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Inside Out @ the National Theatre 2012

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by Sandra Lawson (subscribe)
To paraphrase Dorothy: 'There is no place like London.' I hope I can convince you of that here. Also check out my blog at and my theatre reviews at
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The National Theatre is always vibrantly alive with plays in its three auditoria, as well as talks, debates, platforms and live music in its foyers, not to mention the bookshop at street level. During the summer months events also spill out onto the riverside terraces and squares. Visitors pouring into London for the Jubilee celebrations, Olympics and Paralympics can take full advantage of the NT's outdoor entertainments and activities.

This year these include Watch This Space Festival, The Pop-Up Workshop, Theatre Inside Out and Propstore. In addition to the usual indoor events, there is also an exhibition in the Lyttelton Exhibition Space on the staging of War Horse. This play started its life at the National Theatre in 2007 and is running concurrently in the West End, New York and Toronto. There are also plans to stage it in North America, Australia, Germany and other venues across the UK.

Inside Out
Inside Out - Picture Courtesy of the National Theatre Website

In the hope that the current heat wave continues throughout the summer, here are some of the events planned for June and July.

Watch This Space Festival will be welcoming musicians and street theatre entertainers, circus performers, jugglers, aerialists and hula-hoopers, hairdressers, DJs, VJs, pyrotechnicians and a whole range of dancers, from tap, to street, ballroom and contemporary. This will all be happening at Theatre Square, between the NT and the river.

Highlights will include a very British Diamond Jubilee Weekend; the outdoor performer, Chez Leandre; the NoFit State Circus, Circus Space (who are graduates of a BA Hons Degree in Circus) and Boxing with Fraser Hooper.

Inside Out
Chez Leandre - Picture Courtesy of the National Theatre Website

The Pop-Up Workshop on the South Bank Riverside will give budding theatrical practitioners an opportunity to learn how NT specialists make props and puppets, print fabrics for costumes, create authentic looking wounds and knot wigs. They will also be entertaining young audiences with events throughout the summer. You will be able to learn how to design a set for a play, try on costumes, learn about stage combat or you can just watch Cupboard of Surprises, a performance aimed at young children between the ages of 2 and 5. Most of the workshops are suitable for children of 6 years and over.

Inside Out
Drop in Designer Wigs and Costumes - Picture Courtesy of the National Theatre Website

Theatre Inside Out will be featuring two site-specific commissions on a secret rooftop location. Get Stuff Break Free will be performed by Made in China and you'll see [me sailing in antarctica] comes courtesy of non zero one. Both presentations run for an hour and are suitable for teenagers from the age of fourteen.

Propstore will be sited on the Riverfront and will comprise a café-bar created from sets and scenery and filled with NT props. You will be able to sample street food and slake your thirst with draught beers, spirits and English wines whilst listening to music.

Inside Out
Propstore - Picture Courtesy of National Theatre Website

Some of the above events are free and others need to be paid for. Even free events may need to be pre-booked. More information, including booking details, can be found on the NT's website.

Inside Out
Festival Square in the Sunshine

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Why? To have fun at the National Theatre throughout the summer
When: All information is on the website
Where: The National Theatre
Cost: Many events are free, others are chargeable. Details are available on the website.
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