In 2018, the Underbelly Festival is celebrating its 10th year on the Southbank. Offering an ever-expanding choice of circus, comedy, cabaret and family shows, the Underbelly Festival once again promises to provide London with a centre of summer fun.
Who’s On at 2018 The Underbelly Festival
Running from 06 April to 30 September, festival headliners SOAP and Circolombia join Circus Abyssinia & Circa’s Peepshow. Also on show is a host of comic performers including Ruby Wax, Gina Yashere, Stephen K. Amos, James Acaster, Nina Conti and Sara Pascoe, whilst Dick & Dom, Metta Theatre, The Amazing Bubble Man, Morgan & West and Funz & Gamez provide fun for the whole family.
Underbelly directors Ed Bartlam and Charlie Woods said:
“It’s hard to believe it’s been ten years since we first landed on the Southbank but we’re celebrating in style with our most exciting programme yet. As well as providing a range of brilliant comedy, cabaret, family entertainment, food, drink and bars, our headline shows all demonstrate the richness and variety of circus performance all around the world and it’s amazing to be hosting them mere yards away from the birthplace of circus 250 years ago.”
SOAP runs from 3 May to 17 July 2018 and is a modern twist on the grand tradition of European Circus: combining acrobatics and water for a visually extraordinary and riotously fun spectacle that includes bathtub acrobatics, a mop ballet and a spectacular rainy finale.
Circolombia will be enjoying its London premiere. One of 2017’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe successes, Circolombia is a fiery Latin circus-concert infusing the world’s best circus performers and a powerful original live soundtrack with Colombia’s vibrant cultural heritage. Catch it between 24 May and 14 July 2018.
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).
When it comes to comedy, The Underbelly promises a riot of laughs going through spring and into summer
Comic highlights, in no particular order, include:
- Gina Yashere – 22-24 June,
- Nina Conti – 28 April & 1 July
- Ruby Wax – 26-27 May
- Dane Baptiste & Friends – 7 July
- Katy Brand – 26 April
- James Acaster – 9 May
- Sara Pascoe – 19-20 May
- Danny Bhoy – 4 June
- Stephen K. Amos – 8 June
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.
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 Frisky and Mannish (29 May), award-winning circus extravaganza Elixir, and countless hilarious and musically spectacular impressions from Jess Robinson (31 May & 5 July).