Rambert will take over the festival’s third weekend from 19 to 21 July for an explosive celebration of dance.

London’s largest free outdoor arts festival, River Stage, returns to the National Theatre for the eighth year this summer, over four weekends from 5 - 28 July 2024 with an exciting programme of live music, theatre, dance and more, curated by some of the UK’s leading arts organisations. The South Bank will come to life once again with performances alongside a delicious selection of independent food and drink from street food suppliers KERB.

This year’s River Stage partners are The Glory (5-7 July), Greenwich+Docklands International Festival (12-14 July) and Rambert (19-21 July). The National Theatre (26-28 July) will host the closing weekend of River Stage.

Host Rhys' Pieces will take you through the weekend bringing sass, panache and insane looks to the River Stage. Choreographer Marion Motin, who worked with Christine and the Queens and Dua Lipa, opens the weekend on Friday 19 July with an excerpt from Rouge created for and performed by Rambert’s dancers. Rambert’s Artistic Director Benoit Swan Pouffer presents Us, a series of duets with spoken word by members of Future Movement, Rambert's innovative creative youth programme. Former Rambert dancer Liam Francis will present Where to Start? and Aishwarya Raut will showcase a new piece titled Tension Funfair. End the night with London native DJ Tim Garcia with some deep, soulful house.

Start off Saturday 20 July with a family dance workshop led by Amy Toner and a Contemporary Groove session with Naya Lovell and Jonathan Wade. Swoon and sway with Nali, a Swiss born, Cape Verdean singer who blends vulnerable lyrics with elements of jazz and dancehall. By order of the Peaky Blinders, enjoy an excerpt of Rambert’s thrilling stage adaptation, Peaky Blinders: The Redemption of Thomas Shelby, written by Steven Knight, creator of the original TV series, performed by Rambert’s dancers and choreographed and directed by Benoit Swan Pouffer. Join in the fun with Paradigmz’s Soca Workshop and Coco’s K-Pop workshop. Fresh from its premiere at London’s Stone Nest, watch Rambert’s brilliant dancers performing Analogue by Jill Johnson. Catch a dance-off with Benoit Swan Pouffer and Rambert Dancers, learn some Vogue fundamentals with Jay Jay Revlon and dance like no one's watching at his DJ set where he mixes House, Afro House, Classics and Ballroom beats.

Relax into Sunday 21 July with Eryck Brahmania’s Family Yoga Workshop and Emma Weir’s Line Dance Workshop. Sheree Dubois and the band will be treating us to more jazzy tunes, with Romarna Campbell on drums, Dave Manington on bass and Gemma Hawkins on the piano. Sheba Montserrat will host a Caribbean dance workshop journeying through the music genres of Reggae, Ska, Soca and Dancehall to nourish your body and satisfy your soul. Seduction City will end the weekend with some carnival classics, reggae and soul music.

Behind the scenes, the River Stage team is joined by National Theatre Young Technicians Alumni in the delivery of the GDIF and Rambert weekends of the festival. Launched in 2017, Young Technicians is the NT’s flagship technical training programme for young people aged 14-18, taking place both at the NT and nationwide to offer in-depth training for free to young people from groups currently underrepresented in the technical theatre industries. Participants work with the NT’s production team to develop practical skills across a variety of backstage roles, including lighting, sound, video and more.

Alongside The Understudy and the riverside bar, KERB will be serving up a range of London’s most exciting street food. Baba Dhaba, Mexclub, Chicken Bandits, and Oh My Dog bring an array of delectable flavours whilst Hackney Gelato serve delicious, refreshing ice-cream. KERB will be partnering with Two Tribes on the bar for some of the finest cold beer, and Sen Noods, Meltdown Cheeseburgers and Sireli will be serving up mouth-watering delicacies at The Understudy

The River Stage festival will run from 5-28 July. All events are free. For more details and the full programme with schedule, please visit the website.

Photo credit: Camilla Greenwell