BBC News’ Evan Davis free-running at BBC Television Centre

There are only a couple of weeks left to catch the incredible Free Run at E4 Udderbelly Festival at Southbank Centre. As the free running craze continues to sweep across the UK, even the most unlikely people seem to have caught the parkour bug.

Check out BBC New’s Evan Davis as he* leaps across the BBC Television Centre roof!


* We’re almost 100% certain it’s him…

Catch Free Run at E4 Udderbelly at Southbank Centre until 17 July. Get tickets here. 

Get to know… Michael Pinchbeck

Award-winning writer and performance artist Michael Pinchbeck takes his parents on tour to recreate the post-show party where they met after an amateur dramatic production of The Sound of Music. His mum was a nun. His dad was a Nazi. We caught up with Michael to ask him our quick questions.

Michael Pinchbeck

What do you fear the most?
Losing my voice before a performance.

Which mobile number do you call the most?
My partner Rosie. She’s pregnant at the moment. We’re expecting our second child.

What – or where – is perfection?
Spending time with my family

Who is your favourite hero from fiction (book/comic/film/opera) – and why?
Don Draper from Mad Men. He’s an anti-hero to some. But a hero to me.

What’s your favourite ritual?
Taping out the squares at the beginning of our get-in.

Which living person do you most admire (and why)?
My mum and dad. For going on tour with me and letting me tell their story onstage.

What other talent or skill would you like to possess?
I would like to be able to play the guitar better. I play ‘Edelweiss’ in the show. Badly.

Tell us about a special memory you have of Southbank Centre?
Working as a dramaturg on A Meeting Place as part of 5 Days in May with amazing artists last year and meeting in the bar after the show on the night of the general election. There was a real buzz. It felt that we were working on the edge of change.

If you could programme your ideal Southbank Centre show, which artists (living or dead) would you bring together?
John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

What’s your favourite website? – I often check the cricket score.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
An amateur practises until he gets it right. A professional practices until he can’t get it wrong.

What is the most played piece of music on your MP3 player or in your CD collection?
At the moment, the soundtrack of The Sound of Music.

Catch The Post Show Party Show as part of Southbank Centre’s London Literature Festival on 8 – 10 July. Get tickets here. 

Comedy with award-winning Spymonkey’s ‘Love In’

They’ve just won the Best Comedy Award at Brighton Festival and are now Spymonkey are heading to E4 Udderbelly Festival at Southbank Centre with their new show Love In.

Expect cabaret featuring a pole-dancing Joan of Arc, Jacques Cousteau on acid, a mermaid who can’t get up the duff and tantric ping-pong balls. Just a usual night at the giant upside-down purple cow then!

‘A carefully crafted brand of lunacy…Made me laugh so much my throat hurt’ (The Times on Cooped)



Catch Spymonkey with their new show ‘Love In’ at E4 Udderbelly Festival at Southbank Centre from 28 June – 3 July. Get tickets here. 



Autumn Dance Season Announced

Our new season of contemporary dance goes onsale today!

The season starts with Jerwood Award-winning Brazilian choreographer Jean Abreu with Inside – his eagerly anticipated new work inspired by the effect incarceration has on the body. Powerful and raw, it explores violence,  solitude and hope within prison walls. Also accompanying the dancers live on stage for the only date in the tour are post-rock band 65daysofstatic. Not to be missed!

Jean Abreu Dance with 65daysofstatic, 21 September. Get tickets here.

Then we see the return of ADAD’s Bloom Festival with the Association of Dance of the African Diaspora. Exploring and celebrating dance of the African Diaspora, this three day-long festival featuring performances, workshops, film and talks. The highlight is a Mixed Bill from some of the leading African dance artists from around the world including the London premiere of Norway-based African and Caribbean company, Tabanka Crew,  stars of Norway’s Got Talent.

ADAD Bloom Festival Mixed Bill, 24 & 25 September. Get tickets here. 

