UNDERBELLY’S LARGEST EVER FESTIVAL LONDON WONDERGROUND OPENS THIS WEEK!
15 July - 26 September 2021
Empress Place, Earls Court, London SW6 1TT
When we had the invitation to attend the "press launch" of this epically promising London festival we cleared the diary immediately. Free to enter, many food & beverage outlets, fun & games for the whole family, fairground rides and a sandy beach.... how could anyone refuse!
The event was last Thursday evening and we were lucky enough to have beautifully balmy summer weather.
The sense of arrival reminded me of walking into a music festival and I had that "butterflies in the tummy" kind of feeling. I'm sure we can all agree, it's been a very long time since we attended any live events so hearing the music and the chatter of people instantly had me beaming with excitement.
This has to be the hottest ticket in town.
We naturally gravitated towards the bar to get a much-needed refreshment and Pims on Tap was perfect! There are a number of fully-loaded bars with enough frontage to service a busy crowd which was positive and means less time queuing for drinks. Similarly, there are a number of food outlets, think "street" food style ie: Tacos, Pizzas, Burgers that kind of thing - ideal for grab and go food with loads of seating areas to relax and enjoy your drinks & food.
We had booked to see one of the amazing show, 360 ALLSTARS, so had enough time to have a few drinks and some food and we made our way over one of the two large "Marquee" theatres. There are a number of incredible shows being put on throughout the summer to entertain everyone from Fireman Sam shows for the kiddies to stand up comedy like Al Murray - The Pub Landlord.
The show was really fun. Comedy 360 ALLSTARS mixes up skills and talents ranging from beatboxing to breakdancing to BMX'ing all of which was excellent and well produced.
After the show, we "wandered" around taking in all the entertainment outlets and wished we had got there earlier to enjoy the sandy beach but we'll certainly be back and wish everyone who can get to Earlscourt will do the same at some point this summer!
Well worth the visit and the "official" press release with more details is included below!
London Wonderground, the major new summer festival in Earls Court, produced by Underbelly will open Thursday 15th July, with a spectacular 2021 programme, showcasing the very best in comedy, music, circus and family entertainment in the dazzling Big Top and the iconic upside-down purple cow, Udderbelly.
Free to enter and running throughout the summer, London Wonderground will feature live shows, spectacular al fresco bars, a sumptuous range of street food, vintage rides, live music and DJs on the Wonderground bandstand and the magnificent Earls Court City Beach. London Wonderground will be the ultimate “staycation playground” for Londoners, offering a host of free and ticketed events, a great outdoor atmosphere and something to do for all ages.
On top of that London Wonderground will see the return of London Comedy AllStars, expect plenty of laughs every Saturday night with a mixed bill of the very best comedy talent. Names include Fern Brady, Jamali Maddix, Nigel Ng, Phil Wang, Ed Gamble, Jessica Fostekew, Nina Conti, Tiff Stevenson, and Darren Harriott to name a few.
Headliners include the London premiere of international hit, THE CHOIR OF MAN – the ultimate feel-good show that offers up an hour on indisputable joy, combining hair-raising harmonies, high-energy dance, and live percussion with foot-stomping choreography. Joining them will be the incredible Circus Abyssinia with the UK premiere of their jaw-dropping, death-defying and downright dazzling new show, Tulu that sees the outstandingly talented cast perform breath-taking feats of speed and flight with exuberant joy, accompanied by a stunning live band.
It’s not for the faint-hearted - radical urban circus 360 ALLSTARS showcase the mind-blowing talents of their stellar cast that includes the 2x world champion BMX Flatlander, two champion breakdancers, an internationally acclaimed basketball freestyler, and a World Record holding cyr wheel artist and it’s an Underbelly debut for comedy legends Dead Ringers Live, the iconic BBC Radio 4 series starring the dream team of Jon Culshaw, Debra Stephenson, and Duncan Wisbey. Fans can expect a mixture of classic sketches, new material and of course the trademark sharp, political humour for which Dead Ringers has garnered critical acclaim over its nearly 20-year history.
The London Wonderground programme will also champion the spirit and quality of the world-renowned Edinburgh Festival Fringe, including a stellar comedy line-up including Al Murray bringing one of the country’s best-loved alter-egos, The Pub Landlord to The Cow, Stephen K Amos – who aims to build some bridges with laughs in his acclaimed show Before And Laughter, and Rhod Gilbert makes his hotly anticipated return to the circuit with his highly acclaimed The Book Of John.
Other highlights include the return of cult smash hit Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho; hilarious stand up from Lucy Porter with Be Prepared; magician extraordinaire Magical Bones whose latest show Live & Direct effortlessly combines intricate sleight of hand with mesmerising illusions and jaw dropping break-dance fresh from appearances on Penn & Teller Fool Us, the BAFTA Awards, and ITV’s This Morning; and a live recording of smash-hit satirical podcast The Bugle with Andy Zaltzman
The grown-ups don’t get to have all the fun though: the mind-expanding Jurassic adventure Dinosaur World Live – a roarsome interactive show for all the family will take audiences on a journey of discovery through the pre-historic world of astonishing (and remarkably life-like) dinosaurs, the legendary Julia Donaldson brings her wonderful stories to life in The Gruffalo, The Witch and The Warthog using songs, puppetry, a sprinkling of magic, and her guitar-playing husband Malcolm.
Customers are encouraged to sign up at www.londonwonderground.co.uk for further announcements, exclusive offers and to be the first to get further information on the London Wonderground live programme of shows.
Ed Bartlam & Charlie Wood, Directors of Underbelly, said:
“It feels so great to once again provide a festival home for such a wide cross section of artists, from spectacular circus with Circus Abyssinia and 360 ALLSTARS to family fun in Dinosaur World Live to the season of live comedy in our big purple cow. Add to this great programme of shows our outdoor bars, award winning street food, rides, games, the Wonderground bandstand with free live music, the finest of London beaches and free entry onto the festival site and we really do believe we’re creating London’s summer playground of fun this summer. And my goodness, everyone deserves some fun right now!”
Rob Heasman CEO, The Earls Court Development Company (ECDC), said:
“The festival will rekindle the fun and spectacle that the former Exhibition Centre site was so famous for, showcasing the very best in circus, comedy, music and family entertainment. Alongside the new Pleasure Garden that has just launched here, this is just the first phase of opening the site back up to the local community to enjoy.”