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London Wonderground 2016 opens for the Summer

The Raunch
The Raunch

London Wonderground returns to the South Bank as the bawdiest, glitziest, most outrageously hard-partying five year-old in the city; the magnificent Paradiso Spiegeltent and electrifyingly atmospheric Coney Island bar bringing with it the country’s very finest festival of cabaret, circus, alternative comedy, kids’ shows, parties and outdoor bars.

  • Headline shows: Wild West circus-cabaret The Raunch and electro-cabaret Barbu
  • Cabaret, circus and burlesque from Briefs, Miss Polly Rae, East End Cabaret, Hotel Black Cat, Miss Behave’s Gameshow & The Tiger Lillies
  • Comedy and Drag from Debra Stephenson, Ida Barr, Myra Dubois, Panti Bliss & Sh*t-faced Showtime
  • Family shows include Trash Test Dummies and Metta Theatre’s Jungle Book

Headlining the Spiegeltent this year is the world premiere of the swaggeringly sexy Wild West circus-cabaret The Raunch – the brainchild of cabaret legend Empress Stah, featuring a raucous range of circus skills, captivating music (including an original song by Peaches) and filthy humour from a motley crew of cowboys, braves and blaggards. Previews start this evening.

Joining them is magnificently bearded, prodigiously talented and insanely cool Canadian troupe Cirque Alfonse with the London premiere of their electro-trad circus-cabaret epic Barbu – one of the breakout hits of the 2015 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

These two astonishing spectacles spearhead a fantastic programme of cabaret, circus and burlesque featuring a final cameo from cult boylesque variety party Briefs, burlesque superstar Miss Polly Rae in sensual cabaret spectacular Between The Sheets, the surreal and hilarious East End Cabaret with Club Perverts, the haunting and beautiful Black Cat Cabaret, interactive anarchy in Miss Behave’s Game Show and a twisted tribute to Edith Piaf from the Tiger Lillies.

They are joined by chanteuse Ali McGregor, the spectacularly camp Alternative Eurovision, Double R Club star Benjamin Louche, queer-cabaret supergroup Bourgeois & Maurice and David Hoyle, astonishing vocals and character comedy from Cabaret Whore, Dr Sketchy’s Anti-Art School which has the audience drawing alt-cabaret stars as they perform, Dusty Limits’ anti-comic cabaret Black Dogs of Death, Finger In The Pie’s anarchic cabaret variety Wünderfinger, House of Burlesque, Joe Stillgoe’s Songs on Film, Lili La Scala, Marcel Lucont’s Cabaret Fantastique, magical chaos from Peter & Bambi, Scottee and Stars & Strippers.

Wonderground also provides a platform for some of the finest comedy in the land including live performances from television stars Debra Stephenson and Jess Robinson, theatrical comedy spectaculars in Sh*t-Faced Showtime (Pirates of Penzance from those Shakespeare drunkards) and Twelfth Night With Comedians, and some of the most dazzling drag and character comedy in the world, including c*untry singing sensation Tina C, bad granny Ida Barr, the queen of Ireland Panti Bliss, Rotherham’s least-celebrated daughter Myra Dubois, and one of the original cast of Pruscilla Queen of the Desert, Trevor Ashley as Liza.

Treats for the whole family include one of the star attractions of the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe, DIY circus from Trash Test Dummies, Metta Theatre’s ebullient mixture of dance, puppetry and spoken work, which combine to create a brand new adaptation of Kipling’s Jungle Book, time-travelling magic from Morgan and West, lessons in rock’n’roll from the award-winning Tess Waters in How To Be A Rockstar, installation storytelling from Bedtime Stories, beatboxing adventures with Shlomo and a dance party for the whole family in Monski Mouse’s Baby Disco Dancehall.

Combine this amazing live entertainment with an excellent range of street food and drink and one of the coolest outdoor drinking spots in the city, and it’s easy to see how London Wonderground has become one of the capital’s essential outdoor destinations.

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