Underbelly Festival Southbank Announces August Lineup
It's nearly August, it's nearly a heatwave and it's DEFINITELY another great month of shows at Underbelly Festival Southbank.
Kicking off proceedings, Roundhouse Presents brings the best up-and-coming circus and variety acts from the iconic venue to the South Bank for the first time (1-4 August), and then the return of the legendary boylesque cabaret-nightclub Club Briefs (1-3 August)
Other highlights this month include the return of Guilty Feminist (10 Aug), REFRESH - a spectacular new tribute to musical theatre from a top-class vocal choir (13-15 August) and 80 Days: A Real World Adventure - a new, interactive urban adventure based on Jules Verne's classic novel. (Thu-Sun until 29 September).
Then returning by popular demand in the final week of the month, Cocoa Butter Club is an extraordinary cabaret-variety which gives a platform to the best performers of colour, set to a soundtrack of hip-hop, jazz, funk and soul (22-25 Aug).
Further cabaret highlights include Another F*cking Variety Show (8 Aug) - a late night date with Lili la Scala and her glittering cavalcade of Cabarati, and Spice Gals - a drag tribute to the greatest girl group of all time (15 Aug),
This month will also see a celebration of Soho's legendary Phoenix Arts Club, with a series of shows including Soho on the Southbank: 30 Years of Phoenix Arts Club (9 Aug) and The Best of Phoenix Arts Club Cabaret Awards 2019 (24 Aug).
There are also performances from the world's most provocative Octogenarian burlesque comedian Lynn Ruth Miller with new show I Love Men (18 Aug), and award-winning cabaret artist Keith Ramsay, who will deliver an electrifying, haunting and devastating valentine to one of the great entertainers on the 50th Anniversary of her death: Keith Ramsay is Judy Garland (24 Aug), while in With One Look (28 Aug), Vivienne de Vil - Broadway veteran and confidante to the stars - celebrates some of the most iconic women of Musical Theatre. From Streisand to Minnelli, Paige to LuPone.
Bringing down the curtain as the climactic headline act is grown-up circus-cabaret Rouge: a decadent blend of sensational acrobatics, operatic cabaret and tongue-in-cheek burlesque. It is a non-stop celebration of the astonishing, the surprising and the downright sexy, receiving its London premiere after critical acclaim in Australia and direct from a hotly anticipated UK debut at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (28 August - 15 September).
Underbelly Festival Southbank has also become home to the best and brightest alternative live music and this summer will only enhance that reputation with August highlights including The Massaoke Band (16 Aug) which transforms the whole crowd into rockstars with its famed live band karaoke party, dance and live music extravaganza Swing Out (5 Aug), all-singing all-dancing all-fiddling string quartet Bowjangles (19 Aug), immersive 80s workout with a banging soundtrack Synthetics: The Ultimate 80s Workout Experience (21 Aug) and Patty Boulaye's sparkling tribute to one of the greats, Aretha & Me (29 Aug) and the UK's hottest vintage reinventors of your favourite songs, Miss Kiddy and the Cads (30 Aug).
Rounding off the month Underbelly Festival's own London Comedy Allstars hosted by Rhys Nicholdson (who then brings his hotly anticipated Edinburgh Fringe show Nice People Nice Things Nice Situations to the Southbank in September) with top performers including Hal Cruttenden. (31 Aug).
All of this takes place in the midst of one of London's most atmospheric milieux and best outdoor bars, in the heart of the city on the banks of the Thames.