Trailer from comedy legends, The Horne Section

Catch The Horne Section at Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall from 30 October – 2 November. Get tickets here. 

Frisky & Mannish confirmed as guests for The Horne Section

Frisky & Mannish descirbe themselves as ‘popmusicy-seriocomic-mashparodic-stereophonic-LOUD-vaudevillian-sketchcabaret-throwbackcurrent-oldfangled-newfashioned-bapsbotty-infotainment. Or, to be succinct, we tit around with pop songs.’

Frisky and Mannish, photo: Idil Sukan

Next week they join The Horne Section on Friday 2 November as special guests alongside Dave Gorman for a night of spontaneous stand-up, spectacular performance and outlandish musical talent.

Listen to Frisky & Mannish with The Horne Section in their rendition of Rihanna’s Rude Boy in the style of The Bee Gees.

Catch Frisky & Mannish and The Horne Section at Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth on Friday 2 November. Get tickets here. 

Just announced – Dave Gorman headlines The Horne Section show on 2 November!

The Horne Section


Gathering together the UK’s finest musicians and throwing them on stage with the world’s most exciting comics, Alex Horne has created a truly unique comedy experience.

This is a heady mix of spontaneous stand-up, spectacular performance and outlandish musical talent. Hot on the rhythmic heels of their very own Radio 4 series and three years of sell-out shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the West End and across the world, the Horne Section bring their indomitable late night fanfare to Southbank Centre.

We’re also very excited to announce that the headliner for Friday 2 November is comic-genius and Absolute Radio-presenter, Dave Gorman, who brought his brilliant PowerPoint presentation to Southbank Centre earlier this year.

Dave Gorman


Catch Dave Gorman headlining The Horne Section at Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall on Friday 2 November. Get tickets here. 


Fitzrovia Radio Hour

Recreating the unique spirit of 1940s radio plays and brilliantly evoking a dinner-jacketed age of casual imperialism and stiff upper lips, the Fitzrovia Radio Hour’s brand new show comes fresh from three critically acclaimed London residencies, and two sell-out years at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Here’s Fitzrovia Radio Hour’s guide to Red Cross Week 2012. Spiffing, what what!


Catch Fitzrovia Radio Hour at Priceless London Wonderground at Southbank Centre on Saturday 29 September. Get tickets here. 

Sandi Toksvig live – this weekend at Queen Elizabeth Hall

Sandi Toksvig – comedian, novelist, actor, broadcaster, show-off and international treasure – is embarking on her first major UK solo tour in years to celebrate the publication of her new novel ‘Valentine Grey’. Southbank Centre is lucky enough to be welcoming Sandi back to the Queen Elizabeth Hall this bank-holiday weekend on Saturday 25 August for one night only.

Having been a long-standing host of BBC Radio Four’s ‘News Quiz’ and ‘Excess Baggage’ and regular ‘QI’ panellist, Sandi presents a brand new, uniquely witty evening of stand-up, stories and fascinating facts.

Sandi will also be signing copies of her new book ‘Valentine Grey’ after the show in the Queen Elizabeth Hall foyer.

Sandi Toksvig

This week, Sandi has been at the Edinburgh Fringe performing the show. Here are a few pieces to whet your appetite ahead of Saturday’s show:

Sandi Toksvig on why the Fringe is great
‘The flat we rented which was so large we played golf in the hall.’ Read more here.

Five-minute festival: Sandi Toksvig’s guide to the Fringe.
What did you do 34 years ago at the Fringe?
The terrible thing is, I don’t remember. I know I was 20 years old, and I know it was a sketch show. It was in the basement of a church, and there were many pillars between the stage and the audience. Which would have been dreadful had the audience turned up. But they didn’t, which was good. Read more here.

Sandi Toksvig comes to Fringe with live show My Valentine
You write everything from kids to adult fiction, as well as an array of non-fiction. What inspires you?
I love writing. I think about who I’m writing for and I just do it. I’ve been inspired by the comments of a 12 year old girl, my own son, or just bits of history that inspire me. Different people and things inspire me: that’s how it should be I think to keep it interesting. My latest book, Valentine Grey[which inspired Toksvig’s latest tour] was inspired by a plaque in a church. Everything starts from something and then you just allow yourself to dive into another world. Read more here. 

Catch Sandi Toksvig Live! – My Valentine on Saturday 25 August at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall. Get tickets here.

