An amazing line-up of talent has been announced for a one-off performance of Ariel, the collection of poems by Sylvia Plath published after her death. 40 women – including Juliet Stevenson, Harriet Walter, Anna Chancellor, Jo Shapcott and Miranda Richardson – will read a poem each at the Royal Festival Hall on 26 May.
It’s part of the London Literature Festival which runs 20 May-5 June, an enormous event with masses of high profile names. Claire Tomalin will lecture on literary heavyweights like Austen and Pepys, and you can see authors including Audrey Niffenegger, Lionel Shriver, William Dalrymple and Barbara Kingsolver talking about their work.
There’s also a weekend focusing on London 31 May-2 June, where you have another chance to see Londoners author Craig Taylor’s One Million Tiny Plays About London, poet Tom Chivers leading a pilgrimage along the river Neckinger, hear China Miéville‘s Visions of London and celebrate Poems on the Underground among others.
The full line-up of Ariel performers is: Maureen Beattie, Emily Berry, Lily Bevan, Samantha Bond, Emily Bruni, Kirsty Bushell, Anna Chancellor, Gillian Clarke, Julia Copus, Claire-Louise Cordwell, Imtiaz Dharker, Amanda Drew, Noma Dumezweni, Ruth Fainlight, Kate Fahy, Vicki Feaver, Deborah Findlay, Stella Gonet, Haydn Gwynne, Victoria Hamilton, Anastasia Hille, Joan Iyiola, Phyllis Logan, Amy McAllister, Lizzy McInnerny, Pamela Miles, Amy Morgan, Tracy-Ann Oberman, Siobhan Redmond, Miranda Richardson, Jo Shapcott, Jean Sprackland, Gerda Stevenson, Juliet Stevenson, Harriet Walter and Susan Woolridge.
Ariel will be performed on 26 May, 7.30pm, at the Royal Festival Hall. Tickets £10-£25. For more information on the rest of the London Literature Festival and to book, visit the Southbank Centre website.