Underbelly and Southbank Centre are pleased to announce the return of Udderbelly Festival and London Wonderground at Southbank Centre. Unveiled are the first 41 shows to go on sale. The Udderbelly Festival and London Wonderground are part of Southbank Centre’s Festival Of Love.
Now in its 6th year, the big upside-down purple cow has become an iconic feature on London’s Southbank with over 127,000 tickets sold in 2013. The festival’s relaxed atmosphere and packed programme of comedy, circus and family shows means that there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Comedy has always been at the heart of the Udderbelly and highlights this year include:
Omid Djalili: For one night only, comedian and star of stage and screen makes his Udderbelly Festival debut.
Tony Law: With some absurd, shout-y and powerful – yet meaningful – nonsense. Five nights only.
Susan Calman: The QI, Have I Got News For You and BBC Radio 4 regular returns to the Cow to follow up on her previous sell-out performances.
Andy Zaltzman: The renowned author, comedian and political satirist returns to Udderbelly Festival with his brand new show, Cricket Vs The World.
The Horne Section: Hot on the heels of their very own BBC Radio 4 series and three years of sell-out shows in the West End, the Horne Section lands on London’s South Bank to rock the Cow.
Festival of The Spoken Nerd: Fresh from a national tour, the sell-out comedy phenomenon returns to Udderbelly with a show for the insatiably sci-curious.
Marcus Brigstocke: Comedian, TV, radio and musical star Marcus Brigstocke makes his Udderbelly Festival debut with his topical chat show, Unavailable for Comment.
Come and run away to the Circus! Highlights this year include:
Smashed (22 April – 19 May):
Four crockery sets, nine jugglers and 80 apples; welcome to Smashed, the dark art of juggling. Gandini Juggling have been at the forefront of contemporary circus for over 20 years and, having performed in over 40 countries, now bring their award-winning sensation to London for a limited season.
A mesmerising mix of circus and theatre inspired by the work of Pina Bausch. Don’t miss the first major London season of this smash-hit show from one of the world’s foremost juggling companies.
A Simple Space (30 May – 6 July):
We welcome the London premiere of a show that has captivated sell-out festival audiences around the world. Seven young acrobats will compete for your laughter, gasps and applause with non-stop, mind-boggling feats of breath-taking acrobatics. Get up close and personal with one of Australia’s hottest young circus ensembles, Gravity And Other Myths, as they push themselves to their physical limits and beyond with this captivating show of physicality, skill and daring.
Family programme continues to grow, highlights this year include:
The Amazing Bubbleman: Louis explores the breath-taking dynamics of bubbles, combining comedy and artistry with audience participation and enough spellbinding bubble tricks to keep everyone mesmerized. From sculptural bubbles, illuminated bubbles, bubbles inside bubbles, fog-filled bubbles, giant bubbles, bubble tornados, and trampolines to people inside bubbles, the Amazing Bubble Man conjures shrieks of laughter and gasps of amazement from all ages.
The Fantastical Story Factory: A brand new family show from the winners of CBBC’s The Slammer, by the award-winning and internationally acclaimed musical improvisers, The Showstoppers.
Comedy Club 4 Kids: Returning for the fourth year with the best stand-ups and sketch acts from the international circuit doing their thing for an audience of children and their families … but without the rude bits!
Roll up! Roll up! for the return of the award-winning London Wonderground, a summer-long celebration of the best cabaret, circus and sideshows that the world has to offer built around a magnificent 1920s Spiegeltent.
Headline shows at London Wonderground this year include:
LIMBO (7 May – 17 Aug):
The show so hot, Madonna’s seen it twice.
LIMBO fires up the Southbank once more with circus as you’ve never seen it: wild, wicked and out of this world. Hot on the heels of an international tour, the stunning original cast returns to whisk audiences into a sinister netherworld of jaw-dropping contortion, gut-churning aerial acrobatics, nail-biting stunts and staggering illusions. Directed by Scott Maidment, and set to Sxip Shirey’s thrilling live score of brass, electronics, hip-hop and club beats, take your seats ringside for the hottest party ever between heaven and hell.
Meow Meow (20 May – 7 June):
International singing sensation and purr-fect post, post-modern showgirl descends on Wonderground following her critically acclaimed shows in the West End and at Southbank Centre. The star of the Olivier award-winning La Clique, Meow Meow has been curated by David Bowie, Pina Bausch and Mikhail Baryshnikov and has headlined venues worldwide from The Sydney Opera House to The Lincoln Centre, New York. Expect sequins and satire, Brel, Brecht, Punk and Dolly Parton. Politics. Mayhem. Magnificence.
The Tiger Lillies (13 May – 17 May):
The Grammy nominated godfathers of alternative cabaret return to the Wonderground for five nights only. Following the sell-out success of their Ancient Mariner show at the Southbank last year The Tiger Lillies unveil a whole host of new, dark, depraved songs and draw on the classic recordings, such as Shockheaded Peter, which set them off on the journey which lead to them becoming one of the foremost avant-garde bands in the world.
Al Murray’s The Pub Landlord Southbank Saloon (14, 21, 28 June & 5 July):
The Nation’s favourite pub philosopher turns pop-up publican, bringing his unique satirical genius to London Wonderground. The Pub Landlord will be joined by a host of special guests each night – comedy, variety and music are all on tap in this headline show. The ringmaster of rabble-rousing invites you to his jumped-up tent saloon bar – don’t miss!
Further programme announcements will be made in the coming weeks.
Ed Bartlam and Charlie Wood, Directors of Underbelly, said: ‘This will be our 6th year of Udderbelly Festival and 3rd year of London Wonderground and we’ve assembled a stronger than ever programme with plenty more to be announced in the coming weeks. We’re delighted to be continuing our commitment to presenting genuinely affordable and accessible festivals in the very heart of London. Both festivals have their own unique identities but we strive to create a laid back, safe and welcoming environment in both. None of this would be possible without Southbank Centre’s ongoing support and collaboration on both events. We look forward to welcoming more Londoners than ever to our festivals this year.’
Udderbelly Festival and London Wonderground are part of the Southbank Centre’s Festival Of Love this summer from 30 May to 7 September.
Celebrating the Gay Marriage Act becoming law in England and Wales in March 2014, Southbank Centre’s summer festival in 2014 is dedicated to the theme of love. Hundreds of artists, communities and partners will participate in creating a festival that will explore the many different facets of human love – from romantic love and the breakdown of relationships, to the harmony (or disharmony) between nations and the concept of memorials. The Festival will feature a wide-ranging programme of themed weekends, performances, talks, outdoor art installations and urban greenery across the site, with one of the highlights being Proud To Be Wed, a mass wedding event for gay and straight couples.
Jude Kelly, Artistic Director of Southbank Centre, said: ‘A purple upside down cow at Southbank Centre has become the signal that summer’s returned. Every year the programme has a whole host of exciting new ideas. There’s no need to go to any other green field festival in my opinion, our small pasture has all the excitement necessary.’
Udderbelly Festival – 10 April to 13 July
London Wonderground – 7 May to 28 September
Festival of Love – 30 May to 7 September
Tickets on general sale – 10am, 31 January
Tickets for over 41 shows will be on general release from Friday 31st January.
By Telephone: 0844 545 8282
Lines are open from 9am – 8pm, 7 days a week.
In Person: Southbank Centre Box Office
Further programme announcements will be made in the coming weeks.
Photo Credit: Andy Phillipson “A Simple Space”
Friday 31st May 2014