The Royal Festival Hall’s Level 2 foyer spaces are currently being refurbished, as we work to bring you a brand new cafe, bar, shop and Ticket Office. Find out more

Salman Rushdie: Knife

Accessible
Sun 21 Apr, 2.30pm
Queen Elizabeth Hall
Literature & poetry
From £15
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A older man wearing a grey shirt with thin metal frame glasses, one of the lenses is blacked out.
Rachel Eliza Griffiths

Join the Southbank Centre and English PEN for the launch of Rushdie's memoir, as he shares his survival story via livestream in conversation with Erica Wagner.

Hear Salman Rushdie speaking out for the first time, and in unforgettable detail, about the traumatic events of his attempted murder on 12 August 2022. He answers violence with art and reminds us of the power of words to make sense of the unthinkable.

In an evening combining live readings from actors Anjana Vasan and Sanjeev Bhaskar, and candid reflections from Salman Rushdie, who joins us via video livestream, this unique event offers a deeply personal account of the attack and its aftermath.

Join the event in-person or online to hear directly from the internationally renowned and Booker Prize-winning author Salman Rushdie as he talks openly about enduring – and surviving – an attempt on his life.

Salman Rushdie is the author of fifteen previous novels, including Midnight’s Children (for which he won the Booker Prize and the Best of the Booker), Shame, The Satanic Verses, The Moor’s Last Sigh, and Quichotte, all of which have been shortlisted for the Booker Prize.

He is a former president of PEN America and the recipient of the PEN Centenary Courage Award. His books have been translated into over forty languages. In 2023, he was named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People of the Year.

In June 2007 he received a knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. He joined the prestigious Companions of Honour in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in her Platinum Jubilee year.

Erica Wagner’s books include Mary and Mr Eliot: A Sort-of Love Story; Chief Engineer: Washington Roebling, The Man Who Built the Brooklyn Bridge; First Light: A Celebration of Alan Garner and a novel, Seizure. She was the literary editor of The Times for seventeen years and is a contributing writer for the New Statesman and consulting literary editor for Harper’s Bazaar. She is Goldsmiths Distinguished Writers’ Centre Fellow and was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2023.

Anjana Vasan was born in Chennai, India, and moved to Singapore when she was four. She is an actress and singer-songwriter based in London. Anjana is known for her stage work, winning a Laurence Olivier Award for her role in A Streetcar Named Desire at the Almeida Theatre in 2023, opposite Paul Mescal and Patsy Ferran. Anjana was nominated for a British Academy Television Award for her role in the Channel 4 sitcom We Are Lady Parts. Other TV appearances include Black Mirror and Killing Eve, among many others.

Actor and writer Sanjeev Bhaskar gained notoriety as creator and performer of the BBC hit series Goodness Gracious Me, and wrote and starred in The Kumars at No. 42, which had global success, winning two Emmys, a BAFTA nomination, a British Comedy Award and the Bronze Rose at Montreux. In 2007, Bhaskar embarked on a highly personal journey through modern India with the BBC to commemorate 60 years of Indian independence. His accompanying travel book became a Sunday Times bestseller.

Need to know

Age recommendation

For ages 16+

This event is Speech-to-Text transcribed (STT).

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 information

Top-price tickets include a copy of Knife for the discounted price of £15 (RRP £20). The book must be collected on the night of the event, as we’re unable to distribute copies afterwards.

Please note that Salman Rushdie joins this event via video livestream.

This event is also available to watch online.
Find out more

Dates & times

Sun 21 Apr, 2.30pm
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 £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.

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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 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

From a snack with coffee to cocktails and fine dining, plus some of London's best street food – it's all here on the Southbank Centre site.

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