Featuring events and activities inspired by the theme of giving and charity, the UK’s leading circus company NoFit State Circus, a majestic Norwegian tree, bustling wooden chalets filled with festive treats and the return of the Vintage New Year’s Eve Party.
Southbank Centre’s Winter Festival supported by NatWest returns for the holiday season with a packed programme of festive fun and entertainment for all the family from performances including a new version of hit show BIANCO by UK’s leading circus company NoFit State Circus, the Tony award-winning musical Million Dollar Quartet and cabaret sensation Le Gateau Chocolat’s first ever work for children (and the young at heart) Duckie, to festive concerts, social dances, creative workshops, choirs and a weekend of events inspired by the theme of giving and charity. The 21 acre site is transformed into a winter landscape with a Nordic feel, designed by Hemingway Design, with a sky-high Norwegian tree, Nordic ‘Gonks’– mythological Scandinavian creatures, hundreds of Christmas trees, walks of twinkling lights and the return of the bustling Winter Market. Alternative treats are also on offer across the season including BUMP Rollerdisco and the return of the spectacular Vintage New Year’s Eve Party. With the full programme on sale from today, Southbank Centre’s Winter Festival programme is guaranteed to get everyone in the festive spirit this Christmas.
- A weekend of events and activities supporting the theme of giving and charity including the return of the Charity Shop Emporium weekend with 16 pop-up charity shops on site (10 & 11 Dec), Get Your Knit On! workshops, creating scarves for homeless people (10 & 11 Dec), WearUrArt Charity Shop Fashion Show (10 Dec) and Give A Christmas Dinner (10 – 11 Dec);
- The return of A Vintage New Year’s Eve Party created by Hemingway Design which takes over Royal Festival Hall with seven pop-up nightclubs and a private view of London’s world-famous fireworks (31 Dec);
- A giant Norwegian tree donated by the Norwegian Embassy, Nordic Gonks designed by Hemingway Design and hundreds of Christmas trees transform Southbank Centre into a winter landscape;
- The UK’s leading circus company NoFit State Circus bring their silver spaceship Big Top to Hungerford Car Park for a new version of hit show BIANCO, creating a new and memorable addition to London’s iconic landscape (23 Nov – 22 Jan);
- Entertainment for all ages including Tony Award-winning and West End hit musical Million Dollar Quartet starring Spandau Ballet’s Martin Kemp (17 Dec – 2 Jan), Duckie, a fresh and funny take on the classic tale of ‘The Ugly Duckling’ by international cabaret sensation Le Gateau Chocolat (16 Dec – 24 Dec) and Poggle, a warm hearted dance theatre piece inviting young children to explore the world of friendly creature Poggle and a mystical forest (29 – 30 Dec);
- A screening of the award-winning animated film Stick Man from the creators of The Gruffalo, followed by an exclusive afternoon of storytelling with author Julia Donaldson and live illustration with Axel Scheffler (22 Dec);
- Comedian Josie Long, presenter Gemma Cairney and Quiet Boy join Brigitte Aphrodite’s Merry Kissmass for an alternative poetical christmas concert of music, punk poetry and comedy and a kissmas party extravaganza (10 Dec);
- BUMP Rollerdisco rolls into town for another year, with Guest DJ’s, club nights and special rollerskating performances on weekends (11 Nov – 22 Jan) and the popular sixty metre high fairground ride Starflyer returns (11 Nov – 8 Jan);
- Treehugger, a virtual reality experience aimed at reconnecting humans with nature, lets the viewer experience the scale and wonder of one of the largest living individual organisms on earth in a new interactive media installation (15 Dec);
- Festive food and drink guaranteed to warm the cockles across the site including the bustling Southbank Centre Winter Market with its alpine chalets filled with street food favourites, artisan drinks, bespoke gifts and treats (11 Nov – 8 Jan), cosy Scandinavian bar The Rekorderlig Cider Lodge (11 Nov – 22 Jan) and The Hoplocker Bar (11 Nov – 8 Jan);
- Free events for all the family across the programme including Big Band Christmas Karaoke, for those who have dreamed of singing on stage with a live ten piece Big Band (17 Dec) and a multi-sensory storytelling of Anderson’s The Fir Tree (17 Dec);
- Festive classical concerts including a candlelit performance of Handel’s choral masterpiece Messiah performed by the Mozart Festival Orchestra (9 Dec), jubilant Christmas classics and an evening of Tchaikovsky Winter Tales with Resident Orchestra Philharmonia Orchestra (4 & 11 Dec) and special BBC Radio 2 concert featuring an adaptation of A Christmas Carol with music performed by Associate Orchestra BBC Concert Orchestra and West End stars (10 Dec).