Tumble Circus are in town!

In June, Priceless London Wonderground welcomes Tumble Circus to the spiegeltent! Ireland’s award-winning, dynamic acrobatic duo peel back the canvas to reveal the human side of circus. No fanfare or sequins, just the extraordinary skill and passion of two carnies on a lifelong adventure. Featuring flying hula hoops, slapstick acrobatics, stunning aerial rope and daring double trapeze, this autobiographical circus comedy has wowed audiences of all ages, the world over.

‘Turning the circus tradition upside down’  (Irish Times)

‘Funny and flexible with great comic timing,…very impressive’ (Advertiser)


Kenneth Fall – one half of the Tumble Circus duo – talks about the creation of their award-winning show:

‘This is what we do for a living’ was made in January 2010. We uprooted ourselves form wintery east Belfast to sunny Melbourne Australia and hunted down long time collaborator Trent Birdmann. We divied our creation time between 2 circus warehouses in Brunswick. The show had been initially called ‘Nouvelle Carny Part Two’, and was to be a sort of best of Tumble Circus. But this vague thene became too ambiquous and boring and after a night out and eating, drinking and seeing the brilliant Daniel Kitson we wondered if there was something more poetic that we could create using our circus skills and comedy.

The show opened at the Adelaide Fringe festival in 2010. We further developed the show in 2011 and returned to Adelaide in 2012 and won ‘Best physical theater and circus show.’

Catch Tumble Circus at Priceless London Wonderground at Southbank Centre from 9 – 17 June 2012. Get tickets here.

Get to know… Dave Gorman!

Dave Gorman

What do you fear the most and why?
Boredom. I mean there are things far scarier than that, things that might crop up occasionally – I was once in a car crash for example – but I don’t spend any time being fearful of them happening. But I fear getting into a rut.

Which mobile number do you call the most?
My wife’s.

What – or where – is perfection?
There’s no way of rehearsing comedy. It needs an audience otherwise it’s just words. Getting the words right means nothing… it’s playing the mood of the audience that gives you a sense of timing so it can’t be practised abstractly without an audience. So the first time you say something on a stage and it all clicks just right and you nail a bit… that’s pretty perfect.

Who is your favourite hero from fiction (book/comic/film/opera) – and why?
Hero is an odd word for me. I’m not sure the characters I like most are heroic. I love John Irving’s work and ‘Garp’ is probably my favourite of his novels… but is Garp a hero? If it’s a real hero you’re after I’d go for Atticus Finch in ‘To Kill A Mocking Bird’… but there are unheroic characters I like more.

What’s your favourite ritual?
Loading the dishwasher.

Which living person do you most admire (and why)?
The science writer, Simon Singh. Libel is an expensive business. Defending a libel suit is time-consuming and expensive. Even if you’ve done nothing wrong and win the case you will most likely be thousands – possibly hundreds of thousands – of pounds out of pocket. Which is why the law is abused by rich people to silence their critics. It’s easier to take down a website or apologise for your article than it is to risk the livelihood of you and your family. When the British Chiropractic Association accused Simon of libel he didn’t crumble when pretty much anyone else would. He stood and fought… and then went on to challenge the law. Libel reform is coming and many people have been fighting for it for years. But Simon’s courage in the face of such adversity was deeply, deeply impressive.

What other talent or skill would you like to possess?
I wish I could play an instrument. Any instrument. Maybe I can. I’ve never tried to play a trumpet. Maybe I’m an undiscovered trumpet savant. But I doubt it.

Tell us about a special memory you have of Southbank Centre?
I’ve loved playing there and I’ve seen some amazing shows there too. But it’s difficult to top watching two women taking a life-sized model deer with them into one of the dining establishments.

If you could programme your ideal Southbank Centre show, which artists (living or dead) would you bring together?
Representing the deceased, I’d have Jaques Tati, Tommy Cooper, Morecambe & Wise and Ian Dury. Representing the living I’d have Tim Minchin, John Hegley, Helen Love and Mistys Big Adventure. But not necessarily in that order.

What’s your favourite website?
Ask me again tomorrow and I’ll probably have a different answer. But is charming me right now.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Turn up on time.

What is the most played piece of music on your MP3 player or in your CD collection?
The Story Of Love by Mistys Big Adventure.

Catch Dave Gorman’s PowerPoint Presentation at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall on 16 June. Get tickets here!