The Glory to return at free River Stage Festival on London’s South Bank this summer

Jonny Woo at National Theatre's River Stage- photographed by Sophie Wedgewood (1)
Jonny Woo at National Theatre's River Stage (Image: Sophie Wedgewood)

London’s largest free outdoor arts festival, River Stage, is back at the National Theatre for its eighth year, bringing the iconic The Glory along with it.

Running over four weekends from 5-28 July 2024, the festival will feature theatre, music, dance, and comedy from the most fabulous queer entertainers.

East London’s recently shuttered queer venue The Glory will rise from the ashes in a cloud of glitter to kick off the festivities on Friday 5 July all the way through to Sunday 7 July. It will be hosted by none other than its legendary founders, Jonny Woo and John Sizzle, co-owners of new venture The Divine.

Described as “probably London’s most exciting and radical, free weekend of queer music, performance and hi-jinx,” expect an exhilarating two days of club classics, singalongs, and performances by Harem of Noone, a collective of queer performers from diverse backgrounds. The UK’s biggest drag king and queen contest, Lipsync 1000 V Man Up, will also showcase the stars of tomorrow.

Full month of festivities

The festival’s commitment to inclusivity extends beyond the LGBTQ+ community, with the Greenwich+Docklands International Festival (GDIF) bringing programming celebrating Deaf, disabled, and neurodivergent artists from 12-14 July.

Rambert, one of the world’s most diverse dance companies, will take over the festival’s third weekend from 19-21 July. Benoit Swan Pouffer, Rambert’s artistic director, said in a statement, “We want to hear the most exciting and radical ideas wherever they may come from and connect with brilliant and daring audiences and participants from all backgrounds.”

The National Theatre will host the closing weekend from 26-28 July, inviting everyone to dive into the diverse delights of the South Bank venue. The fabulous Diane Chorley will return with her legendary 80s club The Flick, bringing the best of character comedy, infectious music, and queer cabaret.

For the full schedule, visit the River Stage Festival website.

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