Over four days, hear the unabridged Moby-Dick by Herman Melville being read aloud.
This epic Romantic work is being performed by actors, writers, members of the public, comedians
and Herman Melville's great-great-great-granddaughter.
This live reading also includes newly commissioned work from illustrators, artists and musicians.
Expect surprising contributions every day.

Join the greatest chase in literature!

Moby-Dick is an adventure story, humorous and tragic, with a huge cast of memorable characters.
It is a book that everyone knows they should have read - now it's going to be read aloud for you, by famous actors, writers, comedians and rock stars!

Presented by

The Special Relationship


Southbank Centre


Funding provided by
Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England


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October 1

7:30 to 10:00 PM

October 2

7 to 10:00 PM

October 3

10:30 AM to 10:00 PM

October 4

10:30 AM to 5:00 PM

Readers include

A L Kennedy • Aisling Fahey • Anjan Saha • Arifa Akbar • Ben Markovitz • Bonnie Greer • Burn After Reading Poets • Chinbundu Onuzo • David Flusfeder • Debs Newbold • Diana Quick • Dotun Adebayo • Ellah Alfrey • Errol Lloyd • Evie Wyld • Francesca Beard • Francesca Brill • Georgina Godwin • Guy Morgan • Harry Harris • Henrietta Rose-Innes • Hephzibah Anderson • Isley Lynn • Isy Suttie • Jack Underwood • Jim Higo • Joan Hewitt • Jonny Woo • Jude Kelly • Katy Darby • Katy Wix • Laurie Bolger • Lee Rourke • Liam Williams • Liza Klaussmann • Louisa Young • Louise Brealey • Mark Gwynne Jones • Matilda Wnek • Melissa Harris • Molly Parkin • Naomi Alderman • Nathan Penlington • Nicholas Hogg • Niven Goviden • Peter Hobbs • Philip Hoare • Rashi Dastidar • Rev. Richard Coles • Saskia Vogel • Shan Maclennan • Simon Crump • SJ Fowler • Tim Key • Tim Wells • Toby Litt • Tom Basden • Tom Chatfield

Sperm whale - dark


Moby-Dick Unabridged is being performed in the Clore Ballroom at Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre.

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Moby Dick-Unabridged is presented by The Special Relationship and Southbank Centre and is made possible through the generous assistance of our partners and friends.


Cockayne Grants for the arts

London Community Foundation logo


The Pigeonhole Publishing


Willesden Green writers group


Victoria Park Singers


Rumpus Animation


Souvenir Scenic Studios


The Crabbieshack


Regimental Vintage


Special thanks

Philip Hoare


Amanda Bullock


The New Bedford Whaling Museum


Boats towing whales back to ship

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About The Special Relationship

"Readings shouldn’t be boring."

The Special Relationship is the polymath of literary evenings. We have poets, authors, playwrights, journalists, comedians, filmmakers and even a rock star or two (exactly two, actually). We find those rare folk who can write and perform.

The Special Relationship has been hosting literary events for four years. We’ve been commissioned to perform at Latitude Festival, Scottish Poetry Library, the International Anthony Burgess Centre and for the Croatian Ministry for Culture at the London Book Fair. We have appeared in a variety of magazines and newspapers from Grazia to the Independent.
Get in touch, we’re info [at]