South Bank gears up for summer of love

Love is a funny old thing, and it can be pretty hard to explain, define or understand at times. If you’re emotions have got your head in a spin and you need a little help getting a handle on those butterflies in your stomach, then you may want to head to London this summer, where a groundbreaking and enlightening festival will be held on the South Bank, with the aim of demystifying love.

From May to September, the Southbank Centre will be hosting London’s very first Festival of Love, which means that 2014 could soon become known as the Summer of Love – a title currently associated with 1976.

The event has been put together to celebrate the newly-passed Gay Marriage Act, and aims to examine the complexity of human relationships, providing an insight into what it is that makes us love.

Spread out over a series of weekends, the festival will include a range of artistic performances and displays, ranging from theatre and poetry readings to film and music. Over the course of the summer, it will tackle several themes relating to all the different kinds of love, which ranges from romantic love to the fondness people feel for their friends and family.

Among the highlights of the Festival of Love is a complete reading of all 154 of Shakespeare’s Sonnet’s at the Royal Albert Hall on June 1st. Read by some of Britain’s finest actors and poets, including the likes of Harriet Walter and Simon Russell Beale, this event aims to provide an insight into how the Famous Bard felt about love, while also giving audiences the chance to ponder how views on the subject have changed over the past 400 years.

The Queen Elizabeth Hall, meanwhile, will be hosting a theatrical production of Plato’s Symposium on May 30th and 31st, bringing to life the Ancient Greek philosopher’s famous book about the nature of love.

The Southbank Centre is located close to Waterloo station, which is just a short journey from the Montcalm Hotel Marble Arch on the Jubilee Line.

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