Underbelly Festival is back for its tenth year on the Southbank with an incredible line-up, including headline shows from four countries across four different continents by some of the finest purveyors of circus in the world.
Shows on sale today include a modern twist on the grand tradition of European Circus: acclaimed German production SOAP [3 May – 17 July] combines acrobatics and water for a visually extraordinary and riotously fun spectacle that includes bathtub acrobatics, a mop ballet and a spectacular rainy finale.
Circolombia was one of the hits of last year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe, a fiery Latin circus-concert infusing the world’s best circus performers and a powerful original live soundtrack with Colombia’s vibrant cultural heritage, which has its London premiere at Underbelly Festival from 24 May – 14 July.
Headline acts already announced are Ethiopian Fringe sensation Circus Abyssinia [6 April – 20 May] - starring the incredible Bibi and Bichu; and legendary Australian circus troupe Circa’s brand new extravaganza Peepshow [27 June – 18 August].
Beyond the intercontinental feast of circus, Underbelly Festival celebrates a decade as London’s home of spring and summer comedy with shows by a host of the country’s finest comedians including international sensation and star of The Daily Show Gina Yashere [22-24 June], superstar ventriloquist Nina Conti [28 April & 1 July], legendary comedian and mental health campaigner Ruby Wax [26-27 May], young pretender Dane Baptiste & Friends [7 July] and national treasures-in-waiting Katy Brand (26 April), James Acaster [9 May], Sara Pascoe [19-20 May], Danny Bhoy [4 June] and Stephen K. Amos [8 June], alongside many more of the very finest comedic talents in the biz.
Other genre transcending entertainment coming to the festival include Glasgow’s dark comedy renaissance man Limmy for a screening of his legendary Vines [2 June], cult interactive gameshow Knightmare Live [17 June & 8 July], legendary paragons of pop culture parody (who, like Underbelly Festival, mark their 10th anniversary this year) Frisky and Mannish [29 May], award-winning circus extravaganza Elixir, and countless hilarious and musically spectacular impressions from Jess Robinson [31 May & 5 July].
This year’s Underbelly Festival will also offer its most extensive and exciting range of family entertainment to date from the likes of Dick & Dom – making the festival their new bungalow on June 9-10, Metta Theatre, who reinvent Hans Christian Anderson’s classic in Metta’s Little Mermaid - The Circus Sensation using their signature blend of circus, physical theatre, contemporary dance and spoken word [24 July – 12 August], as well as the world’s foremost ‘bubbleologist’ The Amazing Bubble Man [21-22 &26-29 May], time-travelling magicians Morgan & West [7, 8 & 28 July, 27 August], riotous interactive shenanigans for kids (and plenty of jokes for parents) from Funz and Gamez [8 July] and Monski Mouse’s Baby Disco Dancehall [various dates 6 May-30 September], which gets the teeniest of boppers singing and dancing.
All of this is just a flavour of the full programme of comedy, circus, cabaret, variety and family fun taking place daily from April until the end of September in two spectacular venues, both set within a buzzing festival site which features some of London’s finest outdoor bars, offering a sumptuous range of food and drink.