What’s On at South Bank Centre in January?

South Bank Centre London

London’s South Bank Centre is a major cultural centre, and a hub for all different kinds of entertainment and events.

The first month of 2020 provides a host of attractions and exhibits for visitors to enjoy. Here’s our rundown of the highlights to expect in January…

Fascinating Aida

Until 5th January 2020

A cabaret trio with a difference, Fascinating Aida have gained a cult following for their topical, comical songs and approachable glamour. Dubbed by the South Bank Centre as the greatest cabaret trio in Britain, the group will be playing here for the first week of the New Year.

Gamelan Taster Workshops

Until 25th January 2020

A chance to gain an exclusive introduction to this percussion orchestra, taster workshops will take place throughout January, giving a chance to discover new talents and find out more about the creative process.

There are also special family taster sessions available this month, helping to keep the power of music accessible to all.

The Pen-Ting Poetry Showcase

8th January 2020

Showcasing the work of seven London poets, this open-mic night is a great chance to discover something new and support local creatives. The collective have sprung from the world of hip hop, and are known for discussing political topics.

Lynne Cooke: On Bridget Riley

9th January 2020

Part of an ongoing project by artist Bridget Riley, this talk by US-curator Lynne Cooke will allow art fans to get closer to the work itself, uncovering the techniques and stories behind the artist’s work.

For art fans who are always eager to find out something new, this is a great addition to a January stay at the Park Grand Hotel Paddington.

The Johann Strauss Gala

11th January 2020

This elegant celebration of Johann Strauss is part of the South Bank classical music season, and provides an afternoon of great music and quintessentially Viennese entertainment.

Whether you’re an established fan of the classics or eager to discover more, this would make the perfect event before enjoying dinner at restaurants near Paddington.

OAE Tots: The Patient Horse and the Dutiful Donkey

12th January 2020

Travelling with music-loving children? This event is designed for kids aged between two and five, and helps teach them more about the musical process in a fun, interactive way. Using the power of storytelling, this could be the perfect way to spark their imaginations.

TS Eliot Prize Readings

12th January 2020

The day before the TS Eliot Prize announces its winner, this poetry competition will feature all of the shortlisted poets reading their own work. For poetry fans staying in London, this is a great way to discover new work or hear more from some of your favourite stars of the literary scene.

Unearthing Southbank Centre: A Poetry Course

13th January 2020

Hosted by poet Richard Scott, this is another of the South Bank’s poetry-centric events taking place in January. This course is comprised of six sessions, and will help aspiring wordsmiths develop their skills in a more impactful way.

The event encourages students to engage with the surroundings of the South Bank and apply their poetic talents to the space. By the end of the course, writers will feel more confident in their abilities.


15th January 2020

The only opera by Ravi Shankar, Sukanya will be performed at the Southbank Centre on 15th January, brought to vivid life thanks to the talents of the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

This is a great event for true music fans staying at the Park Grand Hotel Paddington, and will provide an inspirational evening before heading out to explore more of what London has to offer.

Horn Calls

16th January 2020

Part of the month’s birthday celebrations for the Philharmonic Orchestra, this new horn concerto will be performed live by the band, and provides an evening of contemporary classical music suited to all ages.

Rug Rhymes

17th January -10th July 2020

Getting started in early January, this poetry event is designed especially for the under-5s, making it ideal for creative kids staying in London during the first half of 2020.

With short nursery rhymes and poetry to enjoy, the events take place at various times throughout the month.

London Contemporary Orchestra & Rival Consoles

17th January 2020

This art installation is designed to respond to the sound of the London Contemporary Orchestra, and provides both a visual and auditory feast for the senses.

It’s an unusual exhibit, but one which is sure to provide plenty to talk about during your visit to the city, and marks another exciting part of the South Bank’s upcoming season of classical music events.

Bridget Riley: Painting & Perception

18th January 2020

This event is dedicated to the work of British artist Bridget Riley, and will involve a talk about her work and methodology. Whether you’re an aspiring artist or just a fan who wants in-depth knowledge of how artists get things done, this is the event for you.

Voices of 1945

19th January 2020

A contemporary look at the music which sprang up following the Second World War, this event will harness the powers of the London Philharmonic Orchestra to provide an evening of music suited to both history buffs and music lovers alike.

Its also a chance to see one of the city’s most beloved orchestras at their very best.

Sound Across a Century

22nd January 2020

This event takes a closer look at the music of the last century, analysing and showcasing its strengths and character. The London Sinfonietta will be performing some of the pieces live, helping to breathe new life into music which may have been forgotten or overlooked.

Big Band Broadway

25th January 2020

Performing hits from the Broadway stage live in London, this event provides an evening of songs which will be familiar to theatre fans – and are sure to liven up even those who have never heard them before.

It’s the perfect way to get to know more about the theatrical scene and how it works in conjunction with great musical talent.