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: Ladykiller, Pleasance

Some excellent monologuing here in The Thelma’s Ladykiller playing a short run at the Pleasance after conquering Edinburgh

“It’s not what it looks like…”

That there was something special about Madeline Gould’s Ladykiller was obvious even in the 15 minute format I saw it in three years ago as part of The Thelmas’ Ladylogue. So to see it all grown up to nearly an hour in length and having smashed an Edinburgh Festival run to huge acclaim, feels like a well-earned victory for a striking piece of story-telling.

Directed by Madelaine Moore and acted by Hannah McLean, this monologue takes us right through the wringer in the aftermath of a bloody murder. At first sight, it was the chambermaid, in a hotel room, or was it…? Gould and McLean toy brilliantly with our expectations as our protagonist presents her case and we buy into it. Cos she’s a woman innit.  Continue reading “Review: Ladykiller, Pleasance”

Review: Ladylogue, Tristan Bates

“I’m a pretty normal sort of person”

In a theatre world reveling in David Suchet’s Lady Bracknell and Craig Revel Horwood’s Miss Hannigan, one has to be grateful for companies like The Thelmas and their unflagging resolve to readdress this balance. Their particular focus lies more in encouraging new writing and none more so than in Ladylogue, their evening of six one-woman shorts, all written by emerging female playwrights, playing at the Tristan Bates Theatre as part of the Camden Fringe.

And a vivid and vibrant collection they make too in Madelaine Moore’s production here. From Maria Yarjah’s self-performed Family (Mis)fortunes tracing a young woman’s trials on social media once her parents have discovered Facebook to the poetic swirl of Sarah Milton’s The Night Tella, expertly delivered by Joana Nastari’s edgy narrator, the mood shifts considerably throughout the evening but never failing to place women’s stories at their heart. Continue reading “Review: Ladylogue, Tristan Bates”