Wolf Hall Live

Hilary Mantel’s award-winning novel Wolf Hall was transformed into a riveting six-part drama by the BBC to huge acclaim in 2015.

Accompanying Thomas Cromwell’s machinations and hushed conversations in shadowy palace corners was original music by Debbie Wiseman, performed by members of The Locrian Ensemble of London; the soundtrack CD reached no.1 in the classical charts. Wiseman and the Ensemble perform selections from her acclaimed score, alongside extracts from Wolf Hall and its first sequel Bring Up The Bodies read by Anton Lesser – who played Thomas More in the BBC series.

Wiseman has over 200 film and television soundtracks to her name including Wilde, Wolf Hall and, more recently, Dickensian. Consisting of some of the country’s finest musicians, the Locrian Ensemble is at the very top of its game, delivering stunning performances which range from the blisteringly dramatic to the heart-rendingly mournful. The concert roughly follows the narrative of the television series with Lesser’s intense readings setting the scene for a musical commentary. The most intense part of the concert must surely be the depiction of Anne Boleyn’s execution, as the impassioned readings leave the audience hanging on every word, with music that is gripping and moving in equal parts.

Maria Friedman

Maria explores the work of Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim in her critically acclaimed show, comparing and contrasting songs from their separate catalogues, as well as their joint masterpiece ‘West Side Story’. Songs include ‘New York, New York’, ‘I Can Cook Too’, ‘Losing My Mind’ and ‘Send In The Clowns’.

Book fast for the four-time Olivier Award Winner in an intimate Cabaret setting. Maria will be joined by MD, Tony nominee Jason Carr.

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra: Music of James Bond

The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra will be closing this year’s Curious Arts Festival with a sensational evening celebrating over 50 thrilling years of iconic songs and themes from films about everyone’s favourite secret service agent – 007!

This is a night of 00Heaven featuring musical highlights from some of the best Bond films ever such as ‘Goldfinger’, ‘Licence to Kill’, ‘You Only Live Twice’, ‘Diamonds are Forever’, Live and Let Die’,‘Goldeneye’, ‘From Russia with Love’, ‘Skyfall’, ‘Casino Royale’ and many more.

Jay Rayner Writing Workshop

The Craft of Column Writing

Jay Rayner has been the Observer’s restaurant critic for 18 years. But just how do you write about the same subject time after time, and still keep your writing fresh, compelling and ahead of the competition? Join Jay for an afternoon’s masterclass, looking at the dynamics and mechanics of single subject column writing, complete with practical exercises and the chance to grill one of Britain’s leading restaurant critics to a turn.

The assumption is that a restaurant critic’s job is to tell the reader about the nuts and bolts of eating out: food, service and decor. In truth Jay uses his subject as an opportunity to discuss everything from politics to relationships, from love to sex and death, theatre, film and the arts. In short, restaurant reviewing is just another form of journalism with reporting at its heart. The key is working out the story, a lesson that can be applied to myriad single subject columns.

Course description

Location: Crazy Coqs, inside Brasserie Zédel, 20 Sherwood Street
Time: 1.15pm-4.15pm (including break)

In this detailed afternoon class Jay Rayner will share the methods and structural tricks he uses to enable him to both stay on subject, but also examine the world around us. He’ll explain how you stay on subject by constantly changing the subject. This class would be useful for anyone interested in good writing, but who is challenged by the demands of writing about the same beat over an extended period. Suitable for bloggers looking to improve their work, public relations professionals wanting to sharpen their releases and journalists preparing to move into specialist writing. Please bring paper, or a notebook and something to write with, so you can participate in practical exercises

About Jay
Jay Rayner is the award winning restaurant critic for the Observer, a regular on television and presenter of the Kitchen Cabinet for BBC Radio 4. He is the author of nine books; his latest, The Ten (Food) Commandments is out now, published by Penguin.

Praise for Jay’s first masterclass in November 2017:

“Interesting, useful, well put-together and full of practical advice.”

“Jay is engaging, clear and practical. He gave great examples and encouraged criticism throughout”

“It is a great workshop and one I’d recommend”

Margaret Atwood at the Royal Festival Hall

Well known for such novels as Cat’s Eye, Alias Grace, the MaddAddam Trilogy, and the Booker-Prize-winning The Blind Assassin, Margaret Atwood has been much in the news recently due to the launch of the critically-acclaimed series of her international bestseller The Handmaid’s Tale as a television series – some say, just in time for the Age of Trump.

