Reformation Nation at the National Theatre's River Stage

River Stage Festival returns to London’s South Bank in July

Published June 7, 2018

River Stage, the free outdoor Summer festival organised by the National Theatre in partnership with five of the UK’s leading arts and culture organisations, begins on London’s South Bank this July.

Opening the festival for the third year on Friday 13 July is London’s leading queer performance venue and popular night spot The Glory. A dazzling army of drag queens, underground stars, club kids and cult comedians will create another totally unique family-friendly showcase for what has become an annual highlight for the capital’s LGBT+ community.

HOME Manchester return to River Stage from Friday 20 July, following last year’s spectacular debut, bringing an eclectic, diverse line-up of northern performers and musicians to the capital, showing London the best of what Manchester has to offer.

Making its River Stage debut, Sadler’s Wells presents a range of dance styles from 27 July, with hip hop, ballroom, traditional Indian kathak dance, contemporary and flamenco. Alongside performances, there are participatory workshops to get visitors moving including yoga, a family friendly workshop and a ceilidh.

The National Theatre's River Stage Festival (Photo: James Bellorini)

Also making its first appearance at River Stage is Nonclassical, who take to the stage from Friday 3 August, bringing together the best in new classical, electronic and experimental music.

The National Theatre is programming the final festival weekend from Friday 10 August with a mix of family focused workshops, sing along bands, a groundbreaking new circus show, a tea dance and live music and DJs. The weekend will end with a screening of the National Theatre Live recording of the NT’s recent production of Stephen Sondheim’s classic musical Follies, winner of Best Musical Revival at this year’s Olivier Awards and starring multi-Olivier winner Imelda Staunton.

River Stage is now in its fourth year of bringing free entertainment to audiences outside the National Theatre. With the NT’s mission to be as “open, diverse, as collaborative and as national as possible”, the festival showcases the best artists from across the UK, presenting an eclectic and exciting mix of dance, theatre and music. Last year the festival saw over 40,000 people attend.

River Stage runs from Friday 13 July to Sunday 12 August and all events are free. More information, and a full programme of performances, can be found on the National Theatre website.

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