Review: Tobacco Road, VAULT Festival

Playing like an unofficial adaptation of Peaky Blinders, Incognito Theatre’s Tobacco Road is a mixed bag at the VAULT Festival

“We should tell them how we got here
We’ll have to start all the way at the beginning”

While we wait for the inevitable offical theatrical adaptation of Peaky Blinders, an unofficial one emerges in the form of Tobacco Road. Incognito Theatre’s play, directed by Roberta Zuric, has an impressive visual flair to it (choreography by Zak Nemorin) and is undoubtedly inventively staged, it just lacks originality.

Delving into life as a gangster in the immediate aftermath of the Great War, the play pulls out theme after theme in an attempt to give voice to the kind of stories that don’t get enough airtime. But as another and then another is pulled out of the hat – it’s hard to be a woman, it’s hard to be a gay, it’s hard to be a drug addict – too little get the attention they deserve. Continue reading “Review: Tobacco Road, VAULT Festival”

2019 VAULT Festival – 20 shows to see

With less than a week to go before the 2019 VAULT Festival opens, I wade my way through the catalogue and come up with 20 shows I think you should catch – in their own words

Now in its seventh year, VAULT Festival returns this year from 23rd January to 17th March with a broad and diverse programme of more than 400 shows in a range of atmospheric venues throughout Waterloo. And as ever, the remit is to be as big and bold as impossible, with the festival featuring theatre, comedy, cabaret, immersive experiences, late night parties, and much more besides.

It can be a little overwhelming to figure out what you want to see, the majority of shows run for a week (Wednesday to Sunday) so you’ll need to move pretty sharpish once you’ve decided – there’s the VAULT Combo deal which saves you money booking more than one show, and some 241 deals available through the Stagedoor app. And to help you, I’ve identified 20 shows (and it could have been so many more!) that appealed to me and asked them to sell themselves in 10 words or less in order to grab your attention.  Continue reading “2019 VAULT Festival – 20 shows to see”

Review: I Am Of Ireland, Old Red Lion

I Am Of Ireland proves a knotty and thought-provoking look at Irish society at the Old Red Lion theatre pub in London

“A hundred thousand welcomes”

The ambition behind Seamus Finnegan’s I Am Of Ireland is awesome in its scope, as it tackles the last century of modern Irish history in all its myriad complexities. And the intent that lies behind it is equally laudable, as Finnegan delves deep into the national psyche to analyse what deep-seated religious and political partisanship means for society in a contemporary Ireland.

With the Troubles under the microscope, Finnegan provides us with a dizzying kaleidoscope of stories – some inter-connected, some not, but all touching on the way some kind of conflict has impacted on life. Nationalism curdled into racism, faith challenged by abuse, the legacy of a life governed by terrorism moving forward into a future that seemingly only wants forgiveness.  Continue reading “Review: I Am Of Ireland, Old Red Lion”