Alternative title: Lament on the sofa seat with the Thames View that got Away...old microphone, sparkly dress and everything. Ahem.
We hope you’re having a great May so far – long May it continue...(alright, we’ll stick to the day job) and welcome once again to another Spotlight! Typically Baz has done this in deference to a person that has inspired Baz either in their body of work, beliefs or some of both, paying tribute and most recently our respects (seriously what is up with 2016?) to people we have lost and have inspired our approaches, aims and methods. This month however, we want to doff our cap to that most 1950s Brutalist multi-levelled masterpiece: the Southbank Centre.
That would have been a really weird build-up to a person like Parkinson, wouldn’t it?
No we definitely mean it: the Southbank Centre, formally known as The Royal Festival Hall, first opened in 1951, it has recently undergone massive changes that solidify it as a totally happening place to get lost in with your laptop in tow looking desperately for a spot that has a good view of the river, near a coffee bar and a loo. Most often, you’re disappointed in your weirdly specific search and end up finding a corner of the Centre that you never knew existed and swear to keep secret the location until you hit the grave (a bit melodramatic, but you get where we’re going with this) - it’s ripe for creative endeavours, both personal, and professional, as there is literally something going on every turn you take: from a Jazz festival, free yoga sessions and most memorably, a ballroom dancing convention complete with mirrorball.
With all this going on, it’s easy to forget that this is a thriving professional arts venue, home to world-renowned orchestras like the LSO, and currently, the amazing Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the London Philharmonic Orchestra to name a few – but there is also a massive emphasis on important festivals and debates: the annual Women of the World (WOW Festival) takes place here every year with so many great key speakers and debates it makes eating, going to the loo, or any other human activity hard to complete for fear of missing a thing. It’s also a hub for culture and multi-cultural sources (and sauces), with festivals of, art, food and photography from stunning places all over the world.
But aside from all of this, this is a Baz-approved fave spot for the atmosphere, creative and community feel this venue offers. That and the free wi-fi and comfy sofas. For all us Baz-istas to get together is a real feat in and of itself, and the Southbank Centre/Royal Festival Hall/Sacred Meet-y Place is just that – comfortable, cultural, London’s Common Shared Space. Many a wonderful BazPlan (copyright it.) has been born here, and seen through to it’s final stages, making it as such our rather oversized, public, and loud living room. It has catacombs too, little offshoots that feature everything to further comedy and music performances and premieres, or where Baz is sitting right now, in the Poetry Library, surrounded by Plath, Sexton and Larkin – not bad work partners, whispering to us from different corners of the floor to ceiling shelves. It’s just possible to hear the delighted shrieks of the children on the terrace playing in the fountain below.
Bewitching, Beguilling, Be Seated, Be Sated and Be Ambitious and do as Baz does at the Southbank Festival Hall (should totally change it to this by the way) You won’t regret it. Kisses, Royal SouthFestival Hall Centre, we owe you. (but the wi-fi is free, right? just checking)
Love, Baz x