Top Shows to see at The Vault Festival 2017 in London
The Vault Festival in Waterloo has been described as London’s answer to the Edinburgh’s Fringe. Beginning on January 25th and running to 5 March 2017 this year's festival boasts new bars, new music, new venues and most importantly - new theatre.
Underneath Waterloo Station the tunnels are playing home to an eclectic collection of new theatre pieces from some of the biggest names of tomorrow. From comedy to new drama, music and even film, the Vault Festival really offers something for everyone no matter what your taste, and with multiple performances each evening, including Sundays, it's London's most creative and exciting cultural haunts.
With so much on offer, we take a look at some of the Festival's most promising theatrical pieces:
Fat Content bring their signature surrealism to this gritty, spellbinding story. With an award-winning performance from Daniel Holme, and direction by Lecoq trained Rachel Lincoln, Skin Of The Teeth takes an unflinching look at fear, fearlessness and the manipulation of young men.
"Nicholas wants to feel fear. People can tell that something is missing in him. After a violent accident he accepts the help of charming stranger, Mr Bacon, who takes him under his wing, out of his small seaside town and into an enchanting and perilous world."
"1989. Manchester. A frenzy of drugs, beats and bucket hats. Illegal raves. Acid parties. Just jumping up and down in a field and throwing two fingers to Thatcher… Remember it? Because we don’t. We weren’t even born. But Ian was. And Ian does remember. We’ve got fuck all now (Ian tells us). So, we’re going back to 1989. We’re gonna neck a brown biscuit. We’re gonna get off our peanuts. We’re gonna bounce around like idiots. And Ian’s going to show us how. We’re mad fer it. And you will be too. Let’s party…"
A one-act play about life after homelessness, Wretch was inspired by three months of interviews that writer Rebecca Walker conducted with vulnerably housed women at a day centre in Whitechapel. Originally commissioned by Into the Wolf Productions, Wretch completed an Arts-Council-funded tour of drop-in centres, night shelters and drug rehabilitation units in 2015, to overwhelmingly positive reviews from its audiences who shared lived experience with the play’s characters. Wretch has been reworked into a play with songs by London-based band Eliza and the Bear. In a taut seventy minute show, three actors and a band of musicians bring the too-keenly-felt world of Amy and Irena’s hopes and delusions into brilliant, disconcerting life.
After a set of sold out shows at the Brunel Museum in Rotherhithe, The Quorum bring The Swarm to Vault Festival. When the queen bee is deposed by her daughter and forced to leave the hive, she takes half the honey bee colony with her and so they embark on a perilous journey of migration through a busy city. The Swarm follows the bees in the search for a new home as they encounter a deadly extractor fan, a thunder storm and a fierce debate over two potential sites on which to build a hive. With just one last meal of honey for energy, how will they reach a collective decision on where to relocate? Directed by Roswitha Gerlitz, the cast features Hannah Mason, Sarah Parkes, Heloise Tunstall-Behrens, Rosa Slade, Luisa Gerstein, Nouria Bah, Liv Stones, Tanya Auclair, Natalie Pela and Sarah Anderson.
Astronauts of Hartlepool
A new play by Tim Foley. We’re in Hartlepool. It’s a town in North East England, it’s a former dockland, and it’s 70% Leave. It’s also under attack. When Aidan meets Nadia on the headland late at night, science fiction collides with political fact as they tear the town apart. One by one the astronauts come to Hartlepool, and the two lost women must face their destiny together. Brand new dark comedy about broken Britain and broken promises, and the lengths we go to fix them. Written by Tim Foley, Channel 4 Writer-in-Residence and winner of the 2016 OffWestEnd Most Promising New Playwright award for The Dogs of War (Old Red Lion Theatre).
In 2000, two giants of cycling climbed Mont Ventoux in a dramatic battle to win stage 12 of the Tour de France: Lance Armstrong, who went on to win the Tour and a further five in the years that followed before being stripped of his titles, and Marco Pantani, who never raced in the Tour again and died of an overdose four years later. Performed with two road bikes, real race commentary and stunning film footage captured by the company as they cycled up Mont Ventoux, 2Magpies Theatre recreate the 60 minute conflict with all the benefit of hindsight, charting the parallels of their early careers and the stark split in fortunes following the race.
The End of Dance
Described as a contemporary dance version of The Thick of It. In 2017, the Government will make dance illegal. Colin, Joan and Nigella, your local MPs, are here to fight back. This is a non-dance dance-theatre piece about protest, about questions like ‘what do we do now?’. This is a piece about MPs being forced underground to talk about dance, and about what happens when no one is allowed to dance anymore…Join Colin, Joan and Nigella for the fight, and maybe, just maybe, some dancing…
1 to 5 March 2017
After sell-out success at last year's VAULT Festival, award-winning PLAY Theatre Company (winners of the People's Choice Award 2016) are returning underground with a brand new season of brilliant work. The Subterranean Season features eight box-fresh short PLAYs created by the hottest emerging talent. A company of thirty-six actors, writers and directors will share a PLAYroom for just two weeks. Starting entirely from scratch they will collaborate, devise and create eight brand new PLAYs exclusively for VAULT Festival 2017. The Subterranean Season will bookend the festival, opening and closing London's biggest arts festival. This is theatre at it's freshest and most vital, brimming with bite, wit and charm.
For more listings, visit The Vault Festival website.