What should you see at this year’s VAULT Festival?

In Features, Festivals, London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Plays by Ian FosterLeave a Comment

Established now as one of the major arts festivals in London, VAULT Festival returns from 25 January to 5 March 2017 at its original home beneath Waterloo Station and, for the first time, at satellite venues Network Theatre (just to the side of Waterloo) and Morley College (a little further away past Lambeth North). As ever, the programme features an exciting selection of shows exploring many themes via many more mediums. Full information and tickets are available now via VAULTFestival.com.

I’m still working out exactly what and how much I am going to see but I have got a few selections of the things that have definitely caught my eye:

  • PLAY: The Subterranean Season – one of my favourite things that I saw last year was PLAY, whose collaborative approach sees writers, directors and actors come together for two weeks to create brand new plays, so I look forward to seeing what this year’s cohort (which includes writers Kate Kennedy and Abi Zakarian, directors Holly Race-Roughan and Anthony Lau, and actors Emily Barber, Jessica Clarke and Mariam Haque) comes up with.
  • Let Me Down – calling something a sad comedy is pretty much a guarantee of getting me along and Andy Goddard’s one-woman show (performed by Ciara Baxendale) is no exception.
  • Summer Nights in Space – being billed as a something of a thematic sequel to Edinburgh hit The Quentin Dentin Show, Henry Carpenter tackles the lesser-explored genre of sci-fi musical – need I say more?
  • What Shall We Do With The Cello? – an opportunity here to see a play by Romania’s most prolific and celebrated contemporary playwright, Matei Visniec. A surreal comedy that also features the live music of one of the world’s leading avant garde composers Iancu Dumitrescu, this seems a most intriguing proposition.
  • Astronauts of Hartlepool – Brexit Britain, the North/South divide and immigration combine in this piece from Tim Foley. Two strangers (played by Rakhee Thakrar and Sophie Steer) meet on the headland and a epic battle begins. >taur_ – I do like a good immersive theatre challenge and BROKENSTEREO’s dramatic, interactive retelling of the classic Theseus myth looks like it could be good fun.A Year From Now – a new production from RedBellyBlack Theatre, this is a combination of verbatim and physical theatre, using movement and audio narrative, that asks 14 people ‘where do you see yourself a year from now?’. Becoming Shades – A dark immersive underground circus experience retelling the myth of Persephone with aerial acrobatics, live music, fire, dance and mime.
    There’s also a film festival premiering numerous exciting shorts and features, including are dark_net staring Johnny Vegas, Love Comes Later, a London premiere staring Sarita Choudhury, and Y Llygrgell/The Library Suicides – an offbeat thriller set in the National Library of Wales with Catrin Stewart, Dyfan Dwfor and Sharon Morgan; and lots of comedy and late night DJs should you incline that way.
    Personally, I’m particularly keen to sample the menu at Martin H Shaw’s Eastern European-inspired restaurant Balkano.
    BALKANO MENU‘Bitey’ size – £4Hungary Hot Potato – Soul-warming trinity of tomatoes, potatoes and cheeseSlavic Slaw – Zested gherkins, chilli and cabbage with Balkan seasoningSmoky Serb Salsa & Flatbread – Aubergines, peppers and tomatoes in a recipe from the hearth‘Mighty’ Size – £9Bosnian Sausage, Beets and Kajmak Cheese – A flatbread parcel of meat, beet and pomegranate molassesChicken Souvlaki with Labneh – The Archduke of Chicken Kebab Wraps, with smoked aubergineCourgette Souvlaki with Labneh – The Archduke’s vegetarian brotherSuper Smash Goulash – Strong, Hot, Marriage-Inducing Beef and Paprika StewCombo – any ‘bitey’ and ‘mighty’ dish together – £12
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Ian Foster
Since 2003, Ian Foster has been writing reviews of plays, sometimes with a critical element, on his blog Ought to Be Clowns, which has been listed as one of the UK's Top Ten Theatre Blogs by Lastminute.com, Vuelio and Superbreak. He averages more than 350+ shows a year. He says: "Call me a reviewer, a critic or a blogger, and you will apparently put someone or other's nose out of joint! So take it or leave it, essentially this is my theatrical diary, recording everything I go to see at the theatre in London and beyond, and venturing a little into the worlds of music and film/TV where theatrical connections can be made."
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Ian Foster on FacebookIan Foster on RssIan Foster on Twitter
Ian Foster
Since 2003, Ian Foster has been writing reviews of plays, sometimes with a critical element, on his blog Ought to Be Clowns, which has been listed as one of the UK's Top Ten Theatre Blogs by Lastminute.com, Vuelio and Superbreak. He averages more than 350+ shows a year. He says: "Call me a reviewer, a critic or a blogger, and you will apparently put someone or other's nose out of joint! So take it or leave it, essentially this is my theatrical diary, recording everything I go to see at the theatre in London and beyond, and venturing a little into the worlds of music and film/TV where theatrical connections can be made."

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