Underbelly Festival announces a spectacular programme of cabaret, circus, comedy, variety, podcasts, and family shows for the Spiegeltent at its brand-new home in Cavendish Square. The festival will have all the ingredients for a perfect summer day and night out in the heart of Central London’s Oxford Street District with a sumptuous array of street food and summer outdoor bars.
Headlining this year’s festival is the hilarious new cabaret and an essential London summer night out, Bernie Dieter’s Berlin Underground. In its European premiere, be transported to Bernie’s underground cabaret club where some of the world’s best cabaret acts will take you on a journey from edge of your seat thrills to total hysterics and back again in a matter of moments.
TuckShop, the home of UK drag and creators of iconic Underbelly Festival favourites such as Spice Gals and Gals Aloud, as well as West End hit Death Drop, return to the festival with a brand new interactive and unforgettable retro drag show inspired by everyone’s favourite decade, The Sickening 90s Drag Prom. Additionally, audiences will be treated to a series of late night Saturday shows and afterparties that will have everyone feeling like a Prom Queen. As a special one off event, Tuckshop will also open the festival with a raucous variety night of drag and campery.
Other legendary artists include the king of improvised comedy hip-hop, Abandoman, bringing a high-tech performance that sees his off-the-cuff adventures enhanced by green-screen technology. Joining him in the programme are pop parodists’ par-excellence Frisky & Mannish with the final chance to see their hilarious and sensational Pop Lab, and cabaret collective The Cocoa Butter Club, who will showcase a brand-new burlesque extravaganza flaunting the talents of the best queer performers of colour in the city.
Underbelly Festival will continue to deliver the very best family entertainment for all ages. Included in its varied family programme is the brilliantly funny and Edinburgh Festival Fringe mega hit Hotel Paradiso, from Guinness World Record holders Lost in Translation whose dynamic, theatrical, and contemporary circus skills will have everyone amazed.
CBBC legends and Crackerjack presenters Sam & Mark will be making their Underbelly Festival debut with On The Road Show. Legend of the silver screen, Basil Brush, will return to Underbelly Festival with his smash hit Family Fun Show as well as his infamous show for grown-ups only, Unleashed, ensuring a little Boom! Boom! mischief and mayhem will ensue across the square.
Family favourites also joining the fun include beloved comedy star Jarred Christmas, teaming up with loop station world champion Hobbit to present the Mighty Kids Beatbox Comedy Show. West End improv favourites The Showstoppers return with a marvellous musical adventures for kids; stand-up for all ages at Comedy Club 4 Kids; legendary beatboxer and musician Shlomo’s Beatbox Adventure for Kids; comedian, musician and YouTube sensation Jay Foreman and the original dance party for the whole family Baby Loves Disco.
Cabaret and variety stars adding to this unrivalled programme include world class magician Magical Bones, the comedy connoisseurs of high-class libations The Thinking Drinkers, vintage jazz glamour from Miss Kiddy and the Cads and Funny Gals, the new show from musical comedy superstar and acclaimed lyricist Vikki Stone, and West End sensation Natasha Barnes.
And there is more; a one night extravaganza from Denim star and Diary of a Drag Queen author Crystal Rasmussen singing the greats, gender diverse pan-Asian cabaret collective Bitten Peach, zany cabaret BONKERS!, spectacle of non-binary finery The Enby Show and Bernie Dieter in Konzert, her intimate solo show, a riotous hour of music with her Haus band.
Comedy superstars descending on Underbelly Festival include Zoe Lyons’ greatest hits plus unseen material, star of last year’s Royal Variety Show Daliso Chaponda with the greatest of his greatest hits, musical comedy phenomena duo Harry and Chris, Goodbear with their Edinburgh Comedy Award-nominated show Dougal and Fringe favourites Scummy Mummies, finding the funny in the highs and lows of parenting. For one night only join Jarlath Regan for a live on-stage version of the online comedy club Return of the Craic and don’t miss London’s favourite queer women and non-binary comedy collective The LOL Word, for an hilarious night with special guests.
Underbelly Festival has become the live home of some of the country’s finest podcasts in recent years and this year is no exception. Nobody Panic sees acclaimed comedians Tessa Coates and Stevie Martin tackle life’s big problems, Brett Goldstein (recently acclaimed for his role as writer and star of hit Apple comedy Ted Lasso) presents cult classic Films to be Buried With; Hannah George, Catie Wilkins and Taylor Glenn seek justice in Drunk Women Solving Crime and James Barr and Dan Hudson appear in A Gay and a NonGay ,an absurdly simple but hilarious show. Jessica Fostekew welcomes comedy legend Jo Brand and other guests to discuss eating in a live show of Hoovering all whilst sharing delicious treats.
In addition to this unparalleled summer programme of live entertainment in a fantastic new setting in Cavendish Square, Underbelly Festival offers affordable ticket prices and shows that run for an hour on average (with no intervals), in a performance venue that can be easily adapted to incorporate any necessary social distancing measures or other health safeguards should they be required.
Underbelly directors Ed Bartlam and Charlie Wood said: “Underbelly Festival is a sure sign that summer is round the corner and it feels like we’ve been waiting for this one for a long time so it’s extra special to be announcing such a brilliant programme of live comedy, cabaret, variety, podcasts and family entertainment. Our fantastic new home is a stone’s throw from both the West End and Soho and Bernie’s Berlin Underground, with its roll call of world class performers, embodies everything is great about both iconic parts of London. There’s entertainment here for all ages, at affordable prices, in a wonderful atmospheric setting and one that’s easily adaptable to comply with any public health regulations should we need them. Come and visit us in our new home – see a show, have some food, and enjoy the London summer!”
Tickets will go on sale at underbellyfestival.com from Monday 17 May, 9am.