When: 24th January – 18th March 2018
Where: The Vaults, Leake Street, Waterloo, London SE1 7NN
£: Ticket prices vary, depending on the event
What is it?
VAULT Festival 2018 will take place from Wednesday 24th January to Sunday 18th March, with 300 shows championing new writing, immersive experiences, comedy, film and late night entertainment.
Returning to its native venue beneath Waterloo Station, with satellite venues including Waterloo East Theatre and the Network Theatre, this year’s programme aims to be broader and more diverse than ever before. In addition to the shows, the festival will offer intimate themed bars and plenty of street food offerings.
This year’s theatre programme will include an immersive musical adaptation of J.M. Barrie’s classic with Neverland by Theatre Deli and The Guild of Misrule. 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 jazz and hip hop dance, exploring social issues such as immigration, depression and alcohol misuse. Whilst Lamplighters will see the audience led through an immersive, improvised spy story in the style of John Le Carre, for a hilarious evening of drama, deception and treachery.
Circus and magic shows at VAULT will include a sensory feast of dance, aerial acrobatics, music and fire in Hades’ underworld, as Chivaree Circus re-imagines the classic myth of Persephone as an immersive circus extravaganza in Becoming Shades.
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.
This year’s VAULT programme will see 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. 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.
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. Upcoming star Nicole Henriksen’s second solo show, A Robot in Human Skin, explores her past as a stripper, whilst The Year of the Rooster Monk, sees award-winning absurdists Les Foules present a part cabaret, part narrative and 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.
VAULT Festival is partnering 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.
This year, VAULT will have its own comedy festival, with a dedicated programme of over 125 shows across the eight weeks, curated to support work from up and coming comics through to Edinburgh Comedy Award Winners. Appearances will come from Joe Lycett, Bridget Christie, Richard Gadd, Phil Wang and Adam Riches, as well as acts trying out their new material.
Today’s ludicrous epoch is heartily lampooned by writer Isla van Tricht and composer Guy Woolf in Great Again, a musical exploring the sensitivities of Trumpian America, while 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.
Family friendly shows at this year’s festival will include Me & My Bee, inviting children and adults alike to save the world one bee at a time, and Doktor James’s Bad Skemes enlisting audiences of all ages to help prove that the Doktor is in fact the most evil guy around.
Away from the main venue, there will be shows including Rubber, an immersive show promising to thrill audiences as they ride out the action in a car circumnavigating the streets of Waterloo, and a selection of evocative new short plays, performed for intimate audiences in a caravan.
A series of Lates promises to lure those seeking a further theatrical fix, with events taking place into the small hours, as a selection of specially curated themed parties including a debaucherous Valentine’s Party, London’s fattest Mardi Gras celebration, a St Patrick’s Day blowout and an evening of funk, soul and Motown as the South London Soul Train heads underground.
More info: vaultfestival.com