And returning to Southbank Centre in the autumn is the UK’s premier contemporary dance festivel, Dance Umbrella. One of the hot tickets this year is Armitage Gone! Dance on 11 & 12 October. Not seen in London since 1985, 80s wild child Karole Armitage returns to the festival with the revival of a classic from the punk era and a new work. Striking, elegant and dramatic, Two Theories: Quantum & String is performed by the company of ten brilliant dancers, and explores the poetry underlying the pillars of 20th century theoretical physics.

Dance Umbrella at Southbank Centre, 9 – 15 October. See full listings and get tickets here.

Interview with Free Run’s Mat Armitage

Mat ArmitageName? Mat Armitage

Age? 20

Hometown? Hoylake, Wirral

Free Run Speciality? Tumbling

Do you have a nickname? My name is Matthew, but I prefer Mat.

How old were you when you first did a back flip?
I first did a backflip when I was 14.

What’s your favourite move and can you explain what it is to us?
My favourite move is a Standing Back 360. It’s essentially a backwards somersault with a twist from a stationary position, with no prep or set up to help assist the move.

When and how did you become involved in 3RUN?
I was in the Armed Forces back in 2010 and was based 20 miles south from Basingstoke. I already knew the guys from previous visits so I was there training 4 or 5 times a week, that’s how I came to be part of the 3RUN Family.

What do you do to prepare for the show?
I personally like to go for a 5-10 minute jog up and down Southbank, there are a few spots along the way that I usually stop off at and have a little play!

What do you like to do when you are not performing?
There’s nothing better than getting back after an amazing performance, sitting down with nice hot cup of green tea with lemon & honey and watching series after series of the IT Crowd!

If you had a super power, what would it be?
If I had the choice of super powers I would definitely choose the ability to fly! Everyone’s had a flying dream in their life, and to be able glide through the clouds and fly to wherever I wanted, whenever I wanted would be the ultimate freedom.

Who is your favourite super hero?
Batman is my favourite super hero because he has developed his mind and body to a level where he can appear to have supernatural powers, yet remains 100% human.

Where is your favourite place to hang out in London?
The Udderbelly Pasture of course!

What type of music do you like listening to?
I like a lot of easy listening songs, I’m a big fan of Frank Sinatra and also The Cinematic Orchestra, they’ve got some really nice relaxing songs.

What is your favourite food at the Udderbelly Festival?
Me and the 3RUN boys like our chicken, especially going to Nando’s, so any chance to grab a chicken burger from the Laughing Stock here at Udderbelly will be snapped up!

What would you do if you were a cow for the day?
Stand up in the rain.

Who is the loudest out of all of you?
Haha, we’re all pretty loud but I think when I get going I can definitely be heard amongst the guys!

Who is the messiest?
Scott is definitely the messiest, no matter how many times you tell him to keep the chalk in the bag, when he’s powdering his hands, he still gets the chalk everywhere!

What’s next for you after the Udderbelly Festival?
Who knows what 3RUN have got on the horizon, we’ll just have to wait and see!

Finally, have you got any tips for someone who wanted to start Freerunning?
Yes, of course! People who are wanting to start training or making either parkour or free running a hobby should just start off slow, don’t think in the first few weeks you should be jumping off massive buildings or doing daft jumps that clearly you’re not ready for. Take it slow, find your feet, become confident in knowing your body’s capability and then gradually progress, whether it be at a gymnastics gym, parkour park, or out around the city.

Check out Mat’s brilliant training showreel below:

And don’t believe that a Standing Back 360 is possible?  Mat shows you how:

Catch Free Run at E4 Udderbelly Festival at Southbank Centre until 17 July. Get tickets here

New Behind the Scenes Video from Free Run

The explosive show Free Run is now on at E4 Udderbelly. Here’s the latest behind the scenes action from the 3Run guys.

Catch Free Run at E4 Udderbelly Festival at Southbank Centre until 17 July. Get tickets here