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Saved events

    Visions of the Future

    Sun 26 Sep, 12 noon UTC
    Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall
    Literature & poetry
    past event
    Portrait photograph of writer Harry Josephine Giles
    Rich Dyson

    Harry Josephine Giles, Tade Thompson and Temi Oh discuss the world as seen through sci-fi in this event chaired by Ellah P Wakatama, the editor and publisher.

    Together they examine the role sci-fi plays in imagining and challenging future society.

    Inspiration comes from sources including HG Wells, whose work foresaw developments as varied as the Declaration of Human Rights and the World Wide Web, and who was an early president of PEN.

    Produced in partnership with English PEN.

    Born in London to Yoruba parents, Tade Thompson is the author of Rosewater, winner of the 2019 Arthur C Clarke Award and the Nommo Award. His Shirley Jackson Award-shortlisted novella The Murders of Molly Southbourne has recently been optioned for screen adaptation.

    While studying Neuroscience at King’s College London, Temi Oh founded and ran a book-club called Neuroscience-fiction, where she led discussions about science-fiction books which focus on the brain, and began working on her first novel, Do You Dream of Terra-Two? Oh was born in London to Nigerian parents.

    Harry Josephine Giles is a writer and performer from Orkney, living in Edinburgh. Their collection Tonguit was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, and The Games for the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award and Saltire Prize for Best Collection. Their spoken word presence saw them become the 2009 BBC Scotland slam champion, and their theatre has toured globally.

    Ellah P Wakatama OBE is Editor at Large, Canongate Books Ltd., Senior Research Fellow at Manchester University (Centre for New Writing) and Chair of the Caine Prize for African Writing. In 2011 she was awarded an OBE for services to the publishing industry and in 2016 was named one of New African Magazine’s ‘100 Most Influential Africans’.

    Need to know

    Age recommendation/restriction

    For ages 16+

    Dates & times

    Sun 26 Sep, 12 noon UTC


    • Standard entry£10*
    • Concessions25%**

    * Excludes £3.50 booking fee.

    ** Limited availability. Read about concessions.

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    Purcell Room

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

    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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    Tickets & concessions faqs

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

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    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.

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    More about Access & facilities 

    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 key for this room is available from the Welcome Hub on Level 2, Royal Festival Hall. The facility is open daily 10am – 11pm.

    Our cloakroom opens around 60 minutes before the start of any show, and closes around 15 minutes after the performance ends. It’s at the bottom of the stairs next to the Ticket Desk.