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

Aladdin Sane's Queer Legacies

Sat 22 Apr 2023, 7.45pm
Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall
Talks & debates
From £12
past event
past event
Portrait of Paul Burston with a glittery lightning bolt across the right hand side.
Mark Wardel aka Trademark

David Bowie’s sexual ambiguity, androgyny and subversion of gender identity left a lasting legacy. Writer Paul Burston chairs a panel to discuss it.

Burston is joined by writer Golnoosh Nour, artist Mark Wardel, performer and writer Kit Green and writer Jamie Windust.

David Bowie is a queer icon. Generations of queer kids growing up in the prevailing homophobic and transphobic culture of the 1970s and 1980s took refuge in his music and found connection to others through a shared love of his open rejection of societal norms.

Perhaps nothing represents this more than the iconic other-worldly, other-gendered images created by Bowie and Duffy for Aladdin Sane, that have now become a totemic symbol of pop culture.

Bowie continues to be a huge influence on today’s artists too, including many non-binary and trans artists who are inspired his Genderf*ck expression.

His influence on alternative club culture can be seen and heard on the dance floors of London’s clubs, including the legendary Duckie.

Need to know

Age recommendation

For ages 16+

Multi-buy discount
Book two or more literature and poetry events from our Aladdin Sane: 50 Years series and receive a £2 discount per ticket. Bookings must be made in the same transaction.

Events in this offer include:

NPL Presents: Aladdin Sound
Making a Show
Aladdin Sane’s Queer Legacies
Aladdin Sane at 50: The Making of an Icon

Dates & times

Sat 22 Apr 2023, 7.45pm
Approximate run time: 1 hour.
Run times may vary by up to 20 minutes as they can be affected by last-minute programme changes, intervals and encores.


  • Standard entryFrom £12*
  • 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.

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.




Purcell Room

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

Check here for our current guidance

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

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.

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. 

Email us

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.

Download seating plan


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 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