Centre Square Doors. Take the JCB Glass Lift to Level 2 and exit to the Riverside Terrace. Turn right to find the Queen Elizabeth Hall main entrance.

You can also use the external lift near the Artists' Entrance on Southbank Centre Square to reach Mandela Walk, Level 2. 

For access to the Queen Elizabeth Hall auditorium seating rows A to C and wheelchair spaces in the Front Stalls, please enter via the Artists' Entrance in the Queen Elizabeth Hall Slip Road (Level 1).

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 and facilities

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