August at the Underbelly Festival: Re-imagined Little Mermaid, splendid circus shows and a silent disco

A multitude of circus, burlesque, variety and drag shows continue to entertain the guests of Underbelly Festival in August. There’s something for everyone: circus performances from Circa and Black Cat, The Little Mermaid in a brand-new rendition, Piff and his Mr Piffles’s shenanigans, a silent disco, a drag tribute to Girls Aloud and much more.

underbelly festival august 2018

The headline shows this month are evenly divided between shows from two troupes: Circa’s Peepshow and Black Cat Bohemia. The primer, hailed “the rockstars of the circus world,” serve the performance from some of the best acrobats in the world under the direction of Yaron Lifschitz (shows until the 18th of August). The latter combine circus and cabaret to create a theatrical experience filled to the brim with spectacular performances from acrobats, aerialists, fire breathers and surprise guests led by MC Frisky. They’re the last headliner of this year’s Underbelly Festival, and the audiences will be able to see their shows from the 22nd of August. There’s still some time left to catch Metta Theatre’s reinvention of The Little Mermaid, which closes on the 12th of August – the show retells the beloved story with the skills of a marvellous circus ensemble.

On the 15th of August, America’s Got Talent star Piff the Magic Dragon returns to London with his trusty dog Mr Piffles, who will reveal its psychic abilities during the special show The Dog Who Knows. An Underbelly premiere of the theatrical adaptation of Aliens Love Underpants opens on the same day, while the show from Morgan & West, time-travelling Victorian magicians, will cast a spell over the audience on the 27th of August.

Paradiso Spiegeltent isn’t short of musical performances and chances to dance either. Swing Out, a dance night complete with an intro for novices who want to get into the swing of things quickly, will take the participants back into the previous century with music and fashion on the 27th of August. Ukeclear Power will take over two days after with its variety show, and on the last night of August, The Silent Disco Show will let you plug into one of three channels full of classics.

This month’s programme is also rich in cabaret, burlesque and drag performances. These include Underbelly Festival’s Own House of Burlesque, Miss Kiddy and the Cads who built the vintage cabaret show around a variety of well-known hits from Bowie to Beyonce, Burlesque Idol competition, Miss Rosie Beaver in Fantastic Beaver and Where to Find Her as well as Gals Aloud, a drag tribute to Girls Aloud.

In between the performances, the guests can take advantage of some of London’s best outdoor bars and street food picks in the heart of Southbank.

The full programme, dates and tickets are available on the festival website.

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