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London Literature Festival

The London Literature Festival was held for the first time in 2007 at the Southbank Centre as part of the complex buildings reopening ceremony. The venue was consciously selected as the Southbank Centre was the place where the first Festival of Britain took place way back in 1951. The fact that the London Literature Festival is held at the futuristic looking Southbank complex is in sharp contrast to the typical literature festival, usually held in white tents in villages and provincial towns.

Litterateurs and reading enthusiasts, as well as those who want to be a part of intellectual entertainment, can have a great time by attending the event. Although narratives, story telling and author appearances form the crux, comedy and music performances can also be surprise additions to the event.

DateThursday 1st July 2010 to Sunday 18th July 2010
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At the 2007 inaugural event, the theme chosen was Metropolitan Lines with a focus on the London literary scene. It featured poets and authors including Sean Borodale, Iain Sinclair, Tobias Hill, Blake Morrison and Janet Davey who each gave insights into their works. The other theme that drew huge audiences was the appropriately named 'Saying The Unsayable' which weighed the limits of freedom of expression. The event culminated with composer Heiner Goebbels, together with The London Sinfonietta and The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, bringing to life the writings of Gertrude Stein.

The versatility of the event was evident in the 2008 festival as fiction authors such as Colm Toibin, Jenny Diski and Sir Ian McKellen debated the topic of democracy while Bishop Gene Robinson, Tony Benn and David Davis debated democracy. Also humorist Josie Long tickled the funny bone with a live comedy performance. Alongside, Zaha Hadid and Antony Gormley gave their thoughts on the contemporary subject of urbanism.

The festival offers a unique experience, thanks to the eclectic amalgamation of poetry reading, live music, talks covering all genres of writing, and discussions on contemporary subjects.