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NT's Watch This Space Festival on the road

Watch This Space

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THIS year – from June 27 to August 31, 2014 – the National Theatre’s Watch This Space Festival goes on tour, taking some of the best free outdoor entertainment around South London.

Throughout July and August, the festival hub will be at St John’s Church on Waterloo Roundabout, with dancers, musicians, aerialists, jugglers and acrobats performing in and around the churchyard.

The programme will include lively lunchtime music on the lawn, quick evening shows before the commute and days of fun for families, as well as special guest appearances during the church’s Sunday Service.

WTS will also pop up with shows in unexpected places across Lambeth and Southwark including many existing local festivals; from Brockwell Park and Brixton Market to Peckham Square and the Aylesbury Estate. The programme will feature the best of UK work, inspirational international visitors and some newly commissioned surprises.

St John’s Church highlights include:

Incredible international DJ hairdressing with Sienta La Cabeza.

The Mobile Sewing Company, combining a women’s institute sewing bee and an 80s rave on bicycles.

Foot stompin’ groovy pop ‘n’ rock classics from Half Human Theatre’s The Sneakers.

Big Dance 2014 including Cia; Jordi L Vidal’s richly emotional duet Chrysalis; a dance circus fusion in Joli Vyann’s H2H; and Etta Ermini Dance Theatre’s Picnic, where a young couple’s picnic is disrupted by the quirks and pitfalls of their relationship.

Bash Street Theatre’s The Strongman, a story of intrigue and jealousy inspired by Charlie Chaplin’s The Circus.

The magnificent mysteries of The Insect Circus Museum.

A touch of New Orleans jazz with The Brass Volcanoes.

A nine-metre long sow snuggling and snoring dreamily in The Whalley Range All Star’s Pig.

Subterranean Sepoys: two special readings of Tara Arts’ new radio plays about life in the trenches with the Indian Army on the Western Front by Avin Shah.

National Theatre company members present Words of War, timely readings brining to life the vast array of experiences in the First World War

Appearances at St John’s Sunday Service with the sword-swallowing sensation Miss Behave, manic violin virtuoso Sid Bowfin, the balletic Abi Collins and the cabbage-catching Mike Wood.

Watch This Space on the road will be taking performances into the National’s local communities Lambeth and Southwark. The touring shows are:

Micro-Shakespeare created by Laitrum Teatre, miniture interactive puppetry where Spanish anarchy meets the Bard.

Crazy in Love! by Joli Vyann, an acrobatic comedy about the highs and lows of falling in and out of love.

Potent contemporary street theatre from Kamchatka Companyia.

On Lower Marsh, SE1, A High Street Odyssey, a promenade audio-tour from award-winning company Inspector Sands dissects the characters, reveals the secrets, considers the future and stares deep into the soul of “the Great British High Street”.

Watch This Space will also visit local festivals including Waterloo Festival Fête, Waterloo Carnival & Jamboree on Millennium Green, Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens Summer Festival, Streatham Festival, Peckham Munch Festival, The Burgess Park Festival and the Lambeth Country Show in Brockwell Park.

For full details of performances across Lambeth and Southwark visit the Watch This Space website (www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/discover-more/welcome-to-the-national-theatre/watch-this-space-festival).

Admission is free except Subterranean Sepoys and Words of War as below.

A High Street Odyssey: Tickets are free, but advance booking required; call the National Theatre Box Office on 020 7452 3000. Tickets can be collected from the National Theatre Studio on The Cut, adjacent to the Old Vic, 30 minutes before the show.

Tickets: £5/£4 concessions for Subterranean Sepoys and Words of War – available from the National Theatre Box Office 020 7452 3000 or online at www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/whats-on/platforms.

Routes to the River: Tickets are free, but to book for the whole route visit www.siobhandavies.com/.