One of the major draws to the city of London is that the arts culture is so exciting and varied that there’s always something for everyone. And so enters the Underbelly Festival. From the 28th of April to the 30th of September, the Southbank presents market stalls and arts venues for a wide range of different and exciting acts. With such a central location and breath taking view over the city, the Southbank Festival is easy to reach from accommodation like the Park Grand Paddington Hotel and will draw in young and old alike. With the added promise of summer, the festival is bound to draw in party lovers, tourists and artistic addicts alike.
Who are Underbelly?
Underbelly are a national events company who create arts festivals around the country. Having their own venues at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival every August as one of their largest operations means that they’ve expanded to include the Underbelly at the Brighton Festival and also the London Southbank. This year, the Udderbelly Festival and the London Wonderground have joined forces to create the Underbelly Festival, hosting some of the best value cabaret, circus and children’s show son offer in the capital. On top of this, there’s a whole host of food stalls, markets and bars around the area which, if cabaret and circus aren’t your thing, are sure to draw you into the wonderful festival.
There’s plenty to see at the Underbelly Festival which is coming up this summer. These include Attrape Moi, innovative new circus from Canada, where viewers can see acrobatics, hoops and diablo tricks. Another event not to miss is Margaret Thatcher, Queen of Gameshows, which is on till the 2nd of July. Here guests can indulge in some fun games with the cabaret character who brought you Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho. The Sold Out Male Boylesque show Briefs are also gracing the Underbelly with their award winning, talented and cheeky cabaret act. Comedians include Marcus Brigstocke, Lauren Shearing, David Reed and Idil Sukan in the improvised comedy show, Criminal which is coming to the stage in July.
Not to worry, if all of that sounds a bit too risqué, then you can bring your kids to a whole range of other shows. These include the acrobatic comedy show Are We there Yet, which is an award winning swashbuckling Pirate Show. On top of this children have also been recommended the Comedy Club 4 Kids, which hosts comedians such as Nish Kumar and Bec Hill as they bring comedy into the 6 years old and up range in July. There’s also the Card Ninja gracing the stage who engages the audience with a comedy show about his journey from mild mannered card player to Ninja, using card skills and audience interaction to bring the audience on a journey with him.
Market stalls and bars
Not only does the Underbelly host visual spectacle, but foodie spectacle as well. With a range of delightful food and drink stalls in the festival. These include Waffle On, a Waffle stall where German Waffles are made right in front of your eyes. The street food Laughing Stock stall is run by two Michelin trained chefs who have been inspired by food they’ve come across in America, Spain and Italy. As well as food, the Underbelly Festival also serves wines, beers, ciders and spirits.
Situated between the London Eye and the South Bank Centre, the Underbelly is very easy to find, not just for its iconic inflatable purple tent but for its idyllic location. Getting there is easy as Waterloo station is just a seven minute walk away, down Sutton Walk towards the South Bank.