Prepare to enter the Underbelly of Earl’s Court.
Turn’s out, it’s actually quite nice.
Something they proved last summer when, for the first time ever, the site formerly known as the Earl’s Court Exhibition Centre was graced by the presence of a large, upside-down purple cow.
Last year it was called London Wonderground, but they’ve now reverted to their old moniker of Underbelly Festival – and it promises to be no less wonder-inducing, thanks to the dazzling array of comedy, cabaret, circus, drag and more that they’ll be staging over the next few months, both here and at their satellite Spiegeltent in Cavendish Square (just behind the John Lewis on Oxford Street).
As always, the programming here has been almost scientifically designed to bring you pure, unbridled joy. This is not a place to see Shakespeare, or a sombre reimagining of a Greek tragedy through the medium of mime. Instead, it’s an exuberant collection of uproarious nights out in the form of risqué adult circus; musical parodies and out-and-out ridiculousness; highlights of which include…
1. La Clique – a favourite we keep returning to again and again on account of its pioneering brand of astonishingly impressive circus cabaret mixed with a healthy dose of bawdiness;
2. Bromance – a 5* circus show that turns handshakes and pats on the back into breathtaking physical feats;
3. London Comedy Allstars – a weekly, post-work stand-up night featuring top professional side-splitters like Lou Sanders, Sindhu Vee and Nabil Abdulrashid;
4. Circus Abyssinia: Tulu – a circus show inspired by Ethiopian Olympic athlete Derartu Tulu (who we can only assume won medals in acrobatics, contortion and fire juggling); and
5. Film Reads – rehashed versions of your favourite film scripts; absolutely ripped apart by a troupe of underprepared and unrehearsed comedians.
“But what’s outside of the tents?” you likely weren’t wondering, but now possibly are. Well, they’ll be turning both sites into fully-rounded destinations in themselves by surrounding them with plentiful al fresco seating, street food stalls and pop-up bars, all of which – given the inconstant British weather – will also be heated.
So you won’t be Friesian.
NOTE: Underbelly Festival takes place from 28th April – 31st July 2022 in Earl’s Court and Cavendish Square. You can find out more, and book tickets to the various shows, right HERE.
Underbelly Festival | Empress Place, Earls Court, SW6 1TT
Want to know what else is on in London? Check out your monthly Agenda.