Underbelly Festival 2018 guide: The top five events to book now

Risqué business: House of Burlesque will perform at Underbelly festival in 2018: Zoe Hunn
Risqué business: House of Burlesque will perform at Underbelly festival in 2018: Zoe Hunn

London’s Southbank will be buzzing with activity this Spring as the Underbelly festival returns to the capital.

The festival’s packed comedy, circus and cabaret schedule sees some of the UK’s finest live performers channel the spirit of the Edinburgh Fringe and take to the stage between April and September.

Shows from the likes of comedians James Acaster and Limmy have sold out in double-quick time, so fans looking to attend this years events had better act fast.

From boozy history lessons to thought-provoking comedy, these are the top five shows to book tickets for now.

Nina Conti: Work in Progress

Nina Conti has single handedly been making ventriloquism fashionable again in the UK for over a decade and her work in progress run at the festival this year is definitely one to catch. She won’t be performing alone either, with her trust monkey sidekick Monk and her old companion Granny along for the ride.

April 28 - July 1. Book tickets here.

​The Thinking Drinkers: History of Alcohol

The fact that five complimentary drinks are included in the ticket price for The Thinkers Drinkers’ show on April 14 should be enough for most festival goers, right? The event will see the booze connoisseurs reveal how alcohol has played an integral part in world history, serving delicious aperitifs as they go.

April 14. Book tickets here.

Sarah Pascoe: LadsLadsLads

Sarah Pascoe tackles heartbreak head-on in her equally insightful and rib-tickling LadsLadsLads show on May 19 and 20. The comedian’s thoughtful takes everything from modern relationships to politics makes her a favourite amongst comedy fans and her run at Underbelly is sure to prove hugely popular in 2018.

May 19-20. Book tickets here.

Austentatious: An improvised Jane Austen novel

Experience the world of Jane Austen like never before this Spring by taking in a night of well-to-do comedy from Austentatious. A cast studded with comic talent, including The Daily Mash’s Rachel Parris and Peep Show star Cariad Lloyd, take suggestions from the audience to produce unique comedy shows, with no two performances the same. Tickets are available now for the group’s two dates on April 15 and May 20. You know it makes sense (and sensibility).

March 18 - 20. Book tickets here.

House of Burlesque revue

The UK’s number one burlesque group are celebrating their 10 year anniversary with a run of shows at this year’s festival. Leader Queen Diva Tempest Rose will take audiences at the Southbank on a series of glamorous and provocative journeys between May 12 and September 27 and it's not to be missed.

May 12 - September 27. Book tickets here.

Underbelly Festival runs until September 30; underbellyfestival.com​