In this unique London appearance, Margaret Atwood will read from her work; then, in conversation, she will discuss not only her career, but the past, present, and future of her best-known novel and the real world it reflects.

Tickets go on sale on May 11th from www.southbankcentre.co.uk

John le Carré at the Royal Festival Hall

An Evening with George Smiley

“The literary event of the year” – The Guardian

Join us for a unique celebration of one of the world’s greatest writers, as he shares the secrets behind the creation of his most beloved character.

From his extraordinary Cold War novels – such as The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – to his powerful descriptions of the arms trade in The Night Manager, and the War on Terror in A Most Wanted Man, the writing of John le Carré has come to define the last half century.

In this one-off event, the author discusses the full breadth of his career, and reflects on the continuing story of his most famous creation, the tubby, bespectacled spy, George Smiley.

Coinciding with the publication date of his new novel, A Legacy of Spies, the event will include readings from the book by the author. The novel sees the return of some of le Carré’s most iconic Cold War characters, including George Smiley and his trusted lieutenant, Peter Guillam, as their past comes back to claim them in the present. With a rare question and answer session, this will be an unmissable opportunity to experience one of the foremost chroniclers of our age, direct and in his own words.

In support of MSF, the leading emergency medical humanitarian aid organisation, John le Carré is donating his speaker’s fee to the charity.

Borders Book Festival

Sir Michael Parkinson, Jay Rayner, Carol Klein, Anne Reid and more at the Borders Book Festival from 15th – 18th June.

Jay Rayner ‘My Dining Hell’

Jay Rayner has been a restaurant critic for over a decade, written reviews of well over 700 establishments, and if there is one thing he’s learnt it is that people like reviews of bad restaurants. No, scratch that. They adore them, feast upon them like starving vultures who have spotted fly-blown carrion out in the bush. In My Dining Hell, Jay examines our love affair with lousy reviews, reads from accounts of some of the most excruciating nights out he’s ever had & looks at the worst reviews his own work has ever received. A hugely entertaining show in the company of the man recently voted the best food and drink journalist in Britain.

Jay Rayner is an award winning journalist, writer and broadcaster. He has been the Observer newspaper’s restaurant critic for over 12 years, is the resident food expert on The One Show, a regular judge on Masterchef and chair of BBC Radio 4’s Kitchen Cabinet. He has a lot of hair and a fine collection of flowery shirts.

Bryan Batt ‘Batt on a Hot Tin Roof’

“A spectacular one-man cabaret show… thrilling the audience with his ability to own the stage.” indaily.com.au
“There are triple-threat stars, and then there’s Bryan Batt. He sings. He dances. He acts. And he’s one of the most brilliantly funny comedians on Broadway today.” Broadway World

BATT ON A HOT TIN ROOF is a show born out of Hurricane Katrina. Broadway veteran and Mad Men star Bryan Batt grew up in New Orleans, a city that fostered his love of music and theatre. After experiencing the flooding and devastation of his hometown, he put together a one-man cabaret show paying tribute to his life there.

The music from the show features Broadway and some original material written for Bryan, peppered with the comedic skills that only Mr. Batt can provide. The cabaret experience is a divine exploration through the wacky and wildly entertaining mind of Bryan Batt.

Television audiences know Batt from his two-time Screen Actors Guild Award-winning performance as Salvatore Romano on the critically acclaimed television series, Mad Men. New York audiences have been delighted by Bryan’s brilliant stage performances in Jeffrey, Beauty and the Beast, Cats, Starlight Express, Sunset Boulevard, La Cage and The Scarlet Pimpernel. Batt is a brilliant comedic actor, which began with his long run in the hilarious Off-Broadway hit show Forbidden Broadway. This season, Bryan tackles cabaret stages throughout the U.S. culminating with one special week of performances at The Crazy Coqs.

Samantha Barks & Kerry Ellis

Samantha Barks and Kerry Ellis come together for a stunning concert at Mayflower Theatre on Saturday 20 May.
They will perform musical theatre classics and songs from Samantha Barks new album. Expect ‘On My Own’, ‘As Long as He Needs Me’ & even some Disney.