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Conway Hall

Conway Hall is owned by Conway Hall Ethical Society and was first opened in 1929. The name was chosen in honour of Moncure Daniel Conway (1832 – 1907), anti-slavery advocate, out-spoken supporter of free thought and biographer of Thomas Paine.

The Hall now hosts a wide variety of lectures, classes, performances, community and social events. It is renowned as a hub for free speech and independent thought.

Our Library holds the Ethical Society’s collection, which is the largest and most comprehensive Humanist Research resource of its kind in the United Kingdom.

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Upcoming Events

October 2018

The exhibition has two parts – “London Presence” and “What We See”. London Presence is an exhibition of photographs by participants from Grace Gelder photography workshops at Conway Hall. What We See is a group show by people ages 8-18 who have attended Young Photographers London workshops within the last year, led by Grace Gelder & Niaz Maleknia.

Thu, 20th Sep, 2018

Join the presenters of ‘The Skeptics Guide to the Universe’ podcast for their one-off London show. Steven Novella, along with ‘Skeptical Rogues’ Bob NovellaJay Novella and Evan Bernstein explain the tenets of skeptical thinking and debunk some of the biggest scientific myths, fallacies and conspiracy theories (anti-vaccines, homeopathy, UFO sightings, and many more).

Sunday Assembly is a community that celebrates life by coming together to sing songs, hear inspiring talks and build real connections. We’ll be celebrating the Rights of Women, and asking: where next? FREE – Just Turn Up

Curated by Dr Susan Croft for Unfinished Histories/SuffrageArts. Featuring posters produced by the early Women’s Liberation Workshops (WLW) from 1969 onwards, alongside posters for companies like Beryl & the Perils, Clean Break and Theatre of Black Women, and for local government campaigns like Women Into Manual Trades. Camden, with its…

This year’s festival theme is ‘Activists and Architects of Change’, to mark the centenary of The Representation of the People Act 1918, which permitted women to vote for the first time. Join our Sunday Bloomsbury Festival Hub for rousing talks, vital debates and thought-provoking exhibitions from some of the boldest and bravest voices around.

When is a woman not a person? Find out at Celebrating the Centenary of Women Lawyers – an exhibition to celebrate 100 years since the passing of the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 and the first women lawyers. The exhibition places the opening of the legal profession to women in the context…

As though a rock had been lifted and there were green shoots beneath’  This is how Sara, who we met in the Northern Syrian town of Kobanê, described the 2012 revolution, when the authoritarian Syrian regime withdrew control and the Kurds were able to set up their own autonomous organisations.…

A one-woman show exploring the life of Charlotte Payne-Townshend. Charlotte was a remarkable woman who was a wealthy Irish heiress as well as a suffrage supporter, philanthropist and Fabian. She met and married the famous playwright George Bernard Shaw when they were both in their early forties and the marriage…

Most history starts with a find. So what happens when you start with an urban myth? Today the Thames riverboat pilots tell the story of Waterloo Bridge being built by women during the Second World War. After years of trawling through archives, historian Dr Christine Wall discovered official history had…

Amidst all the barbarism and violence, there is one part of Syria that has stood out as a beacon of hope. The predominantly Kurdish areas that have formed the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria have established an autonomous bottom up democracy that should be a model for us all. In…

Teresa Garfield and Sula Bruce will be leading two workshops for women on public speaking and effectively getting your message across.

our women. One microphone. Celebrating heroines one story at a time. Heroine Addicts is a podcast that puts women and their stories centre stage, produced and co-hosted by Emma Pritchard, Miztli Neville, Alice Robinson and Louise Bastock. The podcast was inspired by the realisation that women’s stories have often been…

With Siobhan Lambert-Hurley, Arif Zaman and Baroness Uddin. Muslim South Asia is widely characterized as a culture that idealizes female anonymity: women’s bodies are veiled and voices silenced. Complicating these perceptions is Siobhan Lambert-Hurley’s new book, Elusive Lives: Gender, Autobiography, and the Self in Muslim South Asia (Stanford University Press, 2018). The re-publication after…

Helen Pankhurst will be leading a participatory discussion on women’s lives, reflecting on the changes in the UK since the right to a parliamentary vote was first granted to some women in 1918. The session will be informed by findings from her new book Deeds Not Words: The Story of Women’s Rights,…

Come and meet Mary Wollstonecraft. Born 1759, alive and and well and living in Bloomsbury – she’s got a few ideas (and opinions) and she’s going to write a book… Mary, Mary… aims to capture the energy and relevance of Mary Wollstonecraft’s thoughts, words and actions. The performance is a work…

A one-woman show exploring the life of Charlotte Payne-Townshend. Charlotte was a remarkable woman who was a wealthy Irish heiress as well as a suffrage supporter, philanthropist and Fabian. She met and married the famous playwright George Bernard Shaw when they were both in their early forties and the marriage…

Ky Hoyle, founder and MD of Sh! Erotic Emporium, the first female-focused sex shop in the UK, curates a rousing conversation around sex and the politics of pleasure with other sex-positive pioneers looking to inspire and empower women to find their true sexual selves. FREE – but pre-booking is recommended

barbican piano trio

The Barbican Piano Trio perform timeless Romantic trios and present the London premiere of a new suite by British composer Joseph Phibbs, hailed by BBC Music Magazine as “one of the most successful composers of his generation”. Part of Bloomsbury Festival. Free entry for those aged 8-25 courtesy of CAVATINA.

