Underbelly Festival Returns to London for Summer 2024

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Underbelly Festival will return to London this summer, taking over Cavendish Square from July – September. Offering a slice of Edinburgh Fringe in the heart of Central London, the cultural pop-up festival is a go-to destination to eat, drink and watch high quality culture. Underbelly Festival’s famous Spiegeltent will once again take up residence in Cavendish Square, hosting world-class live entertainment from the best in circus, cabaret and comedy as well as children’s and family friendly entertainment. Underbelly are delighted to announce the initial lineup, with further acts to be announced soon. The festival will serve up a delicious range of street food traders, open air bars, and plenty of space to socialise, with deckchairs and picnic seating throughout. The square will be free to enter all season long, with tickets to the Spiegeltent performances starting at £13.00 and day offers available at the on-site box office.
The festival programme will kick off with Dizney in Drag: Once Upon a Parody (4 – 14 July), a nostalgic comedy X-rated pantomime following childhood favourite characters to discover sides of them you never knew existed. With original parodied songs, The Hairy Godmother will guide the audience through a magical adventure in search of the wide-eyed hopeful Hero’s true love, meeting a host of familiar characters along the way. Prepare to have all your childhood dreams shattered like Cinderella’s glass slipper in a raucous reclamation parody of favourite childhood stories. London audiences have the chance of catching the show first before it heads up to Scotland for the Fringe.
Continuing a smash UK tour, Tweedy’s Massive Circus (18 – 27 July) continues the season ahead of its run at Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Tweedy has his very own massive circus, but the tent has shrunk and Tweedy hasn’t a clue. Hosted by the much-loved star of Giffords Circus for over 15 years, Tweedy and his friends create their very own circus show in the ‘little’ big top. Expect a show filled with magic, mirth and mayhem suitable for the whole family.
YUCK Circus (28 Aug – 8 Sept) will be here to tear up London with their sell-out show featuring high-flying acrobatics, absurd confessions, and groovy dancing, all smashed together with their trademark ripper comedy. Winners of Fringe World top-tier Martin Sims Award, Best Circus at both Melbourne and Sydney Fringe, and Best Emerging Artist at Adelaide Fringe, YUCK Circus are a powerhouse of female circus performers kicking art in the face.
The UK’s first queer Pan-Asian cabaret The Bitten Peach (6 – 7, 13 – 14, 20 – 21 Sept) tells Asian stories, creates safe spaces and diversifies Asian representation in cabaret. Following their mission is to empower the queer Asian community through their shows, The Bitten Peach is an evening of drag, burlesque, dance, comedy, music, spoken word and circus.
Underbelly Festival will also host family and children’s events throughout the summer with the lineup so far including Mr Sleepybum, Baby Loves Disco and Shelf: The Kids’ Show.
The multi-award nominated kids’ comedy show Mr Sleepybum (6 – 7 July), written and performed by character comedian Jody Kamali, re-enacts stupid and silly nighttime dreams in a high-energy, interactive kid’s comedy for the whole family. Mr Sleepybum awakes in his bed to find a room full of parents and children and a circus of silly sketches and dream scenes ensues, from swimming with Sharks to solving the mystery of a stolen chocolate cake to dodging balls in the guide of the Cowboy Ball-Dodger.
Following this is the original family dance party Baby Loves Disco (14 July, 31 Aug, 15 Sept). DJ Dub and special guests will be mixing feel-good dance floor fillers with pop classics from the years before parenthood struck right up to the present day. The perfect party for parents and babies, toddlers and young children to dance together. Hold tight for all manner of dance floor shenanigans, mummy and daddy dance offs and a whole host of dance-floor fun and games. Suitable for parents of all ages and children aged 0 – 9.
Shelf: The Kids’ Show (21st Sept) is a kids’ comedy show for all the family full of sketches, songs, pranks and silliness. Best friends Rachel and Ruby use physical comedy and silly characters to bring sketch comedy to children of all ages – a fun way to explore emotions, friendship and shyness.
Throughout the summer, Underbelly Festival will additionally host late night cabaret events with a full lineup to be announced soon as well as further shows.
Cavendish Square will be decked out with outdoor seating for alfresco food and drinks in the sun. Visitors can celebrate summer with signature drinks from a brand new bespoke Spritz bar located in the heart of Square, relax on one of the deckchairs to enjoy a cool pint of Pravha or take a sip of the finest coffee and espresso Martini’s in town. Underbelly Festival are partnering with a range of food outlets to serve up smoked meats, the best fish and chips in London, Mexican street food delicacies and freshly made authentic pasta with a summer twist.
Underbelly co-directors Ed Bartlam and Charlie Wood said, “After a break last year, we can’t wait to be back in London with a bang this Summer, bringing festival fun to the heart of the west end. In true Underbelly style, Cavendish Square will host the world’s best circus, cabaret, comedy and family shows in our Spiegeltent, together with top-notch food and drink for a festival like no other – there will be something for everyone!”
Underbelly is a UK-based live entertainment company founded in 2000 by Ed Bartlam and Charlie Wood that specialises in producing and programming ground-breaking theatrical productions and the creation of city-centre cultural events and festivals across the UK, USA, Asia & beyond. Underbelly, alongside ATG Productions, is the lead and originating producer of the Olivier Award winning Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club, now in its third year in the West End. Recent productions also include The McOnie Company’s Nutcracker at the Tuff Nutt Jazz Club at Southbank Centre, La Clique in Manchester & London, Cabaret Royale at the Gaillard Center in Charleston and the inaugural headline show at Underbelly Boulevard, Club Kabarett.
Underbelly Boulevard, their first permanent venue, opened in 2023 in the heart of Soho presenting and producing an outstanding variety of cabaret, comedy, circus, music and theatre. Live Events include West End Live presented by Westminster City Council and SOLT, Pride in London, Christmas in Leicester Square, Skate West End, Edinburgh’s Christmas, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and Underbelly Festival on London’s Southbank, at Earl’s Court and in Cavendish Square. In 2024, Underbelly will produce The McOnie Company’s The Artist, Tweedy’s Massive Circus beginning a UK-wide tour at The RSC in Stratford-upon-Avon and the 20th anniversary of La Clique in Edinburgh and London. One of the largest producers at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Underbelly is proud to have previously presented Fleabag in 2013, Six in 2018, Rob Madge’s My Son’s a Queer, (But What Can You Do?) in 2022 and Kathy & Stella Solve a Murder in 2023.

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