Today's full programme, more choices & comment

3:00pm
Coming Out Of My Cage (And I’ve Been Doing Just Fine) Shepard Tone

4 stars As a concept, it could be madness or genius: an hour-long celebration of Mr Brightside, the monotonic song with the driving beat that might just rank as the nation’s favourite earworm. It’s a funny, self-aware and ultimately touching tribute, dressed up as a podcast-style investigation. But you needn’t need to be a Killers fan to appreciate it, for this is a universal celebration - a salute to bittersweet memories and to experiences shared. Read the full review.

The song ‘Mr Brightside’ hasn't left the UK charts in 16 years. How did it end up like this? It was only a hit, it was only a hit. <br/>Tim and Hannah come across a viral video of an Irish bar singing ‘Mr Brightside’ to their recently departed friend. Reading online comments they uncover a series of stories of incredible people who are all celebrated by those around them - all united by one song. Tim, Hannah and the audience conduct an investigation into the chart-busting phenomena, taking them from that small Irish bar to a karaoke booth in Nevada and back to an English Students Union bathroom. Combining karaoke and fun audience interactions with on-stage explorations into how this song touched the world and became an anthem for millions and giving you an unashamedly good night out in the process.

3:00pm
LOVE (Watching Madness) SpeakUp Theatre

'My mum threw a trifle at my best friend and that's when I first thought something was probably wrong.' <br/>Izzy’s mum isn’t very happy which means, a lot of the time, Izzy isn’t very happy. Her best friend says she should probably talk to someone about it. So she does. <br/>LOVE (Watching Madness) is a fast paced, poignant and painful celebration of mums, daughters and the strength of a child’s love in the face of tough odds. A heart wrenching and hilarious autobiographical one-woman show about the relentless journey of caring for someone who can’t always show that they care for you. <br/>"This is a show for everyone: mums, daughters and all in between." (EdFest Magazine)<br/>LOVE (Watching Madness) was developed with the John Thaw Mental Health Initiative at The Actors Centre and has since been performed to sell out audiences across London and Norwich. SpeakUp Theatre return from their award nominated, critically acclaimed 5 star run at the Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

3:00pm
Oddball Forristal and Clarke

About eating disorders. But funny. And informative? Mainly funny. <br/>Take a look inside the brain of someone with an eating disorder and get to know Oddball on her own terms, as she tries to behave like a normal person on a date. Easy. It is in a restaurant though. Restaurants have food. And other people. Food and people. She might pull her skin off with pliers. That's normal, right?<br/>Musical Comedy Awards Finalist, Francesca Forristal “uses humour as a feminist weapon” (The Sunday Times) in this disarmingly candid exploration of the messier elements of eating disorders and NHS inpatient care, based on lived experience. <br/>This one woman show show uses sound-design, silliness, and zero respect for the 4th wall. All Oddball has to do is deconstruct every toxic preconception society has about eating disorders - in 60 mins. Piece of cake... Wait.<br/>Directed by Micha Mirto
Sound Design by Jordan Clarke
Original music by Forristal and Clarke

3:00pm
Jollof Wars Gail Egbeson

It’s a culture clash, told through the lens of a Nigerian chef and her Ghanaian fiancé. Historically, Africans have debated who makes the tasty dish best. The question is... what’s really at stake?<br/>The play starts in familiar settings but things suddenly go left when we realise how deep the tension surrounding food goes. Its surreal yet accurate. Funny but tragic. Sad but true! Come and get your fill at Jollof Wars.

3:10pm
Frida Kahlo: Viva la Vida! Footprint Productions & Tirso Theatre Co

¡Art, passion, obsession!<br/>An explosive on-stage portrait of Latin America’s Greatest Female Painter.<br/>Sharp, witty and bursting with colour, this critically acclaimed, award-winning one-woman show returns to London for its 10 year anniversary, after a sizzling sell out run around the world. Based on fragments of Frida Kahlo’s biography, letters and extracts from her diary, this play powerfully recreates the life of a unique artist, a painter who transferred her vibrant culture and her deepest dramas onto canvas. <br/>***** The Scotsman ***** Fringe Review ***** London Theatre Guide***** Extra!Extra! **** Metro **** Three Weeks **** On Stage Scotland<br/>“Mesmerising and compelling. A must-see” - London Theatre Guide<br/>“ Gaël Le Cornec inhabits the role of Frida like a second skin” - The Stage<br/>ARGUS ANGEL AWARD ARTISTIC EXCELLENCE: Brighton Festival
UNIVERSAL ARTS AWARD: Edinburgh Fringe
APT CRITICS AWARD BEST EMERGING PLAYWRIGHT: Mexico

