Upcoming Theatre Festival: RIVER STAGE (National Theatre) - Stage and Cinema (2024)


London’s largest free outdoor arts festival,River Stage,returns to the National Theatre for the eighth year this summer, over four weekends from 5 – 28 July 2024. Sing along to pop-hits withJonny Woo, experience ballroom dance and lip-sync to hits, catch an extract of Rambert’s dance theatre productionPeaky Blinders: The Redemption of Thomas Shelby,watch a freeNT Livescreening of the Olivier Award-winning productionDear England and more.

This year’s River Stage partners areThe Glory(5-7 July),Greenwich+Docklands International Festival(12-14 July) andRambert(19-21 July). TheNational Theatre(26-28 July) will host the closing weekend of River Stage.

From pop-hit singalongs to runway fashion, a NT Live film screening, free tours and iconic lip-sync performances – the National Theatre’s free arts festivalRiver Stageon London’s South Bank will have something for everyone this summer.

Now in its eighth year, River Stage invites some of UK’s leading arts and culture organisations to take over the riverside for four unforgettable weekends in July, filled with theatre, music, dance, comedy and a diverse offering of food and drink to suit everyone’s palate.

Opening the festival onFriday 5 July, East London’s iconic queer venueThe Gloryreturn to the River Stage for the first time since launching their latest barThe Divine. Dance the night away to club classics atDJ John Sizzle’s Discoand singalong to showtunes atJonny Woo’s Showtime Extravaganza. A collective of queer performers ofTurkish, Kurdish, Cypriot and Southwest Asianheritage,Harem of Noone,will bring pop-cultural delights for everyone to enjoy.Lipsync 1000 V Man Up, one of UK’s biggest contests for drag kings and queens, will be back at the South Bank showcasing the stars of tomorrow. The amazingBarbson piano will soundtrack your Sunday afternoon with some Chopin and Phillip Glass.Big Gay Songbookwill bring the weekend to a close with a mash-up of the best of The Glory plus their talented mates from Margate.

Greenwich+Docklands International Festival(GDIF) will bring their much-loved inclusive programming celebrating Deaf, disabled and neurodivergent artists from12 to 14 July, one month ahead of GDIF 2024. Roll onto the riverside withLes Patineursfor a joyful battle on roller skates and join theFamily Catwalk Extravaganzafor some runway fashion, ballroom dance and lip syncing.Jeanefer Jean-Charles MBEwill bringBlack Victorians, a powerful dance piece exploring a complex and often forgotten Black presence in pre-Windrush Britain.Perhaps Contraptionbring their multi-award winning, progressive brass band party to River Stage for a truly unique musical experience; melding elements of jazz and pop. Fresh from her tour with Ed Sheeran,Fletch@ bridgessigns her way through a hit-list that will captivate and delight audiences from all backgrounds atSign Song.

Les Patinuers (c Marnik Cathy)
Black Victorians (photo by David Levene)

The brilliant Rambertwill take over the festival’s third weekend from19 to 21 Julyfor an explosive celebration of dance. ChoreographerMarion Motin, who worked with Christine and the Queens and Dua Lipa brings her hip-hop influenced style to the South Bank with an excerpt fromRougecreated for and performed by Rambert’s dancers. Rambert’s very ownLiam FrancisandAishwarya Rautwill present their bold choreography with the company with their piecesWhere to Start?andTension Funfair. Catch an excerpt ofPeaky Blinders: The Redemption of Thomas Shelby,created by the writer of the TV series Steven Knight with Rambert’s Artistic Director Benoit Swan Pouffer– the thrilling stage adaptation with an iconic soundtrack from a live on-stage band or put on your dancing shoes and join in the fun withParadigmz’s Soca WorkshopandCoco’s K-Pop workshop. Experience a real-life dance-off with dancers of Rambert, participate in a family yoga workshop withEryck, grab a cowboy hat for a line-dancing class and more!

The Flick

The National Theatrewill host the closing weekend from26 to 28 Julyby inviting everyone to dive into the diverse delights of our South Bank venue.Diane Chorleyreturns with her legendary 80s clubThe Flickfor her only show of 2024 bringing the very best of character comedy, infectious music, queer cabaret and some special guests. Everyone is welcome to have a look behind the scenes with ourfree backstage toursgiving audiences a glimpse of the magic of the NT. For one day only, James Graham’s Olivier Award-winning hit show,NT Live: Dear England, will be screened for free. NT’s former artist in residence and Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year, Curtis Holder, will lead a portrait workshop where musiciansFenella Humphreys, Kasia ZiminskaandCara Berridgebecome his muses.Chisara Agorbrings the festival to a close with a boundary-pushing musical performance exploring themes of visibility, magic and solidarity.

