Inside Out from the Southbank Centre.
Autumn in London always showcases a fabulous display of cultural events. The city packs away its summer wardrobe and while the leaves turn orange, theatres and museums put on their finest shows and festivals abound. Literary festivals, talks, lectures, readings and all manner of events celebrating the written word. 2020 sees much of this moving online and this month it is the turn of the Southbank Centre’s Inside Out programme, a three-month series of multi-arts events broadcast from the Royal Festival Hall and beyond throughout the autumn. Over 40 events encompassing literature, music and comedy are sure to enlighten our evenings. The Inside Out festival runs until 30 December. The joy of all this online entertainment is that one does not have to live in London to join in.
I must admit to a serious flutter of excitement when I read about the landmark event coming up on 19th October. Two remarkable women in conversation, beamed into my living room thanks to the Southbank Inside Out series. Having read Booker Prize winner Bernadine Evaristo’s remarkable Girl, Woman, Other over the summer, I am thrilled to have the chance to hear her speak. Add to the mix the hilarious comedian, actor and bestselling author, Dawn French, and the evening becomes irresistible. The event has been organised to celebrate the publication of French’s new novel, Because of You, which Evaristo, in the chair, and French will discuss. The novel has been described as a meditation on motherhood, engaging with the nature-nurture debate.
The event promises to be uplifting and I am sure will be a real pick me up. French’s new novel deals with mothers and daughters and the shocks that life throws at us. Evaristo has published eight novels and won the Booker Prize 2019 for Girl, Woman, Other. She also won the British Book Award for Fiction and Author of the Year, and the Indie Book Award for Fiction.
Evaristo and French are both very engaging speakers but are also great fans of one another. I am genuinely excited to hear these two wonderful women in conversation and have my seat reserved on my sofa, a glass of wine and a selection of snacks at the ready. Sounds like a perfect evening ‘out’ to me. Otherwise known as the new normal entertainment. I, for one, am embracing it.
The Southbank Centre has partnered with Penguin Live for this event that will be broadcast from 7.30 pm on Monday 19th October and will be available to stream until 26th October. Tickets for the digital event cost £25 and include a copy of French’s book, Because of You (RRP: £20, ticket price includes P&P). You can book on
There’s a broad series of events from the Southbank this autumn, including live music concerts, talks from authors, events for children and poetry readings. Some are free while there’s a small charge for some of the others. Find out more from the Southbank website here
For other online broadcasts, check out the British Library Food Series