Death: Southbank Centre's Festival for the Living

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Death: Southbank Centre's Festival for the Living
Before I Die...
Four days of talks, music, performance and poetry on the subject of death. Respectful and irreverent events led by philosophers, artists, musicians, scientists, undertakers, medical practitioners, psychiatrists, theologians, anthropologists and broadcasters include 'Choral In Memoriam', with works by John Tavener and others performed by the Elysian Singers (Jan 27 1pm, free), 'Music to Die For', with performances of works including Saint-Saëns' 'Danse Macabre' and Barber's 'Adagio for Strings' by the BBC Concert Orchestra (Jan 27 7.30pm; £15, concs £12), the talk 'Everything you wanted to know about funerals but were too afraid to ask' (Jan 28; see the website for details), 'Goodbye Mr Muffin', a play for children about the last days of a much-loved guinea pig (Jan 27 11am & 1pm, Jan 28 10.15am & noon; £8, age 6+). There's also a chance to listen to the nation's favourite funeral songs in 'Desert Island Death Discs' (Jan 27; see website for times), and 'The Sandi Toksvig Memorial Lecture,' in which the broadcaster presents an evening that mixes merriment with the macabre (Jan 28 7.30pm; £20, concs £15). Throughout the festival, a display of vibrant coffins from Ghana and the UK are on display in the Royal Festival Hall foyer.


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