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Nelson Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom

Nelson Mandela has loomed large in the news cycle as of late, both as the subject of an especially ghoulish media death-watch (he was discharged from hospital on Sep 1 in ‘critical and unstable condition’) and as the inspiration for the star-studded Hollywood biopic ‘Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom’, which premiered to lukewarm reviews at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this month.

Wednesday’s event at Queen Elizabeth Hall, curated by Guardian journalist Hannah Pool, is refreshingly low-key – a celebration of ‘the father of the nation’ unmolested by flashing bulbs and frenzied speculation. Instead, 27 writers and performers – one for each year Mandela was in prison – read passages from his 1995 autobiography. Speakers include actress Cush Jumbo (‘Julius Caesar’), author Bernardine Evaristo (‘Mr Loverman’) and poet Inua Ellams (‘The 14th Tale’).