Jude Kelly CBE, Southbank Centre’s Artistic Director said: “We are excited to welcome everyone to Southbank Centre this festive period for the return of our Winter festival supported by NatWest. We are proud to welcome some of the finest performers this season including the UK’s leading circus company NoFit State Circus who bring their silver spaceship Big Top to our site for the first time. Charity and giving is as always a key ingredient to our festival and a weekend of events will be dedicated to raising money and awareness for those vulnerable and alone this season. Joining up with a host of charities, we hope to play our part in helping those most in need these Winter months. We are extremely thankful to NatWest who are generously supporting our Winter season for a fourth year, enabling us to put on the free events that help make this festival so special.”
Rachel Blackamore, NatWest Regional Managing Director, London & South East, said: “NatWest is delighted to be supporting Southbank Centre’s Winter Festival for the fourth year running. The festival is a ‘go-to’ event in London during the festive season with its showcase of great events and attractions. We’re particularly proud to be backing small entrepreneurial businesses through the NatWest winter market stall. The programme’s fantastic line up will help to ensure that each and every visitor’s trip to the festival is memorable.”
FURTHER HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE
CHARITY & GIVING TO OTHERS
This year’s Winter Festival once again includes a weekend of events and activities supporting the theme of charity and giving to others. Charity Shop Emporium returns for a weekend bursting at the seams with special gifts and glamorous outfits from the best high street charity shops and independent stores, along with an action-packed free programme to enjoy while shopping, including vintage music with modern attitude by Tricity Vogue’s All Girl Swing Band and serenading from a host of choirs associated with charities (10 Dec). In the spirit of helping those in need, Get Your Knit On! returns, where participants can knit scarves to keep homeless people warm this Winter (10 & 11 Dec) and visitors can help provide a community Christmas Dinner for the elderly who would otherwise be spending Christmas alone with Give A Christmas Dinner (10 –11 Dec). The Bobble Hat workshop with TRAID teaches how to transform unwanted jumpers into a warm bobble hat (10 Dec) and WearUrArt Charity Shop Fashion Show presented by Front Row and their Charity Shop Design Challenge 2016, showcases glamorous runway looks created for under £30 all from charity shop bought clothes and materials (10 Dec). The feeling of goodwill is also carried through music with workshops in Gamelan from Good Vibrations, a charity using the Javanese instruments in prisons, hospitals and community projects (11 Dec) and a fun singing and acting workshop with award-winning charity Streetwise Opera who use music to help people make positive changes in people’s lives (10 Dec). Treehugger, the world’s first virtual reality experience reconnecting with nature will encourage visitors to think of conservation with this new interactive media installation where the viewer can experience the scale and wonder of one of the largest living individual organisms on earth (15 Dec).
PERFORMANCES AND LITERARY EVENTS
Southbank Centre presents performance and literature for all the family this Winter including a brand new version of hit show BIANCO by UK’s leading circus company NoFit State Circus who bring their silver spaceship Big Top to Southbank Centre for the first time (23 Nov – 22 Jan) and the Tony Award-winning and West End hit musical Million Dollar Quartet starring Spandau Ballet’s Martin Kemp as legendary record producer Sam Phillips (17 Dec– 2 Jan). The best of local youth dance talent and several of UK’s most popular dance groups perform under one roof with The Movement Factory Winter Showcase (4 Dec) and Brigitte Aphrodite is joined by Josie Long, Gemma Cairney, Quiet Boy and more for Brigitte Aphrodite’s Merry Kissmass full of music, punk poetry and comedy, followed by a huge Kissmas party, with special guest DJs (10 Dec). Winter tales and festive readings are also sprinkled across this year’s programme including a special screening of the award-winning animated film Stick Man presented by one of the UK’s top picture book authors Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler, followed by songs, storytelling and live illustration, the event is British Sign Language-interpreted and Speech-to-Text-transcribed (22 Dec). Award-winning author and illustrator Laura Dockrill will also present a day master class on the craft of creating a book for children (4 &11 Dec) and Southbank Centre’s Poetry Library will host discussions and events including an evening on the 10 shortlisted poetry collections for this year’s TS Eliot Prize (5–12 Dec).
