Calling all performing arts lovers out there… If you love your entertainment in the form of theatre, music, circus, film, cabaret or comedy and you can get down to the Vaults in Waterloo, London then I have the festival for you!
The Vault Festival is now in its 6th year, this year featuring 300 shows based at the Vaults, underneath Waterloo Station, it has now expanded to other venues, including Waterloo East Theatre and Network Theatre, with the help of We Are Waterloo.
As well as the culturally rich programme, this festival promises a variety of intimate themed bars, street food, and late night parties.
Here are a few examples of some of the shows on offer;
Neverland, by Theatre Deli and The Guild of Misrule, producers of the 2017 immersive theatre sensation, The Great Gatsby, return to VAULT 2018 with a full eight week run of this immersive musical adaptation of J.M. Barrie’s classic. This dark and dangerous world will be brought to life throughout the labyrinthine Vaults, with audiences encountering glittering pirates, mermaids, food fights, absinthe bars and soaring live music from a band of lost boys.
Caravan, will serve up a healthy dose of immersive hip hop dance, whilst Lamplighters will see audience led through an immersive, improvised spy story in the style of John Le Carre for a hilarious evening of drama, deception and treachery.
Revelations sees the return of critically acclaimed James Rowland with a storytelling show about giving his best friends his sperm.
Bismillah! An ISIS Tragicomedy, from Wound Up Theatre sees two Brits meet on either side of a radical divide, while writer John O’Donovan’s If We Got Some More Cocaine I Could Show You How I Love You, sees two gay robbers do a whole lot of blow in this critical hit from Old Red Lion.
Further new work comes from writer-performer Jessica Butcher with SPARKS, Abi Zakarian with I Have A Mouth And I Will Scream, Katie Jackson with Conquest and much more.
CIRCUS & MAGIC
Becoming Shades serves up a sensory feast of dance, aerial acrobatics, music and fire performances up close and personal in Hades’ underworld as Chivaree Circus explode their 2017 award winning re-imagining of the classic myth of Persephone into a full 8 week immersive circus extravaganza.
Directors and performers David Aula and Simon Evans team up again following 2017’s hit The Vanishing Man, to explore hypnotism and the human mind with The Vanishing Mankind.
Born without hands or feet, Mahdi The Magician will perform wonders at VAULT, having overcome these incredible obstacles to become one of the world’s most extraordinary magicians.
Continuing its commitment to female led work, VAULT are proud to have programmed over 52% of shows written or directed by women.
Paper Scissors Stone from Fringe First winner Katie Bonna takes a sharp-edged peek into gender conditioning whilst Glitter Punch, from Some Riot Theatre, deals with student/teacher relationship boundaries, receiving nine 4 star reviews over its run in Edinburgh.
Foreign Body is the critically acclaimed solo show about healing after sexual assault from Imogen Butler-Cole, and The Strongbox by Stephanie Jacob looks at domestic slavery.
Other female led work at VAULT includes Mission Abort, Ad Libido, Big Bad , ZINA, A Girl and a Gun, Double Infemnity, The Vagina Dialogues and many more.
With a high-reaching agenda to change the theatre industry from the inside out by altering its attitude towards female playwrights and their output, VAULT is announcing its Writers Gap scheme for talented emerging female writers to meet with producers and programmers from London Theatres, including the Donmar, Almeida and Old Vic, to explore and remove industry-wide barriers. I’m very pleased to hear this – massive ‘thumbs up’ to the Vault team 🙂
I’ve heard so much on social media about For a Black Girl, a piece of straight, honest storytelling from Nicole Acquah, is a powerful response to the claim that racism doesn’t exist in the UK. I really cannot wait to see this 😉
Upcoming star Nicole Henriksen’s second solo show, A Robot in Human Skin, explores her past as a stripper, while The Year of the Rooster Monk, sees award winning absurdists Les Foules present Giselle LeBleu Gant in a part-cabaret, part-narrative, part-seance spectacle, which explores millennial isolation, black feminist movements and the problems of gentrification.
Focusing on stories of young black men in contemporary London, Still We Dream by choreographer Joseph Toonga explores the power of relationships and the ugly reality of ‘the trumps and triumphs’ of reaching for your dreams through free-flowing, animalistic, expressive movement, blurring the lines of hip-hop and contemporary dance.
ACCESSIBILITY and INTEGRATED ARTS
VAULT Festival will this year partner with the iF Platform (Integrated Fringe) to showcase the work of companies and artists producing work with disabled and non disabled artists. MIA: Daughter’s of Fortune, from Mind the Gap, tackles the taboo subject of learning disability and parenthood with silliness, stories and statistics. Further integrated work includes the playfully devised Follow Suit from Silent Faces and Georgia Morrell’s Eyecon with more to follow.
The festival celebrates a host of gender explorative pieces with the likes of Gypsy Queen, which offers a bold response to homophobia in boxing after widespread acclaim in Edinburgh.
TESTOSTERONE is the critically acclaimed physical theatre comedy from Rhum & Clay, following Kit as he transitions from female to male in his early thirties, experiencing life on both sides of the gender divide.
Consumables is an alarming concoction of knives, gimp masks, fetish videos and hostages and further gender explorative and LGBTQ work comes from Paloma Oakenfold with the darkly funny Stud, as well as Jaswinder Blackwell-Pal’s The Poetry We Make and Tumulus by Christopher Adams.
VAULT Festival are proud to announce the first annual VAULT Comedy Festival, a dedicated programme of over 125 comedy shows across 8 weeks, curated to support work from up and coming comics through to Edinburgh Comedy Award Winners.
Appearances come from hotly tipped rising stars Joe Lycett, Bridget Christie, Richard Gadd, Phil Wang and Adam Riches, alongside critically-acclaimed Edinburgh shows from Mat Ewins, Graham Dickson, Joe Sutherland with Model/Actress and The Pretend Men, who return to VAULT with their highly physical Police Cops in Space for a two week run from Jan 24th.
With scores of unannounced acts trying out their new material, VAULT 2018 is going to be the place to watch for big talent.
MUSICALS & CABARET
Today’s ludicrous epoch is heartily lampooned by writer Isla van Tricht and composer Guy Woolf with Great Again, a musical exploring the sensitivities of Trumpian America, while the musical and political tomfoolery continues with The People’s Rock: A Musical from Nevertheless She, in which an impressionable young woman navigates a dystopian landscape with only 2020 US presidential candidate, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson to guide her. From the creators of the award-winning sellout hit Buzz, Fat Rascal Theatre present Tom and Bunny Save the World, a zombie apocalypse musical which places women in the roles usually taken by men: the soldier, the scientist and the sexual instigator.
Multi award-winning theatre company, ThisEgg, invites children and adults alike to save the world one bee at a time with Me & My Bee, a political party disguised as a party party disguised as a comedy show.
With a new supervillain in town, Doktor James’s Bad Skemes enlists audiences of all ages to help prove the title character is in fact the most evil guy around with more child friendly shows in the form of One Duck Down by Faceplant Theatre and the return of cult classic Funz and Gamez from Phil Ellis.
This is just a taste of the fantastic offering from this year’s Vault festival programme, so get onto the official website, check out the full list and grab tickets to your favourite before they go – vaultfestival.com