VAULT Festival 2019

Published: 13 January 2019
Reporter: Sandra Giorgetti

More than four hundred shows from more than 2,000 artists make up this year's VAULT Festival.

It is one of the fastest growing and largest curated arts festivals in the world and takes place in the festival’s central hub, The Vaults, and a number of other venues including nearby Unit 9 on Leake Street, The Horse & Stables pub and the Travelling Through Bookshop.

Shipping containers and caravans are amongst the less conventional venues for this year.

Across the Festival, 53% of work is female-led and 25% of work is made by LGBTQIA+ artists.

Amongst the theatre offering is the headliner Counting Sheep, an immersive folk opera which had an award-winning run at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe, now re-imagined by the directors of the Belarus Free Theatre as a personal retelling of the Ukrainian Revolution.

Other award-winning work includes, The Myth of the Singular Moment (Summerhall Award), one man Bon Jovi musical We’ve Got Each Other (BE Festival Audience Award, and various international awards, and Ladykiller (Pleasance Award).

London venue New Diorama Theatre is behind A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad), Director’s Cut from Kill the Beast, Queens of Sheba by Nouveau Riché and The Talented Mr. Ripley from The Faction.

PappyShow also present a takeover made up of Boys, Girls and Care, whilst Katie & Pip makes an invisible disability visible with a story about the relationship between Katie, a type 1 diabetic teenager, and Pip, her border collie, and in Tilda Swinton Answers an Ad on Craigslist, Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Tom Lenk plays Tilda Swinton.

Stories of women marginalised by history include 10 about Boudicca, The Limit in which mathematician Sophie Germain disguises herself as a man to submit work and Lola, a feminist unpicking of Vladimir Nabokov’s novel.

Amongst the other true stories are Kompromat, a thriller about the GCHQ agent who was murdered and folded into a sports bag, and Pufferfish, which is based on mass murderer Jeffrey Dahmer.

New company Theatre Tewl's début show is dark comedy about nostalgia The Noble Nine written by Matt Parvin, new clown show Mother Bunch Theatre's Comrade Egg and The Chicken of Tomorrow looks at the meat processing industry and gay love is explored in Clamour Theatre's Juniper and Jules, a new play by Stephanie Martin, and LGBTQ+ theatre company Full Disclosure's Open, a new play by Christopher Adams and husband Tim Allsop.

Running alongside the Festival, the New Writers Programme offers an eight-week practical writing course for prospective writers of any age, ending with a public showing.

In addition to the theatre programme events span family entertainment, comedy, cabaret, immersive experiences and late night parties.

Check web site for information regarding captioned, signed and relaxed performances, and age suitability.

The Festival seeks to reduce single-use waste. Events will use paperless tickets, drinks will be served in reusable cups (without the use of plastic straws) and all food and beverage packaging will be biodegradable or recyclable. VAULT Festival 2019 supports Help Refugees and Child.org and works with the community via WeAreWaterloo and SURGE initiatives.

VAULT Festival runs from January to 17 March in various London venues.