Alchemy, Southbank Centre’s annual festival, showcases the best of dance, music, theatre, design, fashion, comedy and literature from the UK and South Asia.  

For the first time, Southbank Centre’s cross arts festival was launched in Glasgow and ran between 21 and 24 May 2015.  Alchemy Glasgow explored the cultural connections between the UK, India and Pakistan, and celebrated contemporary, classical, folk and traditional styles. The festival was a partnership between Glasgow Life, Celtic Connections and Southbank Centre, in association with British Council and Creative Scotland.

Among the highlights were tabla maestro Zakir Hussain’s Pulse of the World which was commissioned by Celtic Connections and premiered at the Festival in 2011. It featured Indian players who were specially selected by Zakir – Rakesh Chaurasia (bansura) and Ganesh Rajagopalan (violin). They were joined by Patsy Reid (fiddle/viola), Charlie McKerron (fiddle), Fraser Fifield (flute/pipes), John Joe Kelly (bodhran), Jean-Michel Veillon (flute), and Shane McGowan (guitar).

The poetry project, City to City celebrated the twin cities Lahore and Glasgow. The project featured Jim Carruth and Kathrine Sowerby, along with four Pakistani poets and four Scottish poets, who explored their differing cultures through poetry and music. 

"Bringing cultures together in interesting and creative ways is at the heart of the British Council’s work. Alchemy Glasgow, a new festival in Scotland, exemplifies this by celebrating the strong connections between Scotland, India and Pakistan. Our cultures are enriched by such exchanges of ideas and the cementing of creative and collaborative relationships. The artists we brought together are all the best at what they do, and the seven performances across traditional and modern cultures offered incredible nights out. We are delighted to have worked with Celtic Connections, the Southbank Centre, Glasgow Life and Creative Scotland to bring these wonderful collaborations to Scotland." Lloyd Anderson, Director, British Council Scotland.