Michael Pinchbeck in The Post Show Party Show

Award-winning writer and performance artist Michael Pinchbeck takes his parents on tour to recreate the post-show party where they met after an amateur dramatic production of The Sound of Music.

His mum was a nun. His dad was a Nazi.

Got your attention yet? Have a look at this trailer for more info!

 

Catch Michael Pinchbeck in The Post Show Party Show at Southbank Centre from       8 – 10 July. Get tickets here.

Tout va Bien – contemporary physical theatre

This week, internationally acclaimed choreographer Alain Buffard brings his work Tout va Bien to the UK for the first time. Passionate and fiery with strong language, sexually explicit scenes and depictions of violence, this show isn’t for the faint of heart.

Here’s a sneak peak of what to expect:

Alain Buffard’s Tout va Bien is showing at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall on Sunday 22 May. Get tickets here

Stewart Lee in The Complete Vegetable Stew

Stewart Lee. Photo: Gavin Evans

Stewart Lee. Photo: Gavin Evans

At the end of May, award-winning comic Stewart Lee is presenting his Austerity Binge – a weekend of his favourite comedy and music – as part of Southbank Centre’s Festival of Britain.

Have a sneak peak of Stewart’s stuff on BBC iPlayer with his new series of Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle. There are still some tickets available to Stewart’s headline gig in Royal Festival Hall on Friday 27 May, but get in quick!

Stewart Lee’s Austerity Binge at Southbank Centre from 27 – 30 May. See full listings and book tickets here.

 

Free Run – take a look behind the scenes!

Spectacular free-running group 3Run are preparing for the world premiere of Free Run, headling E4 Udderbelly Festival at Southbank Centre this year. Here’s a sneak peak behind the scenes!

Catch Free Run at E4 Udderbelly Festival at Southbank Centre from 15 May – 17 July. Get tickets here

Get to know… Choreographer Alain Buffard

What do you fear the most and why?
The stupidity of men, the brutality of the politic men, intolerance of the others.

Which mobile number do you call the most?
My husband

What – or where – is perfection?
Johann Sebastian Bach

 Who is your favourite hero from fiction (book/comic/film/opera) – and why?
Baron de Charlus in Proust’s Search of Lost Time, because he is a model for his eccentric mannerisms and he is a real dandy.

 What’s your favourite ritual?
Hammam

 Which living person do you most admire (and why)?
They are all dead!

What other talent or skill would you like to possess?
Playing the piano and singing well

Tell us about a special memory you have of Southbank Centre?
Performing Parades & Changes last year

If you could programme your ideal Southbank Centre show, which artists (living or dead) would you bring?
Kurt Weill

What’s your favourite website?
The French newspaper Liberation. I’m touring a lot that’s the only way to stay connected with my country.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Humility

What is the most played piece of music on your MP3 player or in your CD collection?
George Frideric Handel, Rodelinda: duetto ‘Io t’abbraccio’

Alain Buffard’s Tout va Bien is showing at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall on Sunday 22 May. Get tickets here

The Alchemy Festival 2011

Bigger, bolder, brighter and now in high definition.

This years Alchemy was again a festival celebrating Indian/Asian culture, but with a lot more diversity and a wide array of events to offer.  Sufism as Wikipedia states is “a science through which one can know how to travel into the presence of the Divine, purifying one’s inner self from filth, and beautify it with a variety of praiseworthy traits.”  It’s core is derived from the traditional teachings of Islam. The Quran and lifestyle of the Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him.  It’s belief harnessing the individual to spiritually connect with the divine, knowing their purpose in society, environmentally & socially. Sadly Sufism today like many sects of Islam are branched off into its own category. But Sufism has been around since the beginning of Islam. Its roots stem into every part of life into the arts, lifestyle & worship. Challenging the individual to look at every part of creation, every part of our day to day actions and see the beauty of the creator in all that we do.

As someone who enjoys this so called Sufi culture I was delighted to see the Alchemy had embraced a lot more Sufi based events. Whose influence in Asia drastically impacted architecture, poetry and the arts.

There was a lot of focus and rightly so on the worldwide famous poet Jalaludin Rumi, within the Alchemy this year. Rumi is a 13th-century Persian Muslim poet, jurist and theologian. His poetry has influenced Persian literature as well as Urdu, Punjabi and other Pakistani languages. Rumi’s poems mainly focus on the concept of Tawheed (The oneness of god and longing to be with the beloved creator, and illusions and distractions of this world.) Rumi believed passionately in the use of music, poetry, and dance as a path for reaching God. His poems only need to be read to illustrate the deep richness behind his words. And any poor description I give him through my words would not give him true justice to his poetic magnificence.

The Calligraphy In Motion event on Friday the 15th April 2011 was a fashion show, inspired by the use of dance and poetry. The models wore modern takes on traditional Asian clothing. Intricately designed and tailored with calligraphy on the fabric. Whilst an array of dancers and traditional Indian music provided an exciting backdrop for the fashion show.

On Saturday the 16th of April I was even more overwhelmed to have attended a workshop by master calligrapher Anis Siddiqui. The early 11 am start didn’t  exactly thrill me after a long week. But it was so worth traveling down to the Southbank for. I took part in an interactive workshop using bamboo as calligraphy pens and tried the traditional art of calligraphy. It felt very much like a young apprentice learning the craft from a skilled master. I also realised how incredibly hard it is to do calligraphy with one continuous stroke. Our master calligrapher told us it took him ten years to learn. This concept I totally understood, because the amount of patience and focus you have to endure is something else. When you realise bamboo pens are not the most easiest to work with. And like every craft its something that has to be mastered, in a matter of years not minutes as I would have liked sadly.

Alchemy this year for me was just everything I expected and more. I had attended and blogged on a few events last year on the Alchemy and thoroughly enjoyed it. This year I was blown away by the finite details of interweaving the Sufi culture into Alchemy, which is quite integral to many Muslim based region’s within India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. And to have had a master class with Anis Siddiqui was probably my highlight and something that I will take with me for years to come.  I don’t know how next years alchemy will top this. But a big well done to the Southbank and to all those who were involved, fantastic!