phone mail2 facebook twitter play whatsapp
National Theatre River Stage 2017 Preview
Image Credit: James Bellorini

National Theatre River Stage 2017 Preview

26 July 2017 Will Rathbone

Now in its third year, the National Theatre’s outdoor River Stage returns for 5 weekends throughout late July and August, with a different arts and culture organisation taking over the stage each weekend. Situated on the Southbank, right next to the National’s Understudy Bar, the free programme includes performance, live music, workshops and classes from the National Theatre themselves, The Glory, HOME Manchester, WOMAD Festival and Rambert.

One of the highlights of the summer, the sheer variety of acts and artists performing on the River Stage ensure there’s something for everyone. We’ve spent some time poring over the line-up to bring you a comprehensive guide to the festivities – from international cabaret stars to all-female jazz collectives via the Bollywood Brass Band and life drawing with a twist.
 
July 28-30: The Glory takeover
 
The Glory return to River Stage looking to build on last year’s success. One of Europe’s foremost queer performance venues, the East London gay bar has been hosting parties and drag events, staging gigs and performances, visiting festivals, lending support to Pride events across the UK and generally bringing a touch of glitter to any occasion they grace, since 2014.
 
Friday night’s APOCALYPSTICK rave sees radical fairies, super queers and fashion freaks open 2017’s programme in style. All-female performance troupe Figs in Wigs grace the stage on Saturday with their Backstreet Boys tribute act, and GLORY LATES present some of the finest cabaret stars in the land – including the incomparable Le Gateaux Chocolat and Glory founders Jonny Woo and John Sizzle. Sunday’s Drag Life Drawing is a family event and has a big circle round it in our diaries.


Image Credit: James Bellorini


August 4-6: HOME, Manchester takeover
 
Manchester’s HOME has collaborated with a veritable who’s-who of the international theatre scene (Hofesh Shechter, Complicite and 1927 anyone?) since opening in 2015. Now a major part of Manchester’s vibrant theatre scene, HOME’s Artistic Director Walter Meierjohann crosses the North/South divide and brings a wealth of theatre and music with him.
 
On Friday, legendary Hacienda DJ Dave Haslam will bring the Madchester scene to the Southbank and provide a joyful, varied soundtrack to shake off the working week to. Mighty Heart Theatre will spend Saturday talking to crowds and finding out how people really view Manchester and the North, whilst We Are Ian perform their successful Brighton Fringe show In Bed With My Brother in the evening. Sunday begins with a Vogue workshop before Mighty Heart Theatre present verbatim the results from Saturday’s survey.


Image Credit: James Bellorini
 
August 11-13: WOMAD Festival takeover
 
WOMAD – World of Music, Arts and Dance – has been hosting festivals across the globe for 34 years, bringing international artists together in a celebration of creativity. If you aren’t able to make it down to their UK site in Wiltshire in July, then make sure to check out their weekend on the Southbank instead.
 
Friday night sees Bristol-based DJ Mr Benn bring his bass-heavy mash up of jungle, reggae, hip hop and hi-life to the post-work revellers. Saturday is chock-a-block with great acts: Msafiri Zawose’s five piece band blend tight harmonies with complex melodic structures to create beautiful grooves, the Bollywood Brass Band do exactly what you’d expect - blasting irrepressible horn lines with an Indian tint – and Gypsy Hill’s ‘DJ-meets-tuba with a Mediterranean twist’ is a sure-fire party starter. Sudanese-Italian songstress Amira Kheir provides a sultry Sunday soundtrack to close the weekend.
 
August 18-20: Rambert takeover
 
Rambert have been making dance for 90 years now, and know a thing or two about how to programme a good mix of up-and-comers and old masters alike. Bringing dance to the masses is a big part of their mission, and there’s nothing like a weekend long free stage on the Southbank to do just that.
 
Friday kicks off with Collapse - New Movement Collective’s 2016 collaboration with 3D laser artists ScanLAB Projects – followed by a duet from Simone Damberg Wurtz accompanied by a score that utilises live piano and a 1980s Commodore 64 computer. Saturday and Sunday both see yoga classes and dance workshops in the afternoon, with Saturday culminating in Music from Nia Lynn, a collaboration from the ever-inspiring choreographer Ben Duke and jazz singer Nia Lynn inspired by the sprit of Nina Simone.


