For unusual, completely diverting live entertainment, head straight to an Underbelly show – or, at the very least, to its captivating website.

Samuel Johnson, the 18th century writer, said: “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.” Well, the UK-based live entertainment company, Underbelly, goes out of its way to make sure that such a fate does not befall its audiences.

Founded in Edinburgh in 2001, Underbelly is now one of the largest operations at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. For the past nine years, it has also been staging multi-arts offerings in London’s Southbank. This year’s Underbelly Festival, an explosion of stylish and affordable live entertainment for all the family, is among the hottest tickets of the summer.

Elsewhere, Underbelly also produces Edinburgh’s Christmas, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, Christmas in Leicester Square, Udderbelly Festival in Hong Kong, West End Live in Trafalgar Square and Pride in London for Westminster City Council.

Through its Underbelly Productions arm, it puts on live shows in London’s West End, throughout the UK and on tour internationally. A major revival of the West End and Broadway hit musical Five Guys Named Moe will launch this autumn at the new Marble Arch Theatre.

Underbelly shows – which include live circus, comedy, cabaret and children’s entertainment – are picked and produced to be exciting, original and thought provoking. They are usually short (many are under an hour) and tickets often cost less than £20.

The company’s vibe is cool and unique. Take Briefs: Close Encounters, a wildly popular show on now at the Underbelly Festival. This all-male circus, burlesque and comedy act is a hilarious riot of costumes, sequins and stilettoes. Mad wigs, a bonkers bunny with rouge on his cheeks and naked torsos combine in a bonanza of physical strength and sheer creativity. Madness is mixed here with mind-blowing skill.

Like the shows, Underbelly’s website hits you right in the face with its energy and verve. It offers just what you want: excellent photography, an appealing range of acts and an easy-to-use booking system.

Last year, Underbelly sold over 1.3 million tickets to their various events. If you are neither tired of London, nor tired of life, check out their website to see what tickles your fancy. Something will.

September 2017