The National Theatre’s outdoor summer festival, Watch This Space, returns to the Southbank venue for its 10th year on Friday 4 July. Offering more than 100 free shows and events over 12 weeks, the festival has something to offer for all the family.
Featuring everything from circus acts, art installations, cabaret, dance, film and music the schedule is jammed pack with events taking place on the quirky lawn outside the theatre. Street theatre from all over Europe will descend on the venue, many acts specifically aimed towards families and children, from Fazzoleto on 5 July – the circus that has been shrunk in the wash – to an alternative village fete on 5 July, complete with animals from Vauxhall city farm.
With children in mind, the festival has organised a special Thrills And Spills day, packing the green space with family friendly installations and giant dinosaurs on the loose. Taking place from midday on Saturday 9 August, the day is filled with events and productions including Jazz For Juniors, The Black Maze – an exciting and spooky adventure in the dark – Talking Birds’s production The Whale and the chance to wear a magical brown paper hat with Chapeau Magique.
The festival will also feature an Olympic Dance Weekend over the August bank holiday (23-25 August) to celebrate the Olympic flame being handed over to London. With a wide variety of dance to choose from, including UK hop-hop, Maori dance and even a 1920s tea dance, there promises to be something for all family members to enjoy.
Offering an opportunity for young people to get involved in the festival and learn more about the arts, the BBC Blast Truck will be at the venue from Friday 5 to Sunday 14 September. Every day up to 150 teenagers between 13 and 19 will be given the chance to take part in workshops to learn more about a wide variety of subjects such as playwriting, dance and radio drama. Places must be booked in advance at www.bbc.co.uk/blast.
Watch This Space runs from 4 July until 28 September. For a full schedule of events visit the National Theatre’s website www.nationaltheatre.org.uk.