Tim Minchin will headline the Udderbelly Festival at the Southbank Centre next year, playing the venue's closing night on 8 July, as part of five months of cabaret, music, sideshow and circus events taking place on London's South Bank.

The Udderbelly returns to the Southbank for its fourth consecutive summer, and will next year be situated within a new festival, the London Wonderground, which will "bring a taste of early 20th Century Coney Island to London," in the transformed coach park between the Royal Festival Hall and the London Eye.

In addition to the Udderbelly's iconic upside down purple cow, London Wonderground will include a 600-capacity Spiegeltent with a programme of international cabaret, music and circus headlined by the Australian circus show Cantina.

Musical comedy trio Fascinating Aida, currently playing a Christmas run of their show Cheap Flights at the Charring Cross Theatre as part of a UK tour, will also take up residency at the London Wonderground for the month of September.


An artists impression of the London Wonderground. Image credit: Draw HQ

Other acts programmed for the Udderbelly's 2012 season include include Greg Proops, Rufus Hound, Gina Yashere, Richard Herring and The Boy with Tape on his Face. A total of 31 shows will be announced for the venue, with full line-up released in January.

The Udderbelly will take up its pitch on the South Bank on 6 April 2012, with the Udderbelly Festival running until 8 July when the giant purple cow and producers Underbelly will make their annual August trip north to the Edinburgh Fringe.

The London Wonderground will run from 8 May to 30 September with all of the events part of the Southbank Centre's site-wide Festival of the World.

Speaking about the London Wonderground, which is jointly presented by Underbelly and the Southbank Centre, Ed Bartlam and Charlie Wood, directors of Underbelly said in a press statement: "We're delighted to be working with Southbank Centre to create The London Wonderground, which we believe will capture all the sights, sounds and smells of the carnival.

"We’re putting a little of the spirit of Coney Island in its heyday into London and we can’t wait! We’re also pleased to be returning to Southbank Centre with our big purple cow, Udderbelly. This will be her fourth year grazing in the capital and our programme of shows will be bigger and better than ever."