3:10pm
[The Cobbled Streets of Geneva] Ellandar Productions & 45 North

3 stars A man stands outside a mosque. The imam brings him a cup of tea. A friendship is born. [The Cobbled Streets of Geneva] follows the developing interactions between the reserved, uncertain Adham and the assertively accepting Raushan, as they travel through Switzerland - a trip that gradually reveals their true feelings through the deception they present to the world. Read the full review.

A queer British-Muslim romantic comedy. <br/>Adham is a silent and brooding middle-aged tragedy, standing outside a Mosque in North London. Waiting. It’s raining. Tea, an umbrella, and friendship arrive.<br/>Two years later Adham’s boss invites him on holiday to “set him up”. Panic-stricken and wanting to bat away her advances he fabricates a husband, but when the plan backfires he’s got to convince someone to act the part... Who best but his Imam and absolutely platonic friend Raushan? The rest is what you’d expect: a call to adventure in the Alps, a quarrel, and a sweet queer love story that ends in gardening gloves. <br/>Nemo Martin’s [The Cobbled Streets of Geneva] is a warm queer romantic comedy about how role-playing new lives might bring us closer to who we really are. <br/>Praise:<br/>“It is a gentling of story, a caretaking of truths that invites revelation, and the result is utterly beautiful.” - Jenifer Toksvig.

3:20pm
Sister! Rosa's Assembly

Jade and Lauren are telling stories, and saving lives. This heartwarming and thought- provoking physical show encourages you to stand up and join the fight to save our NHS. <br/>It's 2030 and Jade and Lauren are nurses working in an NHS hospital. Join them as they travel through time to discover the women who came before them; the female nurses who've strived, struggled, and sacrificed for their right to save our lives. They're standing up for themselves, for the NHS, for you and me, and they're standing up for the right to help people! In a post- Brexit, post-privatisation world - just how far will you go to save the NHS?<br/>Using physical theatre and verbatim text Sister! combines reality with fantasy as it explores the history of nurses in the NHS. A heartwarming celebration of the women throughout history who have kept us alive against the odds, and a call to action to keep the past in the past.

4:30pm
Josh Berry: Work in Porgress RBM Comedy

Josh Berry has appeared on numerous platforms, such as BBC1’s Michael McIntyre’s Big Show, The Tracey Ullman show, and as a semi-regular on Radio 4’s hugely popular The Now Show (amongst other BBCR4 shows such as Dead Ringers, The Today Show and Newsjack), also guest appearing on several popular podcasts, such as James Acaster and Ed Gamble’s Off Menu, Happy Hour Podcast and Jokes With Mark Simmons. Josh has also clocked up millions of views online, namely with his ‘James Acaster Making Pasta’ sketch. <br/>“Absolutely superb!” Jon Culshaw<br/>This work in progress show sees the 23-year-old slice through British Culture with whimsical vocal parody and biting satire in equal measure. From Russell Brand, to Louis Theroux, Jacob Rees Mogg to Middle-Class mothers, few escape his withering gaze and his “merciful wit... nothing is off limits from his biting impressions” (The Wee Review).<br/>Josh’s ability as a satirical impressionist is fast gaining recognition; not only did Union Jack Radio recommission Josh’s five-star rated satirical impressions sketch show, Josh Berry’s Fake News, for a second series, critics have labelled him: ‘already on par with the likes of Rory Bremner, Jon Culshaw and Ronnie Ancona’. (Brighton FringeReview)<br/>“Josh Berry? Fair play man, fair play” James Acaster
“Make no mistake: Berry’s impressions are second to none” The Wee Review

4:30pm
Bible John THESE GIRLS in association with The Pleasance

4 stars There is a woman. She’s always late, sat on her bed, clicking through article after article on serial killers; you probably know her, you might even be her.  She is one of four temps, each sitting quietly at their desk, all listening to the same podcast.  And they’re not a alone - a growing number of people (particularly women) are fascinated by serial killers, and a host of podcasts, TV shows and online articles recount and analyse cases solved and unsolved. Read the full review.

