Autumn 2018 event highlights at the British Library

Ian Rankin

●     A one-man performance of Beowulf, keynote lecture by Michael Wood and contemporary discussions accompany the British Library’s landmark autumn exhibition Anglo Saxon Kingdoms: Art, Word, War

●     The Library hosts its second Season of Sound featuring Paloma Faith, KPM All Stars and Saint Etienne

●     Feminist Swearing Night comes to the UK for the first time to celebrate 100 years of women’s suffrage

●     Athlete Tommie Smith talks to special guests about his iconic protest at the 1968 Olympics

●     The free, family-friendly Cats on the Page exhibition opens with an events programme including Judith Kerr: In Conversation, themed Book Clubs and children’s theatre show Tabby McTat

●     A Late at the Library celebrates Trojan Records 50th anniversary, composer and musician Jason Moran discusses performing forgotten black histories through jazz and a major new dance work Contagion reflects on the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918

The British Library has announced its autumn events programme of talks, performances and book clubs, featuring authors Judith Kerr and Neil Gaiman, musician Paloma Faith, writer Ian Rankin, illustrator Chris Riddell and Olympian Tommie Smith, amongst others.

The full programme of events can be found on the British Library’s What’s On pages or downloaded from here

All events are currently on sale for British Library Members and will go on general sale from 10 September 2018.

Event highlights include:

Events inspired by Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms: Art, Word, War

Beowulf – The Epic in Performance

Wednesday 17 October 19.00 – 20.30

Experience Benjamin Bagby’s acclaimed one-man performance of Beowulf, featuring voice and harp.

£15 / £12 / £10 / Knowledge Centre

Michael Wood: Why the Anglo-Saxons Matter

Monday 22 October 19.00 – 20.30

In this keynote lecture, historian and broadcaster Michael Wood tells 10 fascinating tales from key historical manuscripts.

Presented in memory of Naseeb Shaheen

£15 / £12 / £10 / Knowledge Centre

African Abbots and Stories in the Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms

Thursday 25 October 19.15 – 20.30

Delve into the stories of the people who travelled to the Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms and discover the cultures and ideas that influenced everything from religion, language and politics to long distance trade.

£8 / £6 / £5 / Knowledge Centre

Events inspired by Windrush: Songs in a Strange Land

Pop Story Gi Wi: A Celebration of Miss Lou

Sunday 23 September 2018 14.30 – 16.00

Storytellers Jan Blake and Amina Blackwood Meeks and poet Val Bloom share stories and poems inspired by the late, great Jamaican folklorist Louise Bennett-Coverley (Miss Lou).

£10 / £8 / £7 / Knowledge Centre

James Berry Memorial Conference

Friday 5 October 09.30 – 17.30

This conference explores the life and work of the Jamaican poet and writer James Berry (1924 – 2017), considering his writing for adults and children, his cultural activism, and his writing through dementia.

Sponsored by the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library

£23 / £20 / £17 / Knowledge Centre

Only One of Me: Remembering James Berry

Friday 5 October 19.00 – 20.30

Meet the Bluefoot Traveller who sang Windrush Songs and found his Englan’ Voice. An evening of poetry readings and music reflecting on the legacy of the Jamaican poet.

Sponsored by the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library

£12 / £10 / £8 / Knowledge Centre

Late at the Library: Trojan Sound System

Friday 12 October 19.30 – 22.30

A night of classic reggae sounds to celebrate Trojan Records 50th anniversary. Expect roots, dub, ska, lovers and rocksteady, with guest appearances by legendary singers Dawn Penn and Dennis Alcapone, live band Kioko and female DJ collective Sisters of Reggae.

Supported by Bowers & Wilkins

£25 / £23 / £21 / Entrance Hall


Events inspired by Cats on the Page

Freckle Productions present Tabby McTat

Saturday 24 November 14.00 – 15.00

A stage adaption of the Julia Donaldson and Axel Sheffler classic for all the family.

£13.50 / £9.50 / Knowledge Centre

Cartoon Cats: Gilbert Shelton and Posy Simmonds

Sunday 25 November 15.00 – 16.00

Gilbert Shelton, American cartoonist and creator of Fat Freddy's Cat, and Posy Simmonds, British graphic novelist, newspaper cartoonist, writer, and author of Fred and Baker Cat discuss their own cat characters and others.

£15 / £12 / £10 / Knowledge Centre

Judith Kerr: In Conversation

Monday 3 December 19.00 – 20.30

Join The Tiger Who Came to Tea and Mog illustrator and author Judith Kerr in conversation with her art editor Ian Craig.

For ages 12+. This event is aimed at an adult audience but children are welcome to attend.

