Underbelly Festival

Until June 2018

Underbelly Festival is a spectacular celebration of circus acts from around the world, open now on the South Bank.

This marks the 10th anniversary of the festival, and there are headline shows from five countries across four different continents.

Did you know that the first ever circus act was staged at Waterloo? Uh huh. Philip Astley founded the performance art genre just yards from where Underbelly Festival is taking place.

The festival kicks off with Circus Abyssinia, from Ethiopian duo Bibi and Bichu who have teamed up with the Konjowoch Troupe to bring a circus performance that celebrates their African roots (6th April – 20th May).

From 3rd May – 17th June cult German production SOAP take over with their acrobatic and water show that includes bathtub acrobatics (top image), a mop ballet and a spectacular rainy finale. They’re known for their sexy, funny shows and we reckon if you can only see one show, it has to be this one.

24th May – 13th July sees Circolombia return with their Colombian show and 27th June – 18th August welcomes Australian troupe Circa: Peepshow, which is all about pushing the boundaries of what the human body can achieve. That’s different to eating two extra doughnuts after lunch, right?

For those with children, there’s a special line up of suitable shows including The Very Circusy Caterpillar (19th May – 1st June) which is, as you’ve probably guessed, based on The Very Hungry Caterpillar story.

If you’ve never seen a circus act then you should know that the genre has come a long way from tatty big tops. These are highly professional acts with some awe-inspiring talents. Roll up, roll up, the circus is coming!

Underbelly Festival, Southbank, SE1 8XX