WOW Festival is the annual flagship event as part of Southbank Centre’s core commitment to promoting equality for women and girls. The festival champions the incredible achievements of women and girls and explores the most potent topics for women today. The festival will again mark International Women’s Day on Sunday 8 March.
Over 300 speakers and performers from around the world will appear at the festival to present concerts, performances, comedy, workshops and talks and debates on hundreds of topics relating to equality for women and girls.
Some of the festival’s confirmed highlights include:
– Royal Festival Hall headline show by tUnE-yArDs, aka Merrill Garbus, the American electro-pop maverick
– Mirth Control – WOW’s annual night of comedy and music inspired by great women. The event this year features comedian Sarah Millican and is hosted by Sandi Toksvig, with Sue Perkins conducting WOW’s all-female orchestra
– Liz Carr and Bird La Bird to lead a free mixed bill of female cabaret and comedyNo Guts, No Heart
– BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour will be broadcasting live from the festival throughout WOW week, setting up residence in a glass box studio in Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall café.
– Some inspirational speakers including: Caitlin Moran, Sarah Brown and Facebook VP EMEA Nicola Mendelsohn, Eve Ensler, Bettany Hughes, Kirsty Wark, Gemma Cairney (Radio 1 DJ), Doc Brown (comedian and rapper), Shami Chakrabarti, Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, Kathy Lette, Stella Duffy, Kate Mosse and many more…
Among the performances, will be the Baulkham Hills African Ladies Troupe, a UK premiere theatre piece with four African women refugees to Australia recounting their survival through civil war, kidnap and rape.
The show is written and directed by Ros Horin, who worked over the course of three years with four African refugees who fled war and violence to live in the Baulkham Hills region of Sydney, Australia – Yarrie Bangura, Aminata Conteh-Biger, Yordanos Haile-Michael and Rosemary Kariuki-Fyfe. As their shared their stories with one another, they developed them into a performance which shares the brutal truth about their former lives in Africa but also looks to the future and celebrates their new beginning in Australia.