The Glory return to the National Theatre to open River Stage, London’s largest free outdoor arts festival, from Friday 9 to Sunday 11 June.

On Friday evening, John Sizzle sets the tone for an amazing weekend of queer alternative cabaret and parties, with a selection of classic Glory hits and Jonny Woo, brings Sooz Kempner, Adam Perchard, George Bourgeois and Richard Thomas on stage for a night of musical theatre and performances. The full cast of Michael R. Jackson’s A Strange Loop will be making their first public performance on the River Stage, before playing at the Barbican from 17 June to 9 September 2023. Kyle Ramar Freeman leads the cast as Usher in bringing a special preview of songs from the Tony award-winning production to the South Bank. To close the night Rhys’s Pieces hosts Shade celebrating the rising cabaret stars of the Global Majority.

Saturday opens with a tribute to Burt Bacharach at We Love Bacharach, hosted by Jonny Woo and Kevin ‘Farrah’ Davies. Drag King Don One continues the laid-back vibes with their selection of sing-a-longs and classics, from the likes of Elton John and Stevie Wonder. Join John Sizzle's Prosecco Brunch for a fun, interactive hour of music, chat, bubbles and free badge making. Returning to the South Bank, Bolly Illusion will be celebrating London’s South Asian queer community and Lipsync1000 vs Man Up will be launching the drag kings and queens of tomorrow in an epic contest.

On Sunday, get creative with Classical Drag Life Drawing and join James Davison as he creates an art installation. The Glory’s All-Star Songbook brings the weekend to a close with Jonny Woo, the incredible Rudi Douglas on piano and vocals, and stunning singer Fi McCluskey for a sing-along in the sunshine. Surprise guests complete the All-Star line-up.

KERB brings their open-air street food market to the National Theatre once again, opening from May to September. London’s longest banqueting table will be ready for visitors to tuck into seasonal street food specials such as pork belly and chicken thigh Portuguese bifanas, fluffy Korean bao buns, Venezuelan cachapas, Japanese ramen, Nashville fried chicken, Indian thalis, Sicilian style deep pan pizzas and wildly flavoured ice cream.

This year’s River Stage partners are The Glory (9–11 June), James Cousins Company (16–18 June), Shubbak Festival (23–25 June) and Hackney Empire’s Young Producers (30 June – 2 July). River Stage will run from Friday 9 June until Sunday 2 July 2023.