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6 April 2018

Southbank Centre announces (B)old: a new festival celebrating age and creativity

The Foundation is delighted be supporting the first creative ageing festival to be held at London's Southbank Centre taking place from 14 to 20 May 2018.

Featuring Germaine Acogny, Richard Alston, Alfred Brendel, Cheryl Campbell, Lavinia Co-op, Christopher Green, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Judith Kerr OBE, Zandra Rhodes, Nawal El Saadawi, Valda Setterfield and many more

(Photo Germaine Acogny, image credit: François Stemmer)

(B)old festival: Monday 14 – Sunday 20 May 2018

Southbank Centre today announces (B)old, a brand new festival celebrating age and creativity, supported by The Baring Foundation. Championing new and established artists aged 65 years and over, (B)old features a week of vibrant programming from Monday 14 – Sunday 20 May 2018 taking place across Southbank Centre’s 17 acre site including the newly reopened Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room.

(B)old explores and challenges cultural perspectives of age and the role it plays in arts and society, as well as the impact of creating and experiencing art at a later age. The new festival offers something for all ages and showcases work from artists across dance, music, theatre, visual art and literature. The programme features free events and activities, and an array of engaging workshops, talks and debates bringing the idea of ‘age’ into discussion.

Jude Kelly, Artistic Director of Southbank Centre said: (B)old is just that, a bold new festival showcasing the work of older artists, and celebrating age as a powerful force in arts and culture. We’re looking forward to exploring and challenging cultural perceptions of growing older – both in the arts and in modern society.

“We are very grateful for The Baring Foundation’s support in making this festival happen. Their work in the field of ageing is exemplary and leads us into powerful conversations and ideas about age and creativity.”  

David Cutler, Director of The Baring Foundation said: “The Baring Foundation has been championing creative ageing across the UK since 2010. There could be no better climax to this support than the Southbank Centre’s (B)old festival. It will make ageing a highpoint of the arts calendar.”

(B)old highlights include:

  • Fashionista Zandra Rhodes will open the festival on the morning of Monday 14 May, by raising the flags that she has designed exclusively for the roof of Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall.
  • Legendary reggae poet Linton Kwesi Johnson delves into his journey from Black Panther to internationally acclaimed poet, and a career spanning more than 40 years, in a special in conversation with Robin Denselow (14 May, QEH).
  • (B)old International Symposium Of Creative Ageing looking closely at how other countries and their societies are leading the way when it comes to how they treat their aging population, with keynote events and performances from attending artists from countries including Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Netherlands (18 May, Level 5 Function Room).
  • New York dance legend Valda Setterfield performs Lear, a deeply personal and riveting interpretation of Shakespeare’s masterpiece, choreographed by John Scott (20 May, QEH).
  • Up Yours! a vibrant new commission about queer life over the last half century, as the legendary Drag Queen Lavinia Co-op, performs, dances and shares memories and reflections of her extraordinary career (19 May, Purcell Room).
  • Acclaimed writer and illustrator Judith Kerr OBE, best known for The Tiger Who Came to Tea and the Mog series, discusses her life, career and her creativity in later years, in conversation with Southbank Centre Artistic Director Jude Kelly CBE (19 May, Purcell Room).
  • BAFTA award-winning actress Cheryl Campbell performs Moving The Goalposts, a moving new monologue and true story about surviving cancer after having said goodbye, by Juliet Ace and directed by the renowned Shared Experience’s Nancy Meckler (20 May, Purcell Room).
  • Southbank Centre will be the venue to celebrate Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Royal Wedding with a free 7 hour party extravaganza 21st Century Tea Dance Party including: tea and a giant wedding cake, wedding outfit catwalk, circus acts, tea-trolley dance troop, DJ and live coverage of the wedding in Windsor on the big screen. This will all be hosted by the glamourous Ida Barr, played by Olivier-award winning Christopher Green (19 May).
  • Poet and Playwright Tony Harrison who began his performance career in the 1960s as part of Southbank Centre’s Poetry International –  reads his acclaimed elegy Polygons followed by an in-conversation and Q&A with Jude Kelly CBE (16 May, Purcell Room).
  • Nawal El Saadawi, one of the most important writers to come out of the Arab world, discusses her life and drawings (19 May, QEH).
  • Olivier award-winning writer and performer Christopher Green invites participants to attend a welcome meeting for residential care in this experimental theatre piece Welcome to the Home (20 May, Level 5 Function Room).
  • The formidable pianist Alfred Brendel talks about the music that inspires his life and work (20 May, Purcell Room).
  • Renowned choreographer and Artistic Director of The Place Richard Alston discusses his extensive career in dance (19 May, Purcell Room).
  • Choreographer and performer Liz Aggiss explores sexual taboos and mature womanhood in the provocative dance and performance piece Slap and Tickle (18 May, Purcell Room).
  • Mother of contemporary African dance Germaine Acogny performs her explosive new work Mon elue noir (My Black Chosen One): Sacre #2 (18 May, QEH).
  • From their beds, older performers from Entelechy Arts share glimpses into the secret lives of so many of their generation, in their street performance Bed. Performances scattered across outside areas of Southbank Centre (19 & 20 May).

Panel discussions explore issues including the impact age has on artistic practice, and how to stay relevant. Age and sex are liberated in a Sex After Dawn; the idea of an optimal age is dissected in Prime and Fashion Fades Only Style Remains sees a discussion of bold confidence or seeming invisibility in older age in beauty, fashion and style.

A multitude of free events throughout the festival include the late night (B)old’s After Show Party celebrating growing old disgracefully; and a scientific experiment with artist Charlie Murphy and neurological biochemist Dr Selina Wray at the Neuronal Disco – creating the extraordinary patterns of brain cells, with disco dancing.

For more information or to buy tickets please visit the Southbank Centre website HERE or call 020 3879 9555

Full Listings can be viewed HERE

For further press information and interview requests please contact: Deborah Goodman, DGPR: / 020 8959 9980 / 07958 611218