With the festive season done, It’s time to celebrate! After Nine years of bringing together summer fun with London’s stand-out circus, cabaret and theatre scene, the Underbelly Festival has announced its inaugural return to residency on London’s Southbank.
On the 6th of April the purple cow will rise once more to crown the Southbank skyline with her ginormous udder of festivities! The festival’s 10th year brings Royal Variety stars to the stage Circus Abyssinia, with their show Ethiopian Dreams, a tale of who brothers who dream of joining the circus. Still on fire from the enchanting reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe, and their Royal Variety performance, we can’t wait to see them at the Underbelly. They are in residence from the 6th April – 20th May.
Our long time Australian circus cabaret favourites, Circa, with their thrilling acrobatics and comedic storytelling are also back to headline with a new show, rumoured to be their most breathtaking performance yet. Circa: Peepshow runs from – 27th June – 18th August. We’re told to expect everything from insane aerial performances, to towers of perfectly balanced bodies, and everything in between!
Given that we’re on the edge of our seats in anticipation for the festival’s tenth year, and all the other shows that will be announced, and in celebration of the Underbelly crushing the 1 million tickets sold Barrier in 2017 – we’ve decided to share with you our top ten reasons we love the Underbelly Festival
Top ten things we love about the Underbelly festival
1 ) It’s obviously a sure sign that summer is finally on the way when the Underbelly Festival returns to the Southbank.
2 ) The Underbelly Festival is the one outdoor drinking space in London that harnesses the festival vibe we need from summer; with the best people, best food & drink, and best entertainment.
3 ) Location location location! Right in the heart of London and it lasting ALL summer, not just the bank holiday weekend.
4 ) The best place in London to find all your favourite forms of entertainment; the best in Circus, Cabaret, Comedy, Burlesque, thought provoking theatre — even children’s shows.
5 ) If you arrange to meet your Tinder date here and he’s not the Prince Charming (or Cinderella) of your dreams, there’s plenty of space and plenty going on for you to lose him or her in the fun-loving crowd to find other entertainment.
6 ) If you, like me, feel Burlesque and Cabaret are always underrepresented on the London Theatre scene, you’ll find the arts have a home here. Some of the best burlesque shows we’ve seen are know to call the Underbelly Festival home.
7 ) The festival takes place on the Southbank, in the shadow of the London Eye and iconic Houses of Parliament. It’s one of the most scenically ‘London’ places in all of London. We recommend a weekend stroll across the millennium bridge from St Paul’s to the Tate Modern, and back up along the Southbank toward the London Eye. Finish it off with a chilled pint and a good show in the festival’s picturesque setting.
8 ) The majority of show tickets are under £20!
9 ) We’ve never been to a show at the Underbelly where we’ve had a bad seat. Whether you are sitting right in the front row or at the back of the room, your view is good. With many of the shows you have just as much chance of being asked to participate in the back row as you are if you sit in the front row, so if you are a shrinking violet, embed yourself somewhere in the middle of a row!
10 ) It’s not just about the shows. There are rides to go on, plenty of spaces to sit and chill and chat, a diverse range of street food on offer from cross the globe, and an over-arching feel-good vibe which extends to cover even the greyest London day.
On that note, we’ll see you there!
Written by J R Manawa