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River Stage

Our free outdoor festival returns for summer 2023

Dancers on the open-air River Stage, with audiences seated around the stage and trees and sky in the background.

Join us for a whole host of incredible acts on the South Bank, from live music, family workshops and comedy to dance, drag and club nights.

Featuring four fantastic partners: The Glory, James Cousins Company, Shubbak Festival and Hackney Empire’s Young Producers.


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Save the date

River Stage takes place every Friday-Sunday from 9 June – 2 July

Event times:

Friday: 6:30pm – 11pm
Saturday: midday – 11pm
Sunday: midday – 6pm

Find us:

River Stage, National Theatre, Upper Ground, SE1 9PX
Get directions

Our weekend lineups

Two drag artists in black outfits performing on a stage.

The Glory

Friday 9 June – Sunday 11 June

The Glory returns to kick-off the National Theatre’s River Stage for summer 2023.

Hosted and curated by The Glory’s Grande-Dames of drag and performance, Jonny Woo and John Sizzle who have raided their cabaret wardrobe to bring you the most glittering drag queens and kings London has to offer. Along for the ride are The Glory’s best DJs and cabaret artists who’ll spread free love and jubilations over a long barmy weekend.

View full weekend line-up

James Cousins Company

Friday 16 June – Sunday 18 June

Drawing on their hit immersive production We Are As Gods, the internationally acclaimed James Cousins Company curate a weekend to remember at River Stage. 

Join them for an explosive celebration of dance with performances and workshops by the UK’s top dancers and singers, featuring bold choreography from contemporary to salsa and tap, to line dancing with a flavour of your most loved pop routines. All set to a joyous soundtrack which will make audiences ‘Wanna Dance with Somebody’.

View full weekend lineup

Members of the James Cousins Company of dancers, in a performance of We Are As Gods.
Performers in Arabic dress from Kabareh Cheikhats, part of the Shabbak Festival at River Stage

Shubbak Festival

Friday 23 June – Sunday 25 June

Shubbak is the UK’s premier festival of contemporary Arab cultures, platforming ground-breaking, high quality Arab arts through a cutting-edge programme featuring new and unexpected voices alongside established artists.

They will be kicking off the weekend with a line up that will caters to all ages from live music, dance and late DJ sets to family-friendly workshops and installations on the South Bank.

View full weekend lineup

Hackney Empire’s Young Producers

Friday 30 June – Sunday 2 July

Hackney Empire’s Young Producers return to River Stage with youth-fuelled talent, unbelievable energy and pure vibes.

Curated by the next generation of young creatives aged 14-21, the Young Producers are serving the hottest London talent blowing up right now.

Hosted by Scully (No Signal Radio), expect a weekend of dance crews, rap battles, big vocals, steel pans, grime, 90s bangers, plus some of the latest crazes tearing up TikTok.

View full weekend lineup

Hackney Empire Young Producers dancers on stage.

Feeling hungry?


Our Partners

Thanks to our partners for curating our 2023 River Stage line up.

The Glory logo
James Cousins Company logo
Hackney Empire logo