A VINTAGE NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY
Southbank Centre’s annual vintage nightclub spectacular returns for another unmissable year transforming Royal Festival Hall into five floors of immersive entertainment, with seven pop-up vintage nightclubs, stylish dining, a hair and beauty salon and photo studios capturing the fun as it unravels. The Studio will trace some of the legendary disco club nights from the mid 70s through to the most culturally influential and eclectic nightclubs of the early 80s, to now, treating partiers to everything from funk and disco, to electro. Party people can drop into the golden age of 1930s and 1940s jazz at the The Torch Club with Miss Rosie & The Moonshyne Runners, Natty Congeroo & the Flames of Rhythm and special DJ sets by Big Papa Mac. The Clore Ballroom will then transform into an intimate cabaret club with electric live performances, dancing and great music from a bygone era. Revellers can shimmy and shake in the TIKI Bar, where colourful cocktails will be served against the backdrop of the River Thames, with exotica expert Martin Green and guests spinning bongo fuelled sambas, mambos and limbos for style conscious castaways. Dylan Kirk and Italian band The Poison Ivys bring action-packed 1950s and 60s style rock ‘n’ roll to Let It Rock whilst DJ Suzy Q and DJ Domino play jiving rhythm and blues and classic rock ‘n’ roll. Bar Bonkers transports revellers to 80s and 90s pop, rock and dance anthems with musical bingo, karaoke and dancing. DJ Anna Greenwood creates a non-stop whirlwind of disco dancing and Jess Indeedy, DJ Helix, and their hilarious dancing grannies deliver an unforgettable NYE edition of Indeedy Musical Bingo. Merry makers are also invited to a private view of the River Thames and London’s most iconic New Year’s Eve Fireworks away from the crowds on the Royal Festival Hall terrace (weather permitting). The ultimate evening of entertainment, A Vintage New Year’s Eve Party is the perfect way to welcome 2017!
An abundance of events and workshops for families takes place across the site this season ensured to get everyone in the festive spirit. Pram Jam returns for the season with a unique session on circus tricks (3 Dec), the return of last year’s sold out dance workshops (7–14 Dec) and their music and singing workshop including all of the best Winter tunes (21 Dec). NoFit State Circus kick off December with a weekend of free Circus workshops for all ages and abilities including juggling, hula hooping, basic tumbling, poi, plate-spinning, diabolo and tight-wire walking (3–4 Dec) and families are invited to make their own Circus Crafts in a free drop in workshop (3– 4 Dec). Leaps and Bounds present a relaxed day of dance and music to get disabled and non-disabled children and their families into the spirit of Christmas (22 Dec) and children over five can learn how to make special scandinavian Christmas gifts whilst listening to a tactile and multi-sensory storytelling of Anderson’s The Fir Tree (17 Dec). For children (and the young at heart), international cabaret sensation Le Gateau Chocolat presents his first ever work especially for children Duckie, a fresh and funny take on the classic tale of ‘The Ugly Duckling’ (16 Dec – 24 Dec) whilst Barrowland Ballet invite young children to explore the world of friendly creature Poggle in a warm hearted, dance theatre piece (29 – 30 Dec).
CHOIRS AND CLASSICAL MUSIC
Festive music fills the Southbank Centre site with a programme of classical and choral performances including festive performances by Southbank Centre’s Resident Orchestra Philharmonia Orchestra (4 &11 Dec), a Christmas Concert with seasonal music and carols performed by John Lewis Partnership Music Society (5 Dec), a candlelight performance of Messiah performed by the Mozart Festival Orchestra in resplendent period costume (9 Dec) and a special BBC Radio 2 concert featuring classic Christmas songs and an adaptation with music of A Christmas Carol, performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra and West End stars (10 Dec). London Sinfonietta perform works by Hans Abrahamsen and Simon Holt, along with a world premiere by Morgan Hayes, in an encapsulating experience in St John’s Smith Square (6 Dec). Traditional Lucia songs from Sweden performed by Stockholm’s Musikgymnasium Choir provides the perfect way to get into the Winter spirit (15 Dec) whilst Carol Sing with the Royal Festival Hall Organ is the best way to start the day this holiday season (15 Dec). The Choir with No Name, for homeless people and those living on the edge of society, returns for a festive sing along guaranteed to get everyone in the tune of giving (3 Dec) and a specially selected range of choirs will serenade audiences with Winter Choirs in the Spotlight (17 Dec). Southbank Centre’s singing initiative VoiceLab also celebrate the season with a series of vocal workshops for singers aged 60+ (30 Nov –2 1 Dec) and invite choirs to join the festival, popping up and performing around the site (2–18 Dec). An abundance of young musicians take to the stage including the wonderful young Orchestra In Harmony with a rich and joyful programme of music (5 Dec), over 250 school children perform holiday songs old and new with Southwark Winter’s Splash (8 Dec) and singers from Lewisham primary schools perform a selection of festive songs in a short and lively programme (13 Dec).
