Forthcoming events

We curate a diverse programme of events, consisting of workshops, seminars, lectures, symposia and performances.  The majority of our events are open to public audiences. Unless otherwise stated, they are free of charge to attend. Some of our events during the course of a year will address a particular research theme. For 2017-18, our theme is night-life.

Arts Week 2018

Birkbeck Arts Week 2018 runs from Monday 14 to Friday 18 May. Over the course of the week we will be hosting over fifty events including lectures, readings, film screenings, workshops, guided walks, performances and panel discussions, as well as two exhibitions.

All of our events are free and open to everyone.

The Centre for Contemporary Theatre stages events daily during the School of Arts’ 2018 festival. For more information and to book, click here.

Monday 14 May

Rehearsed Readings, 2-4pm, G10: New work from Constellations Theatre Company, who present Greek chorus cabaret Myth Independent. Constellations are present and past students on MA Text & Performance, run by Birkbeck and RADA.

Bee Composed Live: honeybee communication, 6:30-7.25pm, G10: What is the ‘hive-mind’? How do bees communicate, and what might we learn from them? A presentation on honeybee communication, including extracts from an interpretive language performance created by Birkbeck Artist-in-Residence Lily Hunter Green and students. Part of Green’s ‘Hive Mind’ exhibition work, Bee Composed Live, a multi-media performative installation that blends science with art to raise awareness of the declining bee population.

Camden People’s Theatre: the St James’ Garden Project, 7.30-9pm, G04: How do you exhume 60,000 bodies? Where will they go? And what will be uncovered by all this digging? CPT’s playful new docu-theatre event excavates the hidden histories of St James Gardens, where famous names such as Lord George Gordon (of the Gordon Riots) Matthew Flinders (who first identified Australia as a continent) and “Britain’s first black sporting star”, the boxer Bill Richmond, are buried. It will also voice the strong local opposition – from residents, the local council and St Pancras Church – to HS2 and the Gardens’ destruction. The arguments that rage over HS2 tell an eloquent story of 21st-century Britain, and CPT – which knows where the bodies are buried – is going to tell it… CPT artistic director Brian Logan shared his early research towards the project.

Tuesday 15 May

Theatre scratch night, 6-8pm, G10: Students from our theatre and creative writing programmes – ranging from undergraduate to PhD level – share their work in progress. Featuring contributions from Yuqun Fan, Lucy Curtis, Anna Kennedy, Elisa Ditta, Sunandha Raghunathan & Jasmine Teo, Lucy Allan, Joanna Bowman, Laura Vivio, Edwin Lerew and Martina Usenik.

Wednesday 16 May

Landscape storytelling: the story of an ‘enemy alien’ set designer, 6.15-7pm, G10: The story of British set designer Ralph Koltai, a refugee who arrived in the UK on the Kindertransport in 1939 and translated at the Nuremburg Trials. Writer, dramaturg and translator Sophie Rashbrook discusses her new play exploring his life.

Thursday 17 May

Experiments with art and empathy, 6-7.25pm, G10: This performance reanimates the work of aesthetic theorist Vernon Lee (1856-1935) as she experimented with our bodily responses to art works – a process Lee described as ‘experimenting in the galleries’.

Friday 18 May

On reflection: a wander with a black mirror, 2-3.15pm and 3.45-5.00pm, 106: Hold a black mirror in the palm of your hand and scry, look, listen and think on this walk led by interdisciplinary artist Sheila Ghelani. Sketch like a landscape painter, look like a tourist: what do you see and what remains just off to the side – hidden, overlooked, forgotten, unnoticed?