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Quirky Coffins at the Royal Festival Hall

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by Sandra Lawson (subscribe)
To paraphrase Dorothy: 'There is no place like London.' I hope I can convince you of that here. Also check out my blog at and my theatre reviews at
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Quirky Coffins at the South Bank
Crazy Coffins: A rubbish skip

If you thought organising a funeral was just a matter of selecting which kind of wood you wanted for your coffin, it's time to think again. The Royal Festival Hall is currently hosting an exhibition of unusual coffins produced by the Pa Joe workshop in Ghana and Crazy Coffins in Nottingham. These form part of Death: Southbank Centre's Festival for the Living and Boxed: Fabulous Coffins from the UK and Ghana.

As well as viewing a variety of very different coffins, you will also have an opportunity to examine attitudes to death via podcasts, talks, workshops, installations and literature.

It's often said that the only certainties in life are birth and death. We have no control over the first of these two, but we can prearrange our own funerals, and opt for a quirky coffin. It's a pity we won't be around to see the faces of the mourners when we depart this life.

Here are a few of the caskets that are on display. Visit the Royal Festival Hall to see the complete collection.

Quirky Coffins at the South Bank
Corkscrew Coffin: Drink a toast to the departed

Quirky Coffins at the South Bank
Egg Coffin: We begin our life cycle as an egg, so why not leave it in the same way?

Quirky Coffins at the South Bank
Lion Coffin

Quirky Coffins at the South Bank
Rolls Royce Coffin

Quirky Coffins at the South Bank
Guitar Coffin: this one is rightly displayed at a musical venue like the RFH
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Why? It's a different take on death
When: Until 29 January between 10.00 and 23.00
Where: Southbank Centre Belvedere Road London SE1 8XX
Cost: Free to view the coffins and 12 for a day pass
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