Civilisations: The Inside Story: Simon Schama, Mary Beard, and David Olusoga in conversation

This event was held on 2 March 2018

Friday 2 March, 6.30–7.30pm

Sainsbury Wing Theatre

Simon Schama, Mary Beard, and David Olusoga

£16/£15 conc./£14 Members & Patrons


Doors open at 5.45pm. Please be seated by 6.20pm

Simon Schama, Mary Beard, and David Olusoga come together for the first time to share their experiences of making the groundbreaking new BBC series Civilisations, facilitated by presenter Kirsty Wark

The trio will discuss big ideas around art, culture, and world history – ideas that they have each been grappling with, and sometimes have disagreed on, during the making of the series. 

Expect a clash of opinions!

Live stream

A replay of the live discussion is available to watch on BBC iPlayer and BBC Arts

Information for ticket holders 

Please arrive early so that we can start the live broadcast on time. Doors will open at 5.45pm and we ask that you are in your seat by 6.20pm.

You will be able to pick up your pre-booked ticket from 4pm at the Sainsbury Wing ticket desk or alternatively, outside the Sainsbury Wing Theatre from 6pm. If you bring your confirmation email with you, you can go straight into the theatre without queuing to pick up a ticket.

If you would like to ask Simon, Mary, or David a question, please think about what you would like to ask ahead of the event itself. When you arrive on the evening, you will have the chance to write your question on a card which we will supply.

During the final part of the event, Kirsty will put a selection of the audience’s questions to the panel.


Mary Beard is Professor of Classics at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Newnham College. She has published widely, from books on the Parthenon, the Colosseum, and Pompeii, to 'Laughter in Ancient Rome'. Her most recent book is 'SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome'. She has presented many TV and radio documentaries, and is writing a book on depictions of Roman emperors in western art.

David Olusoga is a British-Nigerian historian, broadcaster, and award-winning film-maker. His most recent series include 'The World’s War: Forgotten Soldiers of Empire' and 'Britain’s Forgotten Slave Owners'. David is a regular reporter on 'The One Show' and is presenter of the landmark series 'A Black History of Britain'. He has published several books, and is currently writing a history of slavery.

Simon Schama is University Professor of Art History and History at Columbia University, New York and a contributing editor of the Financial Times. He is the author of 17 books and the writer-presenter of 50 documentaries on art, history, and literature for the BBC. He was awarded an Emmy in 2007 for his film ‘Bernini’ in 'The Power of Art' series and he received the Voice of the Listener and Viewer Award for Excellence in Broadcasting in 2013.

Image above: David Olusoga, Mary Beard, and Simon Schama. Photo by Andrew Hayes-Watkins © BBC