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Sabrina Mahfouz: These Bodies of Water

PAST EVENT
Wed 11 May 2022, 7.45pm
Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall
Literature & poetry
From £10
past event
past event
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Portrait of writer Sabrina Mahfouz wearing gold earrings and a black hat
Greg Morrison

Sabrina Mahfouz launches her debut non-fiction book, These Bodies of Water: Notes on the British Empire, the Middle East and Where We Meet.

In it, Mahfouz investigates the Empire through the Middle Eastern coastlines and waterways that were so vital to its hold.

Interwoven with her own personal experiences, she combines history, politics, myth and poetry, in a devastating examination of this unacknowledged part of Britain’s colonial past.

Joining Mahfouz to bring the text to life are Kareem Samara, oud player and musician, and Laura Hanna, singer and performer.

Sabrina Mahfouz is a writer and performer who was raised in London and Cairo. She works across multiple art forms, including film, TV, opera, dance and music. She is a Royal Society of Literature Fellow.

Kareem Samara is a musician, composer, and organiser. His practice combines traditional Arabic instruments and form with electronics to create a unique soundscape of protest. He is a serial collaborator (Smoked Poets, Bint Mbareh, Ryan Harvey) and often composes for various theatres in and around the UK.

Laura Hanna is a multidisciplinary performer, creator and singer. After training as an actor at Lamda, her career has developed to incorporate movement practises and music, collaborative theatre making and poetry. She also sings with folk-pop band Guise and sits on the steering group for MENA Arts UK.

This event is part of Purcell Sessions

Need to know

Age recommendation

For ages 16+

Join the author for a book signing after this event in the Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer, where These Bodies of Water: Notes on the British Empire, the Middle East and Where We Meet is available to purchase.

Dates & times

Wed 11 May 2022, 7.45pm
Approximate run time: 1 hour 30 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 £10*
  • 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.

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Venue

Purcell Room

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

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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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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.

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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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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 the Purcell Room by downloading our seating plan.

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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 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.

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