Join Faith to Faithless for a panel discussion and Q&A to better understand apostasy in the UK. Leaving religion can be a complicated process, and apostates often experience abuse. Learn from those who have left different faiths and hear about their experiences.

Can you hear through your eyes? When the viral ‘jumping pylon’ gif hit the internet recently, many people discovered they could ‘hear’ juddering or thudding sensations evoked by moving images. Neuroscientist Elliot Freeman will present his research findings, which reveal what kinds of people have a ‘visual ear’, and what their brains might be doing. 

Pexava Salsa at Conway Hall

Pexava’s monthly Thursday Socials. Join us on one of London’s best dance floors for a great night of salsa.

Forget everything you’ve heard about strippers: this talk is an antidote to stigma, shame and stereotyping. Stacey Clare has been part of the misunderstood and misrepresented world of UK strip clubs since the age of 22. She opens-up about her work and experiences with this candid and critical perspective of the industry.

royal college of music

Witness the future generation of musicians as leading ensembles from the Royal College of Music perform a much-loved work by Haydn, exuberant music for wind and Missy Mazzoli’s “love song to the Brooklyn Bridge”. Part of the RCM’s Essential Haydn series. Free entry for those aged 8-25 courtesy of CAVATINA.

5×15 Fright Night: An evening of Halloween tales curated by Sarah Perry, the bestselling author of the new gothic masterpiece Melmoth. Do not be afraid! Dare to join us for gothic tales, Halloween hijinks, stories of spectres and encounters with the other side.

Halloween 2018 and the world is still haunted. Join the London Fortean Society for talks by Dr Caron Lipman and Sarah Sparkes on contemporary ghost story collecting from haunted homes to Senate House and beyond.

The First Resort- Pamphleteering and Politics in Early Modern Britain

Prof Joad Raymond discusses how dreamers of a better world used pamphleteering to communicate alternative political ideas and challenge power in early modern Britain.

A series of six Wednesday evening talks on pamphleteering, contemporary blogging and some of the myriad issues covered in Conway Hall’s largely 19th century pamphlet collection, curated by Deborah Lavin, featuring Prof Joad Raymond, Dr Joseph Kelly, Dr Gregory Claeys, Prof David Nash, Viv Regan and Deborah Lavin.

Nobel Laureate Sir Paul Nurse will consider the aims of scientific research in the light of global challenges and political agendas. Stressing the importance of mature and informed discussions, he will survey the characteristics research systems need if they are to produce reliable, useful knowledge in the public interest.

November 2018

1968 was a year of political upheaval and rebellion, but those times were also important in culture and education – and not just in rock music! This event celebrates those times and asks, what is the legacy? Chaired by Michael Rosen, with speakers including Tariq Ali, Melissa Benn, Ken Loach and Professor Lynne Segal.

trio des alpes

Switzerland-based Trio des Alpes perform works by composers from countries that meet or are touching distance from the European mountain range. The trio have performed internationally, hailed in the press for their individual talents and equally impressive ensemble work. Free entry for those aged 8-25 courtesy of CAVATINA.

The Elimination of Slavery from the Whole World- Problems of Anti-Slavery in Victorian Britain

Dr Joseph Kelly examines the problems faced by the slavery abolition movement in Britain after the 1830s in their efforts to eliminate slavery from the face of the Earth.

Completing the sentence “When women gather…”, this exhibition of work by photographer Grace Gelder, curated with Marianne Mulvey, draws upon different definitions of gathering – from assembling for a specific purpose, to collecting from disparate sources.

Wed, 17th Oct, 2018
oculi ensemble

After 13 years as the Badke Quartet, they return to Conway Hall as the newly formed Oculi Ensemble with a programme centred around the music of Richard Strauss, from his early chamber works to a sextet from his final opera Capriccio. Free entry for those aged 8-25 courtesy of CAVATINA.

Marx, Morris and Utopia

Dr Gregory Claeys considers whether, despite Marxism’s well know rejection of earlier Utopian socialism, Karl Marx might be termed a Utopian thinker, and how some of his ideas were adapted but also built upon by the English socialist William Morris.

Join Richard MacLean Smith, creator of the ‘world’s spookiest podcast’ Unexplained as he takes you on an atmospheric journey through the extraordinary tale of the Hexham Heads. The heads seem to move themselves and strange creatures were witnessed stalking the homes of anybody that housed the bizarre artefacts.

