Are you ready for this year’s WOW Festival?
As the line-up for Women of the World Festival is released, we pick out our Top 8 events 💥
From #MeToo and No Grey Area, to Time’s Up and this month’s Golden Globes protest, the world has seen a historical shift in women standing together against marginalisation, to say "no more".
In the 100th anniversary year since the first British women won the right to vote, Southbank Centre’s eighth WOW - Women of the World festival celebrates the seismic changes brought about by women and men historically, and brings together the voices of women and girls of all ages to transform the future for gender equality and highlight solutions to modern day challenges.
From 7-11 March, WOW welcomes everybody for a programme of more than 200 talks and debates, concerts, performances and workshops. Here, we've picked out just a handful of the many, many events we're already looking forward to...
Wed 7 March, 7-8pm, Auditorium, Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, £15
Get ready for an evening of both hilariously irreverent and teary recreations of women’s speeches throughout history, helping us all understand what’s been said before us so we can stand on the shoulders of giants. Think of Yap Yap Yap as a historical Vagina Monologues for people who love cat memes.
Wed 7 March, 8-9pm, The Blue Room, Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, 12+, £15
Watch Joan of Arc’s story of courage, conviction and hope performed by drag king champion Lucy Jane Parkinson. In this hit show, history’s greatest gender warrior takes to the stage, dragging up as the men she defies. Read DIVA's interview with Lucy Jane Parkinson here.
Wed 7 March, 9.00-10.30pm, Auditorium, Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, £15
Hear powerful and often humorous secret stories exploring sexuality, vulnerability and desire taken from interviews with butches, masculine women, gender rebels and transmen, living worldwide, in The Butch Monologues. Read DIVA Editor Carrie Lyell's review of Butch Monologues here.
Fri 9 March,11.30am-12.30pm, Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall
Learn how the techniques of stand-up can improve your confidence and communication skills in every situations with this comedy workshop. The session is led by Lynne Parker, founder of Funny Women – the leading female comedy community helping women to perform, write and do business with humour.
Fri 9 March, 7.30-9.00pm, Auditorium, Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, £25, £15
No more violence. No more harrassment. No more silence. Featuring very special guests including Patrisse Khan-Cullors, the co-founder of Black Lives Matter. An artist, organiser, and freedom fighter from Los Angeles, California, she is also a performance artist, Fulbright scholar, popular public speaker, and an NAACP History Maker. Keep an eye out for our interview with Patrisse Khan-Cullors in the March issue of DIVA!
Fri 9 March, 9.30-10.45pm, Clore Ballroom, Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, 18+, Free
Come and watch a messy and disorderly cabaret performance celebrating the taboo boundaries of the abject woman. In Wickedly Wild Cabaret a lineup of women perform slovenly and bedraggled pieces on gender, the body and disability. Watch renowned and emerging feminist, queer and crip performance artists in an evening hosted by Doris La Trine with her disgustingly gorgeous golden toilet.
Sun 11 March,11.30am-12.30pm, Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, 18+
Get a whistle-stop tour of female pleasure in this workshop that covers everything from sex toys to stimulating your G spot, why the A, C and O spots are so rarely talked about, and why the clitoris is so often undersold. Expect to leave with a new view on all things vulva, and tips to help you reach your multi-orgasmic potential. Led by Ruby Stevenson, sex educator at Brook, the Young People’s Sexual Health Charity.
Sun 11 March, 7.30-9.30pm, Auditorium, Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, 14+, £15 - £40
Prepare to laugh in a raucous night of comedy and music inspired and performed by great women, hosted by Sandi Toksvig. This annual WOW highlight is a fun-filled evening where Sandi takes inspiration from pioneering women who made iconic and empowering music for their generation and those that followed. Featuring Josette Bushell-Mingo with extracts from her show Nina: A Story About Me and Nina Simone, performing the iconic musician and activist’s music, along with Alice Russell and Zara McFarlane.
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