This Winter, the Southbank Centre presents a packed programme of exciting new shows for everyone to enjoy featuring a mix of family events, cabaret, dance, music and comedy. The ambitious programme welcomes the opening of a brand new pop-up venue at the Southbank Centre – the Tuff Nutt Jazz Club – created especially for Nutcracker.
Winter Light’s colourful light installations by contemporary artists return to bring a warm glow to the South Bank site and delicious food and warming drinks will be served at the famous Winter Market. The free events programme and more information on the Winter Festival will be announced at a later date. Shows taking place during the Winter season are:
Tuff Nutt Jazz Club, 28 Oct – 6 Jan
Underbelly, Francesca Moody Productions and the Southbank Centre with Rachel Edwards and Winkler Smalberg, present the world premiere production of Nutcracker. Directed and choreographed by Olivier Award winner Drew McOnie this new version of the festive classic is playful, mischievous and a lot of fun. Dive into a glittering wonderland head on and prepare to reimagine everything with a jazz infused twist.The McOnie Company’s Nutcracker is a thrilling reinvention of the timeless holiday classic. From the moment of your arrival at London’s hottest new pop-up venue everything familiar pulses with a new rhythm. The Tuff Nutt Jazz Club at the Southbank Centre is a newly transformed music and performance space, putting audiences at the centre of one of the coolest jazz clubs in town. Tchaikovsky’s world-famous score is reimagined by multi award-winning jazz artist Cassie Kinoshi for a swinging onstage jazz band, with dancers moving in and amongst the cabaret style seating bringing the storytelling and wild-spirited adventure of the Nutcracker to life.The cast for Nutcracker includes Amonik Melaco (Action Man), Sam Salter (Clive) and Patricia Zhou (Sugarplum) with Chanelle Anthony, Christie Crosson, Tim Hodges, Lukas Hunt and Rachel Muldoon. Nutcracker will be composed by Cassie Kinoshi with additional music by Rio Kai, venue and set design by Soutra Gilmour, costume design by Ryan Dawson Laight, music supervision by Benjamin Kwasi Burrell, lighting design by Joshie Hariette, sound design by Simon Baker, and casting by Will Burton CDG. Following performances of Nutcracker on Thursday to Sunday, audiences are invited to continue their evening at the Tuff Nutt Jazz Club with live sessions from leading music artists playing into the night. Further details to be announced.
Royal Festival Hall, 7 – 11 Dec
Senbla and Roast Productions in partnership with Comic Relief present Christmas Actually a brand-new festive show curated by Richard Curtis (Love Actually, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, Bridget Jones’ Diary) and directed by Daniel Raggett (Accidental Death of an Anarchist, West End; ANNA X, West End). A festive feast for the senses, this witty and enchanting evening will capture all of the fun and laughter of Christmas through a treasure trove of entertainment. Family and friends are invited to come together for the ultimate Christmas variety show with a celebrity line up performing live music, Christmas stories, poetry and comedy.
Queen Elizabeth Hall, 13 – 30 Dec
Les Enfants Terribles and HOME Manchester present the London Premiere of The House with Chicken Legs. Based on Sophie Anderson’s much-loved novel, the story follows Marinka, a young girl trying to find her feet when her home is quite literally pulled from under her. Featuring puppets, projection and live music, the show is funny, thought-provoking and full of life as it deftly navigates the complexities of loss from a whole new perspective. The House with Chicken Legs is perfect for families, and for children aged 9+.
Purcell Room, 8 – 30 Dec
Award winning international sensation Reuben Kaye takes up residency in the Purcell Room with The Butch is Back, providing London audiences with the last chance to see this hit show. Reuben explores the relationship between fathers and sons through his connection to his own father as a queer, creative child and now, how it feels to process his childhood as a cabaret superstar. Drawing links between masculinity and the apocalypse, the show tears apart the social phenomenon of coming out. Reuben is backed by his band and plays with a myriad of genres, styles and songs from Stormzy to Geri Halliwell, Bobby Gentry, Reba McIntyre, The Rolling Stones and Janelle Monae, with Reuben barely drawing breath for the entire evening.
Royal Festival Hall, 20 Dec – 7 Jan
Bluey’s Big Play, a brand-new theatrical adaptation of the BAFTA & Emmy® award-winning children’s television series produced by Ludo Studio which airs on Disney+ and CBeebies, comes to the Royal Festival Hall for the first time. With an original story by Bluey creator Joe Brumm, and new music by Bluey composer, Joff Bush. Audiences of all ages will get to see Bluey, her younger sister Bingo and Mum & Dad Bandit and Chilli, as they’ve never seen them before, as Bluey & her family embark on their first live theatre show, featuring brilliantly created puppets, live actors and iconic sets.
Comedy and classical music
Comedian and writer Adam Buxton and his old friend director Joe Cornish take to the Royal Festival Hall stage for the first ever live recording of their annual Christmas podcast – Adam and Joe: The Christmas Podcast Live (12 Dec). The Resident Orchestras also feature as part of our Winter Festival. E.T. in Concert with the Philharmonia Orchestra invites audiences to experience the heart-warming 1982 Spielberg masterpiece like never before, as John Williams’ Academy Award-winning score is performed in sync to the film projected on a huge HD screen (13 Dec). Themes from favourite Christmas films including Elf, The Holiday, The Grinch, Miracle on 34th Street are played by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, hosted by Mark Kermode in Christmas in Tinseltown (14 Dec). Audiences are invited to sing along to favourite festive classics with host YolanDa Brown and a sumptuous symphony orchestra in Christmas Classics. Performing on different days, the Philharmonia Orchestra is accompanied by the Philharmonia Chorus, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra by the London Philharmonic Choir. Both are also joined by the London Youth Choirs and West End singer Marisha Wallace (15 – 17 Dec).