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The Alternative Village Fete at National Theatre’s Watch this Space Festival

Posted on August 15, 2011


The Alternative Village Fete will come to London’s South Bank this August bank holiday (August 27–29) as part of a forthcoming national tour. With an artist roster exploring the folklore, crafts and imagery of the quintessential fete, August–October 2011 finds this gloriously unconventional event in three very different locations: the National Theatre’s Watch This Space Festival, Brighton’s White Night Festival and Tattershall Castle’s Dark Materials Festival in Lincolnshire.

Each Alternative Village Fete will be individually curated. Regional dates are to be announced shortly, but in the meantime, the fete returns to the National Theatre’s Watch this Space Festival for the fourth consecutive year as part of new Its Great Outdoors! event put together by home live art and Clare Patey. 

A riotous bank holiday weekend promises radical craft-makers, quirky produce stalls and innovative performances offering a modern, urban twist on tradition within the South Bank’s concrete jungle. 

Social dancers should look out for: Swing Patrol who will be offering fun, easy lessons and swinging performances and promise to have you lindy hopping in under ten minutes (Sunday 28 only); Rock a Hula!, who produce award-winning 1950s rock ’n’ roll, hula hooping and swing dancing events (on Monday 29 only); DJ El’ Nino, who runs the infamous Lady Luck Club, “London’s first vintage dress up and dance night out”, and Ragroof Theatre, a collective of individual artists with a dazzling array of skills in dance, physical theatre, visual art, written word and curation. Ragroof will be running a small version of their tea dance (pictured) the Alternative Village Fete on Monday 29. 

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Photograph © Ludovic des Cognets




Nicola Rayner was editor of Dance Today from 2010 to 2015. She has written for a number of publications including The Guardian, The Independent and Time Out Buenos Aires, where she cut her teeth as a dance journalist working on the tango section. Today she continues to dance everything from ballroom to breakdance, with varying degrees of success. Her debut novel, The Girl Before You, was published last year in paperback, ebook and audiobook.

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