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: Beauty & The Beast (A Musical Parody), King’s Head

“What would Jane Austen do?”

Having embraced my inner Scrooge this Christmas by deciding not to see any productions of A Christmas Carol or any pantos either, my resolve was tested by the return of Fat Rascal to the London stage, a young company devoted to create “fresh and funny feminist musical theatre” and whose ode to the vibrator was an unexpected pleasure (ooh-er) last year. This year they’re blessing us with fewer sex toys in the form of Beauty & The Beast (A Musical Parody).

And not just any Beauty and the Beast, a gender-swapped one that gives us a Jane Austen-obsessed Beau, a swash-buckling Siobhan in place of Gaston and a Beast who is no less fearsome for being of the female variety. And though it is in the late-night slot at the King’s Head, bookwriters Robyn Grant and Daniel Elliot never make the mistake of overloading the smut (as many an adult panto is wont to do), preferring instead to just be really, really funny. Continue reading “Review: Beauty & The Beast (A Musical Parody), King’s Head”

Review: BUZZ – A New Musical, Drayton Arms

“If you’d like to come in for some tea and a chat
I’ve got a double-ended one and you can sit on that”

Who needs Olivier when you can have Eddie?! The latter may be a slightly lesser known award than the illustrious former, but it is arguably a more important one for upcoming talent. For The Eddies were conceived by Antonio Ferrera, Artistic Director of the Drayton Arms, for shows taking part in the Edinburgh Fringe with a top prize of a three week run to the West London venue. So congratulations to Fat Rascal Theatre whose BUZZ – A New Musical has just transferred in toto.

And it’s not hard to see why it took the prize. From the moment you enter the theatre and interact with the two cave dwellers also waiting for the show to start, the attention to detail in this comedy really is beautifully thought through. From the blink-and-miss-em gags (I loved the nod to Avenue Q) to the fully realised randomness (the pink bodysuit – just genius!), the show really does pack in the jokes and crucially, doesn’t labour over them so that the running time simply flies by with real comic energy. Continue reading “Review: BUZZ – A New Musical, Drayton Arms”