The summer of 2012 will bring cabaret, curiosities and the spirit of Coney Island to the Southbank in a new festival entitled The London Wonderground.
The new event, which will be staged at the renovated coach park between the Royal Festival Hall and the London Eye, will run alongside the hugely popular E4 Udderbelly programme, which returns with a line-up including Greg Proops, Rufus Hound, Gina Yashere, Richard Herring and The Boy With Tape On His Face, who was recently seen at the Royal Variety Performance.
The London Wonderground will blend circus and sideshows in a way that harks back to New York’s early 20th century playground, Coney Island. At the centre of its world of intrigue and entertainment, a 600 capacity Spiegeltent will host performances from companies including Australian circus hit Cantina and the queens of British cabaret Fascinating Aida.
Speaking about the two festivals, Jude Kelly, Artistic Director of the Southbank Centre commented: “At Southbank Centre we create festivals of many kinds in keeping with our history as the Festival of Britain site. We know that festivals allow all kinds of people to try out new experiences in unexpected surroundings. Together with Underbelly we dreamt up the London Wonderground because we wanted to revive the idea of a pleasure garden beside the river as well as conjuring up images of Coney Island with its fairgrounds and vaudeville spirit. I’m also thrilled that our favourite purple cow, E4 Udderbelly, will return for a fourth year. Both festivals will be part of our major Festival Of The World with MasterCard when hundreds of international artists and thousands of people will converge on the site next summer.”
The Southbank Centre’s Festival Of The World with MasterCard runs from 1 June to 9 September, with the E4 Udderbelly running from 6 April to 8 July and the London Wonderground from 8 May to 30 September. It is just one of a number of special events being planned for the summer of 2012, which include the multi-venue World Stages London and the World Shakespeare Festival.