London’s National Theatre is back with River Stage for 5th year running

River Stage National Theatre people smiling

The free summer festival, hosted by the National Theatre on London’s thriving Southbank is back again.

Complete with a full line-up of performances that span the gamut of drag, cabaret, acrobatics, singing and dancing, it’s an event, inclusive of all, that really puts the National Theatre and London arts on the map.

The whole festival is about celebrating the best of British and International culture, drag artists and London’s green and blue spaces, including the River Thames.

River Stage is on around the city, but has partnered with The Glory (gay bar 5-7 July), Shubbak Festival (Arabic entertainment spread, 12-14 July), National Park City Festival (19-21 July), Frantic Assembly (26-28 July) and the National Theatre itself (2-4 August).  

Subbak Festival

Shubbak Festival will be bringing an international focus to the festival with Bricklab’s ‘Geographical Child’s Play’. Bricklab, the designers of the first Saudi pavilion at Venice Architecture Biennale have created a new pop-up sculpture especially for Shubbak: 22 brightly coloured units equalling in number the 22 states of the Arab League.

National Park City Festival

To celebrate London becoming the world’s first National Park City, the Mayor of London’s National Park City Festival features a huge array of acts to celebrate everything green and wild about the city, including family favourites The Gruffalo and living costumes walkabout, the Grass Men, plus two large-scale outdoor dance theatre spectacles: the Urban Astronaut and BLOCK, which explore themes of air pollution and the challenges of living in an urban jungle.

Frantic Assembly

Frantic Assembly are celebrating their 25 anniversary this year, will offer the chance for everyone to have a go at the famous Frantic Warm Up and Frantic Games as well as learn more about acclaimed production Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time with Astroboy demonstrations, and watch new work Princess from Luke Brown Dance.

Friday and Saturday nights

And just because it’s the weekend, doesn’t meant the festival stops. Each Friday and Saturday evening the River Stage festival transforms the South Bank into one of London’s top night spots. The Glory will kick-off the party with a We Love EU Party on Friday 5th July, with performances on Saturday 6th July including a Homage to Kylie, followed by the Pride Anthem Party. Shubbak Festival are bringing U-Cef, the Moroccan Digitalizer, a DJ who represents the new wave of Arab electronica from Morocco as well as acclaimed singer Amira Kheir.

And what would any festival be without a feed? Melt Ice Cream, Campfire Pizza, The Cheese Iron, The Otherstudy, The WineBox and Apothecary will be on-site to make it all happen.

Check out the full spread on the National Theatre website