Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells to be performed in London this summer

Mike Oldfield
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Mike Oldfield’s iconic magnum opus, Tubular Bells, will be performed live at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall in London this summer, in a season of unique performances that are a prelude to the celebration of the masterpiece’s 50th anniversary in 2023.

Starting August 7th through to August 15th, Tubular Bells – Live In Concert, will feature musical direction from Oldfield’s long-time collaborator Robin A. Smith, with the album performed by an expansive live group. The show will be fully seated.

Robin A. Smith has collaborated with Mike Oldfield for three decades including the iconic performances of Tubular Bells at Edinburgh Castle in 1992, and at the 2012 London Olympic Opening Ceremony.

The music will also be brought to life with a visual interpretation by the world-renowned Circa Contemporary Circus, who, led by Artistic Director Yaron Lifschitz, have previously animated works by some of the most well-known composers in history including Stravinsky and Mozart, with their intricately woven acrobatics. A bold new scenic design will be created for the production by William Reynolds.

"It’s amazing to think that it’s 50 years since I started writing Tubular Bells, and I am touched that my music has reached so many people, all over the world, during that time," says Oldfield.

"I have worked with Robin A Smith for almost 30 years, since we presented Tubular Bells together at Edinburgh Castle, through lots of different performances and recordings culminating in the London Olympics in 2012. When I started thinking about reinventing Tubular Bells for live performance with dancers and acrobats—and of course live music, it was Robin who I knew could realise this vision. I am thrilled that this is finally coming to the stage and I trust no-one more to reimagine my work in this way.

"I am sure that the 50th anniversary live concert experience of Tubular Bells will be spectacular, theatrical, fantastical and thrilling. I’m so excited it is premiering in 2021, marking 50 years from when I started writing the music and will be touring the world through to 2023, the 50th anniversary of the original album release."

In 1973, the Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall also hosted the first ever live performance of Tubular Bells. Southbank Centre members pre-sale opens on Wednesday January 27 at 10.30am.

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Mike Oldfield

(Image credit: Mike Oldfield)
Jerry Ewing

Writer and broadcaster Jerry Ewing is the Editor of Prog Magazine which he founded for Future Publishing in 2009. He grew up in Sydney and began his writing career in London for Metal Forces magazine in 1989. He has since written for Metal Hammer, Maxim, Vox, Stuff and Bizarre magazines, among others. He created and edited Classic Rock Magazine for Dennis Publishing in 1998 and is the author of a variety of books on both music and sport, including Wonderous Stories; A Journey Through The Landscape Of Progressive Rock.