£20 / £18 / £16 / Knowledge Centre

Boring Talks: Cats

Thursday 6 December 19.00 – 20.30

An evening celebrating the mundane, the ordinary, the obvious and the overlooked. This season we are feel-line like talking about cats.

In association with the Boring Conference

£12 / £10 / £8 / Knowledge Centre

Cats Book Club: Children’s Picture Books

Wednesday 12 December 19.00 – 20.30

Writer, broadcaster and children's literature expert Julia Eccleshare leads an informal, interactive evening of discussion about four famous cats in children's picture books: Fred, by Posy Simmonds, Mog by Judith Kerr, The Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss and Tom Kitten by Beatrix Potter.

£12 / £10 / £8 / Knowledge Centre


Season of Sound highlights

Supported by Bowers & Wilkins

Save our Sounds has been generously supported by Heritage Lottery Fund and trusts, companies and foundations including major grants from Garfield Weston Foundation and Foyle Foundation

Classic Album Sundays with Paloma Faith

Monday 8 October 19.00 – 20.30

Multi-platinum selling artist Paloma Faith talks to Colleen Murphy, and plays some of the tracks that inspire her in a special event e in the lead up to the first ever National Album Day.

£15 / £12 / £10 / Knowledge Centre

Late at the Library: Saint Etienne present Good Humor and other stories

Sunday 14 October 19.30 – 22.30

Saint Etienne (Sarah Cracknell, Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs) perform their Good Humor album to celebrate its twentieth anniversary for their only UK shown in 2018.

£27 / £25 / £22 / Entrance Hall


Performance highlights

Jason Moran: Performing the Harlem Hellfighters

Friday 26 October 19.00 – 20.30

Composer and musician Jason Moran reflects on the practice of writing and performing forgotten black histories through jazz.

James Reese Europe and the Absence of Ruin is co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW: WW1 Centenary Art Commissions, Serious, Jazzfest Berlin and the Kennedy Centre

£15 / £12 / £10 / Knowledge Centre

Contagion: Shobana Jeyasingh Dance

Friday 2 November 18.30 – 19.00 and 21.00 - 21.30

Saturday 3 November 18.00 – 18.30 and 20.30 - 21.00

Contagion, a major new dance work inspired by the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918, is performed by Shobana Jeyasingh Dance to an atmospheric soundscape with evocative visuals.

Presented in association with Shobana Jeyasingh Dance and 14-18 NOW

£12 / £10 / £8 / Entrance Hall


Women’s Suffrage

Feminist Swearing Night

Friday 16 November 19.30 – 21.30

In celebration of 100 years of women’s suffrage, Feminist Swearing Night comes to the UK for the first time. Sound off about patriarchy, politics, inequality and injustice through sharing your personal stories, rhymes, songs or any other means of expression.

In collaboration with Feminist Think Tank Hattu and The Finnish Institute in London

£10 / £8 / £7 / Terrace Restaurant


Literary event highlights

Lahore Literary Festival

Saturday 20 October 09.30 – 18.00

Following a sell-out day in 2017, this showcase of the rich cultural traditions of Pakistan in writing and the arts returns to the British Library. Featuring award-winning writer and journalist Ahmed Rashid, British-Pakistani media artist Aphra Shemza, food writer Sameen Rushdie, writer Sanam Maher and many more.

Day pass (evening event ticketed separately) £40 / £35 / £32 / Knowledge Centre

Ian Rankin: Criminal Minds

Sunday 2 December 14.30 -16.00

Ian Rankin discusses the American writers who have influenced his own work in an event chaired by writer and editor of crime, Maxim Jakubowski.

£15 / £12 / £10 / Knowledge Centre

Istanbul with Bettany Hughes

Friday 7 December 19.00 – 20.30

Historian and broadcaster Bettany Hughes draws upon the rich and varied history of Istanbul to tell its 6000 year story.

£15 / £12 / £10 / Knowledge Centre

Peake Under the Covers: The Master of Gormenghast

Friday 2 November 19.00 – 20.30

A celebration of the prolific and astonishingly original writer and artist with special guests Neil Gaiman, Liz Jensen, Miranda Richardson and Chris Riddell.

£15 / £12 / £10 / Knowledge Centre


Eccles Centre for American Studies event highlights

Fists of Defiance: Tommie Smith 50 Years after Mexico ‘68

Wednesday 10 October 20.00 – 22.30

50 years on from the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, athlete Tommie Smith talks to presenter Clive Myrie and comedian Reginald D Hunter about raising his fist in an act of defiance whilst standing on the medal podium.

Sponsored by the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library.

Seated (£22 / £20 / £18) / Standing (£15 / £12 / £10) / Entrance Hall

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