Behind the scenes, the River Stage team is joined byNational Theatre Young Technicians Alumniin the delivery of the GDIF and Rambert weekends of the festival. Launched in 2017, Young Technicians is the NT’s flagship technical training programme for young people aged 14-18, taking place both at the NT and nationwide to offer in-depth training for free to young people from groups currently underrepresented in the technical theatre industries. Participants work with the NT’s production team to develop practical skills across a variety of backstage roles, including lighting, sound, video and more. Applications for the Young Technicians Programme delivered at the National Theatre are open now on thewebsite, and close on 1 July.

AlongsideThe Understudyand the riverside bar,KERBwill be serving up a range of London’s most exciting independent street food.Baba Dhaba,Mexclub,Chicken Bandits,Oh My DogandPoke Nombring an array of delectable flavours whilstHackney Gelatoserve delicious, refreshing ice-cream. KERB will be partnering withTwo Tribeson the bar for some of the finest cold beer, and Sen Noods, Meltdown Cheeseburgers and Sireli will be serving up mouth-watering delicacies at The Understudy.

The River Stage festival will run from 5-28 July. All events are free. For more details and the full programme with schedule, please visit thewebsite.

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Upcoming Theatre Festival: RIVER STAGE (National Theatre) - Stage and Cinema (2024)


How many stages are there at the National Theatre? ›

The National Theatre is home to three theatres, spacious foyers, two learning spaces and an events hire venue on the South Bank of the Thames, in central London.

How many seats are in National Theatre? ›

Royal National Theatre
TypeNational theatre
CapacityOlivier Theatre: 1,160 seats Lyttelton Theatre: 890 seats Dorfman Theatre: 400 seats
Opened1976 (building)
ArchitectDenys Lasdun Peter Softley
9 more rows

When was the National Theatre founded? ›

Our history

Discover our story, from our foundation in 1963 to the creation of some of the best known plays in the world.

How do I get to the National Theatre? ›

  1. By bus. Our nearest bus stops are on Waterloo Bridge, Upper Ground, Waterloo Road and Stamford Street. ...
  2. Taxis. Taxis should be encouraged to drop-off behind the National Theatre, on Upper Ground. ...
  3. By riverboat. Uber boat services by Thames Clippers run a regular river bus services stopping at Embankment pier.

Which city has the most Theatre stages? ›

Athens alone has more than 148 theatre stages, more than any other city in the world. Greeks and visitors alike take in shows at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus – located on the south slope of the Acropolis – from May to October annually, during the Athens Festival.

How long is the stage play? ›

90 minutes without intermission for a play. 120 minutes plus intermission for a musical.

Where is the best place to sit at the National Theatre? ›

Sit towards the front of the Stalls to feel entirely immersed in the action, or towards the rear for a more panoramic view of the large stage. Seats are similarly priced due to great views throughout.

Is the National Theatre air conditioned? ›

Yes, the entire venue complex is fully air-conditioned, including the theatre's auditorium.

Is National Theatre at Home free? ›

How much does National Theatre at Home Cost? You can choose to subscribe by the month, year or just rent a single play. Annual subscription £99.98 / US$129.99 + tax – 12 months for the price of 10.

Can you wear jeans to the National Theatre? ›

The simple answer here is anything. From a casual t-shirt, jeans and trainers to a tuxedo or formal dress, there are no dress codes. You could turn up to the theatre wearing anything and be permitted entry.

Who is the head of the National Theatre? ›

Indhu Rubasingham appointed as Director of the National Theatre.

Which president built National Theatre? ›

In 1992, on the site of the Ghana Drama Studio, Ghana's third elected President J. J. Rawlings, after ten years of military rule, 'created by law' the National Theatre of Ghana.

What amenities are at the National Theatre? ›

There are cafes, restaurants and bars where you can buy food and drink, a bookshop, and free things to enjoy, including exhibitions and the chance to see behind the scenes with the Sherling Backstage Walkway. There are also quieter areas throughout the building with free Wi-Fi.

Why was the National Theatre closed? ›

The National Theatre closed on 16 January 1984 as it was deemed not to be structurally safe. The decision was made to demolish the building to make way for a flyover along Clemenceau Avenue that was to become part of the Central Expressway.

How many theaters are in the National Theatre? ›

The National Theatre in London, opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1976, houses three auditoriums and multiple spaces for rehearsals and production workshops.

How many theatrical stages are there? ›

The four main types of stages are: Found stages. Proscenium stages. Thrust stages.

How long is six the musical National Theatre? ›

From Tudor Queens to Pop Princesses, the six wives of Henry VIII take to the mic to tell their tales, remixing five hundred years of historical heartbreak into an 80-minute celebration of 21st century girl power.

How long is the crucible National Theatre? ›

Duration: 180 minutes (Inc.

What is the largest stage theatre? ›

London Coliseum, 2,359 seats

The Coliseum is perhaps the largest place you can regularly see 'theatre', that is drama, opera and dance on stage, rather than music concerts or stand-up comedians.

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