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National Theatre confirms return of free River Stage festival

The free outdoor arts event will hit the South Bank for the seventh time this summer

James Cousins Company's We Are As Gods
(© Provided by the National Theatre)

The National Theatre has released details for the forthcoming River Stage festival, which will run across four weekends from 9 June to 2 July 2023.

Boasting a plethora of free live performances alongside street food vendors, the event launches with The Glory (9 to 11 June), as Jonny Woo and John Sizzle host an LGBTQ+ line-up that includes the drag queen contest Lipsync1000 and drag king competition Man Up!

From 16 to 18 June, the James Cousins Company will stage a dance-infused weekend drawing on their hit immersive production of We Are As Gods and presenting live performances and workshops with choreography ranging from salsa and tap to line dancing.

Shubbak, the UK's premier festival of contemporary Arab cultures, will hit the River Stage from 23 to 25 June, promising a programme that includes music, performance, workshops and installations.

Hackney Empire’s Young Producers
(© Fabrice Bourgelle)

And finally, Hackney Empire’s Young Producers return to the festival from 30 June to 2 July, hosted by Scully (No Signal Radio). Curated by young creatives aged 14 to 21, the weekend will showcase dance crews, rap battles, steel pans, grime, some of the latest TikTok crazes and much more.

They commented: “We’re so excited to be invited back by the National Theatre for a second year. It’s such a privilege to be given the River Stage again to make it our own and showcase the best of London’s emerging talent.”

Further programming will be announced in due course.

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