Image Credit: James Bellorini
 
August 25-28: National Theatre
 
The final weekend begins as the National Theatre host a Friday night performance from the New Orleans-inspired London heroes Hackney Colliery Band. On Saturday the wonderful Little Bulb Theatre perform as an 8-piece gypsy band – based on arrangements taken from their hit show Orpheus – before Dom Search, DJ with party outfit The Nextmen, brings the night to a close. Sunday sees a live screening of the National’s recent production of Twelfth Night, starring Tamsin Grieg as Malvolia, before bank holiday Monday rounds the festival off with a live performance by all-female jazz septet Nérija – a must-see group of inspiring musicians.
 
The National Theatre’s River Stage Festival runs from July 28 – August 28 on the Southbank. All events are free.
 

Tell us what you think

You may also like

My Great Orchestral Adventure at the Royal Albert Hall

My Great Orchestral Adventure at the Royal Albert Hall

Travel to a mysterious, musical island this October half term!

Win 2 Tickets to The Snow Kingdom

Backyard Cinema - Win 2 Tickets to The Snow Kingdom

Secret caves of ice, a festive frozen lake & brilliant classic films!

Scythians: Warriors of Ancient Siberia

Scythians: Warriors of Ancient Siberia

The Scythians were a race of nomadic warriors who ruled the vast plains of Siberia 2,500 years ago. Precious little was known about this race…

1800® Tequila aperitivo beauty bar

1800® Tequila aperitivo beauty bar

A night of tequila and pampering

Listen: 140 Years of Recorded Sound

Listen: 140 Years of Recorded Sound

Though this exhibition may be set in one of the world’s most famous libraries, Listen: 140 Years of Recorded Sound, asks attendees to do just that,…

Modern Mystics: The Fruit of Silence

Modern Mystics: The Fruit of Silence

A relaxing and informal concert of tranquil chamber music in the stunning surrounds of Southwark Cathedral.

Basic Instincts at The Foundling Museum

Basic Instincts at The Foundling Museum

An exhibition looking at the radical paintings of Joseph Highmore

The Best Food in London this October

The Best Food in London this October

Now London has seemed to squeeze every ounce of sunshine out of the summer, it is time to turn our minds, and stomachs, to autumn…

This Week October 2-8

This Week October 2-8

October is upon us – the scariest month of the year. Do Friday the 13th, Halloween and darker days full of things that go bump in…

Win Tickets to a Night of Poetry & Comedy

Bang Said The Gun - Win Tickets to a Night of Poetry & Comedy

Spoken word impresarios and poetry collective Bang Said The Gun come to Soho Theatre this winter!

Most popular

Win a 3 Course Lunch for 2!

Park Chinois, Mayfair - Win a 3 Course Lunch for 2!

Hand-crafted dim sum, fine wine & luxurious Mayfair surroundings.
Win 2 Tickets to The Snow Kingdom

Backyard Cinema - Win 2 Tickets to The Snow Kingdom

Secret caves of ice, a festive frozen lake & brilliant classic films!
Win a Copy of the Big Sick on DVD

Studiocanal - Win a Copy of the Big Sick on DVD

We're giving away three copies of Rotten Tomatoes' best reviewed film of summer 2017!
Win a Horror Film Goody Bag!

BFI - Win a Horror Film Goody Bag!

If you’re looking for a suitably scary way to spend your Halloween this year, then look no further.
Win Great Music Prizes

Rhythm Passport - Win Great Music Prizes

Rhythm Passport's fantastic music give away is back for October!
Win 2 tickets to the Street Fan Exhibiton

Fan Museum - Win 2 tickets to the Street Fan Exhibiton

The Fan Museum are giving away tickets to a special exhibition.
Win 4 Grandstand Tickets

The Lord Mayor’s Show - Win 4 Grandstand Tickets

We've got a family ticket to give away to watch a spectacular, historic show.
Win Two Tickets to Timberlina’s FFS!!

Camden People's Theatre - Win Two Tickets to Timberlina’s FFS!!

A brand new glittering alt-drag, rock n roll eco-show for a vexed generation.
Win Tickets to a Night of Poetry & Comedy

Bang Said The Gun - Win Tickets to a Night of Poetry & Comedy

Spoken word impresarios and poetry collective Bang Said The Gun come to Soho Theatre this winter!
Top 5 Board Game Pubs and Cafes in London

Top 5 Board Game Pubs and Cafes in London

Where to head in London for a decent dice-roll

Your inbox deserves a little culture!!