The National Theatre has revealed the full line-up for this year’s River Stage Festival. The annual free festival on London’s South Bank runs throughout the summer with leading arts and performance companies celebrating the best of British and International culture, drag artists and London’s green and blue spaces, including the River Thames. The previously announced partners are: The Glory (5-7 July), Shubbak Festival (12-14 July), National Park City Festival (19-21 July), Frantic Assembly (26-28 July), and the National Theatre (2-4 August).
New partners for 2019
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. There will also be performances from Music Action International’s programme Everyday People which supports young people newly arrived to the UK from conflict zones.
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.
Meanwhile Frantic Assembly, who 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.
Throughout the festival there will be family friendly activities and performances. Highlights include The Glory’s programming of The Baby Lame Poop Show, a reworking of the critically acclaimed underground cabaret star Baby Lame’s show of mayhem and mess as well as Drag Life Drawing brought to the South Bank by Sketch Sesh duo fashion illustrator James Davison and oil painter Simon Gray. The final weekend of the festival will see the return of family favourite Mrs H and the Sing-Along band, as well as showcasing the best of current National Theatre family show Mr Gum and the Dancing Bear – The Musical! a new musical based on the books by Andy Stanton, family workshops and a Hip Hop workshop with Steppaz, a dance company opening up opportunities for children from aged 3.
Friday and Saturday nights
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.
The National Park City Festival will feature a wild and theatrical opening night with a collaboration between Goldierocks and larger-than-life puppetry company Puppets with Guts, whilst keeping things green with a Pedal Powered Party featuring top female DJs Supa Dupa Fly and Night Czar Amy Lamé.
Frantic Assembly alumni Lewis Griffith, Declan Bennett and Stefan Janik will bring the house down with live performances, alongside sets from Erased Tapes and Honey Moon and Karl Queensborough (Alexander Hamilton in Hamilton) performing in Ignition open mic
The National Theatre’s Zilla Night, the brain and musical child of DJ Blondezilla takes over the stage on Friday 2 August, alongside DJ Paulette, and the return of SESSION an explosive gathering partnering Still House and Tottenham’s Steppaz Performing Arts Academy and Empire Sounds to create an exhilarating dance event.
Summer Food and Drink
A festival would not be complete without food and drinks to enjoy and River Stage will be no different. Returning from the 2018 festival are: Melt Ice Cream, Campfire Pizza, The Cheese Iron, The Otherstudy, The WineBox and Apothecary.
For more information, visit http://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/shows/river-stage-2019