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June 26th, 2017 | by Jennifer Edwards

River Stage Festival returns to London’s South Bank

Five free weekends of the best and brightest entertainment from some of the UK’s leading arts and culture organisations will once again arrive at London’s South Bank this summer; The Glory, HOME, Manchester, WOMAD, Rambert and the National Theatre each ‘take over’ the River Stage for a weekend throughout July and August.

Following the success of their appearance at River Stage 2016, The Glory return to the National Theatre to kick off River Stage 2017. The Glory, said "We can't wait to storm the River Stage again with drag-fuelled back-to-back shows, including previews of our latest work. In giving us this platform the NT gives a nod to London's alternative scene which is almost a theatre genre of its own and among the best in the world. We're keeping it all family-friendly while showing off the capital's best contemporary talent. Bringing the underground overground… the results will be rare, spectacular and so much fun in the sun! We'll see you there- dress-up encouraged but optional"

Then HOME will bring an array of performers and musicians from Manchester to the capital. Walter Meierjohann, Artistic Director: Theatre, HOME, said “Following HOME’s previous collaborations with the National Theatre, we are delighted to have been invited to curate a weekend of this year's River Stage Festival. We are looking forward to sharing the best HOME and Manchester has to offer, with an eclectic line-up of performers and musicians - this will be the ultimate HOME from home weekend."

WOMAD Festival, the acclaimed international arts festival, makes its River Stage debut with a variety of music, arts and dance. Chris Smith, Director of WOMAD, said “WOMAD celebrates diversity, togetherness and sharing cultures across borders so it is perfect for us to collaborate with the NT’s River Stage, showcasing some of the best global acts in the most varied, buzzing and colourful city on the planet. We are delighted to be bringing a splash of colour and the funky festival vibes from WOMAD to central London and to work with such a prestigious institution as the NT”.

Rambert returns to the River Stage, with an eclectic range of performances from the world of contemporary dance. Mark Baldwin, Artistic Director at Rambert said: “Rambert at the River Stage provides the most amazing chance for anyone passing by to engage with and enjoy dance from some of the freshest talent and most exciting dance makers in the world today. We moved to our new building on the South Bank just 3 years ago so it’s a brilliant opportunity to celebrate and showcase our presence here. Whether you want to join in with a workshop or sit back and enjoy stunning dance and music, our programme promises to be an energetic and uplifting weekend.”

To conclude the festival, the National Theatre brings you a jam-packed bank holiday weekend. Rufus Norris, Director of the National Theatre said: “It’s brilliant to be announcing the 2017 line up for the River Stage festival. I’m delighted that this range of partners from across the country have decided to join us this year, and the assortment of performance, music, dance and workshops free for all ages is a vibrant and vital part of the National Theatre programme this summer.”

London’s Night Czar, Amy Lamé, said: “In the summer months the Southbank really comes alive with Londoners and visitors enjoying fantastic restaurants, market stalls and street theatre. The return of the River Stage adds to the buzz with an incredible season of free outdoor entertainment. From world class dance and circus acts, to workshops and DJs, there’s something for everyone – so make the most of the summer nights and soak up some exciting new culture on the Thames as the sun goes down.”

For more information, click here.