FREE GIGS & SOCIAL DANCING
Everyone is invited to dance away the Winter blues with a six week social dance course including sessions on tango, ballroom dancing and swing (7 Nov – 12 Dec). An exciting array of free social workshops and dances will also take place across the season, including the return of Ceilidh Liberation Front with their New Year’s Day party ensured to swing everyone into 2017 (1 Jan), The Nest Collective take over the Clore Ballroom for two exhilarating evenings with some of the finest in folk and world music (21&22 Dec) and Grounded Movement welcome in the New Year with an eclectic afternoon of dance, music and performance (2 Jan). Free lunchtime and evening gigs are on offer for the Winter season, featuring a diverse range of styles of music including an evening with Bluegrass band Hot Rock Pilgrims (23 Dec), Venezuelan rhythms with Family Atlantica Duo (2 Dec), traditional Brazilian rhythms mixed with polyphonic melodies by Anglo-Brazilian duo Lambrego (9 Dec), smooth r’n’b vocals by singer and song-writer Sherika Sherard (30 Dec) and stunning harmonies from London Lucumi Choir (9 Dec). Big Band Christmas Karaoke allows those who have dreamed of singing on stage to unleash their hidden singing soul with a live ten piece Big Band (17 Dec) and the talented buskers on Queen’s Walk are brought in from the cold for a special Friday Lunch session (30 Dec).
OUTDOOR MARKETS & ATTRACTIONS
The site is transformed into a winter landscape with beautifully bizarre Nordic Gonks populating the site, a stunning sky high Norwegian tree donated by the Norwegian Embassy and hundreds of christmas trees creating festive forest clusters across the site. A fun alternative to London’s ice skating rinks, BUMP Rollerdisco returns for another year under Hungerford Bridge, welcoming skaters of all abilities and featuring special club nights, guest DJs and weekend performances (11 Nov – 22 Jan) and the popular sixty meter high fairground ride Starflyer returns (11 Nov – 8 Jan). Festive street food and drink is once again on the Winter menu with the return of the Southbank Centre’s Winter Market along the riverbank, with alpine chalets filled with street food favourites such as american style burgers, wood fired pizza and more, artisan drinks, bespoke gifts and treats (11 Nov – 8 Jan) and the Scandinavian Rekorderlig Cider Lodge, a two-floor structure resembling a quintessential Scandinavian house with delicious drinks and Scandinavian street food (11 Nov – 22 Jan). New for 2016 will be The Hoplocker Bar serving a range of select craft beers, lagers and ales with outdoor covered seating (11 Nov – 8 Jan).
For full listings please refer to the Southbank Centre website here.
About Southbank Centre
Southbank Centre is the UK’s largest arts centre, occupying a 21 acre site that sits in the midst of London’s most vibrant cultural quarter on the South Bank of the Thames. The site has an extraordinary creative and architectural history stretching back to the 1951 Festival of Britain. Southbank Centre is home to the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Hayward Gallery as well as The Saison Poetry Library and the Arts Council Collection. For further information please visit www.southbankcentre.co.uk. Southbank Centre is carrying out vital restoration work on the Hayward Gallery, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room to make the buildings fit for future generations to enjoy, more information can be found here: letthelightin.southbankcentre.co.uk.
Southbank Centre’s Winter Festival supported by NatWest returns for the holiday season with a packed programme of festive fun and entertainment for all the family from spectacular performances including a new version of hit show BIANCO by UK’s leading circus company NoFit State and the worldwide smash hit musical Million Dollar Quartet, to festive concerts, social dances, creative workshops, choirs and a weekend of events inspired by the theme of giving and charity. The site will be transformed into a wonderful winter landscape, with a sky-high Norwegian tree, brilliantly bonkers, larger than life Gonks, hundreds of Christmas trees, walks of twinkling lights and the return of the bustling Winter Market. Alternative treats are also on offer across the season including BUMP Rollerdisco and the return of the spectacular Vintage New Year’s Eve Party.
NatWest serves customers in England and Wales, supporting them with their personal, private, and business banking needs. NatWest helps customers at all stages in their lives, from opening student accounts, to buying their first home, setting up a business, and saving for retirement. Alongside a wide range of banking services, NatWest offers businesses specialist sector knowledge in areas such as manufacturing and technology, as well as access to specialist entrepreneurial support. NatWest has been running MoneySense, an impartial financial education programme for 5–18 year-olds, for more than 21 years. By the end of 2018, NatWest will help another 1 million young people to understand and take control of their finances.