Margaret Leng Tan: Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep
‘The formidable doyenne of the avant-garde piano’
A work that sweeps across the senses, Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep is a sonic portrait of new music icon Margaret Leng Tan – an evocative exploration of memory, time, control and loss.
New York-based Singaporean pianist Tan forged a path as a major force within the American avant-garde, becoming a muse to giants such as John Cage and George Crumb, and transforming the toy piano into a serious instrument.
Her stellar career covers 40 years of experimental musical innovation, using overlooked objects and instruments to bring new meaning to her compositions and performances.
Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep combines spoken and recorded text, projected images and original music for prepared piano, toy piano, toys, and percussion by Tan’s long-term collaborator Erik Griswold, to present a powerful autobiographical performance of Tan’s personal life and the music that has shaped her career.
Dragon Ladies Don’t Weep won the 2021 Australian Art Music Award for Work of the Year (Dramatic Category).
Margaret Leng Tan musician/performer
Erik Griswold composer
Tamara Saulwick director
Kok Heng Leun \ Drama Box dramaturg
Nick Roux video artist
Andy Lim lighting design
Yuan Zhiying costume design
‘[Tan] remains a vital and energetic performer’
Need to know
For ages 12+
Audio Description is available during the performance on Saturday 25 May. To use this service, please let a member of the team know when you arrive so that we can organise a headset for you.
There is a Touch Tour available before the event on Saturday 25 May. Touch Tours give people the opportunity to touch the sets, props and costumes to familiarise themselves ahead of the performance, and may be particularly good for blind and partially-sighted visitors.
To attend or register your interest in the Touch Tour, please select this option as an add-on when booking tickets. Further details will be sent closer to the performance date.
Dates & times
Fri 24 May, 7.30pm
Sat 25 May, 7.30pm
- Standard entry£20 – £30*
* Excludes £3.50 booking fee.
** 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.
Get presale tickets
Members get the first chance to book our entire programme of events, including go-down-in-history gigs, concerts with world-class orchestras, and talks from cultural icons and political giants.
Queen Elizabeth Hall
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.
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.
If you don't receive your e-ticket
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.
Find out all you need to know about tickets, including concessions, group bookings, returns, credit vouchers and more, via the link below.
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.
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.
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.