Burnout and other associated health issues are gathering extraordinary momentum particularly with frontline employees. Why do we do this highly pressurised, persistently demanding work which requires enormous breadth and depth of skill and who is responsible for our wellbeing? Camilla Ghazala will discuss whether we can really avoid burnout.

monte piano trio

Monte Piano Trio return to Conway Hall as part of their short tour. At the heart of their programme is an arrangement of Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht, inspired by Richard Dehmel’s poem about a couple walking through a dark, moonlit forest. Free entry for those aged 8-25 courtesy of CAVATINA.

Prof David Nash traces the long battle to abolish the Blasphemy Laws in England, from the seventeenth century to their abolition in 2008 and how the concept of blasphemy affects us all today.

reel rock 2016

Don’t miss an extraordinary collection of adventure and climbing films from some of the world’s best adventure filmmakers.

Karen Douglas will discuss why conspiracy theories are popular, who is more likely to believe them (and why), and what some of the potential consequences of conspiracy theories are for politics, health, and the environment.

new zealand string quartet

Having recently celebrated their 30th anniversary, the New Zealand String Quartet has since played all over the world to great acclaim. The quartet will perform an all-Beethoven programme, charting the journey of his string quartets through three different periods. Free entry for those aged 8-25 courtesy of CAVATINA.

The sixth event of our Out-of-the-Box Thinking series will explore through debate whether “Exams have had their Day” in our education system. Education campaigner and film-maker Madeleine Holt will speak for the motion, and Richard Sherif, President of the Association of School and College Leaders, will speak against it.

The story of birth control is usually told as one of almost linear progress against blinkered bigotry. Deborah Lavin reveals how opposition to contraception may have been blinkered and bigoted, but it was also often liberal, radical, socialist and feminist.

Join LGBT Humanists for their November event, where they’ll be joined by tireless human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, who will be discussing his campaign for an alternative to marriage and civil partnerships.

December 2018

1n 1948, the HMS Windrush docked in Essex carrying hundreds of British citizens from the Caribbean. 70 years later, it emerged that our government had started denying healthcare and housing to some of the families. Russell Hargrave asks, what were the roots of the Windrush crisis, and how did the government get things so badly wrong?

simon callaghan

Conway Hall’s Director of Music and internationally-acclaimed concert pianist Simon Callaghan recently released his second disc for Hyperion’s Romantic Piano Concerto series. He presents a programme of his favourite music, from the drama of Beethoven’s ‘Pathetique’ Sonata to Schubert’s virtuosic ‘Wanderer’ Fantasy. Free entry for those aged 8-25.

This talk by Viv Regan is last in the series Writing Wrongs, curated by Deborah Lavin as part of the Heritage Lottery funded project Victorian Blogging.

piano

An initiative taken by doctor Kiki Sonidou and pianist Stavros Dritsas, both London residents, “For Hope – Για την Ελπίδα“ is a charity piano recital, aiming to support “Elpida” Association of Children with Cancer, which has been endlessly offering its services in Greece to those who are in need of it.

Thu, 11th Oct, 2018
london piano trio

The London Piano Trio performs music by three emblematic figures of the German Romantic sound – one of Beethoven’s early trios, Mendelssohn’s last chamber work and Brahms’ second trio that endured two years of intense creativity. Free entry for those aged 8-25 courtesy of CAVATINA.

Piano Auctions at Conway Hall, London

As the world’s leading auctioneers of pianos and keyboard instruments and with over 35 years of experience, our specialist team is able to offer the best professional advice on selling or buying your instrument.  Viewing takes place from the Tuesday to Thursday of each sale at Conway Hall.

Wed, 8th Nov, 2017

Come and celebrate Beethoven in style with Claudio Bohorquez (cello) and Alberto Portugheis (piano). This is a unique opportunity to experience the performance of two international, well-known and highly respected interpreters of Beethoven, who will join forces in telling the story of the composer’s life through his five Cello and Piano Sonatas, on the eve of his birthday.

Using the latest research into the media, decision science, heuristics, and emotional reasoning, Bobby Duffy examines why the populations of some countries seem better informed than others, and how we can address our ignorance of key public data and trends.

chamber ensemble of london

The Chamber Ensemble of London close our Autumn season before the Christmas holidays in an opulent musical night from Baroque to Britten. Led by violinist Peter Fisher, the ensemble features handpicked players from some of London’s leading orchestras and ensembles. Free entry for those aged 8-25 courtesy of CAVATINA.

February 2019

A six-week course examining the often hidden or forgotten contribution of radicals, rebels, and revolutionaries to the development of ground-breaking ideas and campaigns in the nineteenth century such as human rights, birth control, women’s rights, the right to vote, republicanism, and free speech.

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Conway Hall

25 Red Lion Square | London | WC1R 4RL
Conway Hall is and always will be the place for those who dare to dream of a better world.

Venue Opening Hours: Mon - Sat: 9:00 - 23:00, Sun: 9:00 - 22:30
Office Opening Hours: Mon - Fri: 9.00 - 17.00
+44 20 7405 1818

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(registered charity 1156033)

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