1969 at the Barrowlands Ballroom in Glasgow, three women are murdered by an Old Testament-quoting serial killer, later nicknamed Bible John. He has never been caught.<br/>In 2019, four temps discover they share a morbid obsession with true crime, and with one podcast in particular: a reinvestigation into the Bible John murders by American journalist Carrie LaRue. As their fascination takes hold, they immerse themselves into the world of 1960s Glasgow, in an attempt to solve the case once and for all.<br/>Bible John is partly a retelling of one of Scotland’s darkest unsolved crimes, but is more broadly an interrogation into the ethics of true crime as entertainment, and the reasons why women in particular are so hungry for stories that has the victimisation of other women at their heart. It’s a riotous, furious, joyful exploration into violence and gender, weaving film, movement, and text, from Charlie Hartill Recipients - THESE GIRLS.

4:30pm
Josh Glanc: Work in Progress (or one hot loose sexy ride) Josh Glanc

Award winning Aussie oddball Josh Glanc unveils his latest absurd and wild character creations. Josh melds together nonsense with autobiographical stand-up in a whirlwind of props, sound effects and costumes. He doesn't know what the show will be yet, but whatever happens, he promises it will be a fun-filled hot loose mess of a ride and you're gonna love it! <br/>This isn't him writing this copy by the way, it's his manager. I write all his show copies. But he wanted to me to make sure that I mention that he really promises it will be fun and would really love you to come. He also told me to tell you that he thinks you're sexy. <br/>A ‘Joyous purveyor of stage oddity ****' The Guardian. <br/>'An extraordinary talent ****' The Scotsman. <br/>'Exciting, chaotic and unpredictable ****' Ed Fest Magazine

4:30pm
Nanna’s Bolognese Prickly Pear Productions

Nina is a young genius and her nanna is her number one supporter. Together they share a love of books, stories and food! When opportunity to study comes knocking Nanna encourages her to take it even though it would mean that Nina would have to live far away from home. But Nina has a trick up her sleeve - she is a genius inventor after all! She manages to have her cake and eat it through means of a portal she's built, which allows her to visit home every evening and share all her adventures with Nanna, before returning to her studies. One day Nina gets shocking news from home which changes her outlook completely. The truth comes crashing down and Nina is faced with a tough question - what does it mean to succeed? She needs to decide.<br/>Nanna's Bolognese is a heartwarming piece of storytelling told through music, shadow puppetry, physical theatre and text based performance. It also explores aspects of the Mediterranean culture while focusing on universal themes of migration, family, loneliness, grief and the quest for 'success'.

4:30pm
Rhubarb Ghetto inkjockey LTD

Rhubarb Ghetto is a raw, explosive story set in a graffiti-strewn underpass in London featuring the characters of Billy and Scarlet.<br/>Billy is a gang leader tying up loose ends before disappearing to escape the clutches of a mysterious character named Pavel. Scarlet is the mother of their 15-year-old child Alfie.<br/>Rhubarb Ghetto is an intimate portrayal of a relationship two decades in the making. It looks at choices and lost opportunities. It poses uncertain futures for the characters against the backdrop of life in London where rich and poor live side by side. It looks at the turf-war at the heart of the capital and the gentrification that has replaced council estates with hipsters, coffee culture, and urban allotments.<br/>Life in London can change dramatically in the length of a single underpass. Luxury flats on one side. Gangs and drugs on the other. <br/>Whichever side of the underpass we live on defines our choices and our future. But in the shadow of City Hall, we all live in the Rhubarb Ghetto.<br/>VAULT Festival 2020 will be the world premiere of Rhubarb Ghetto.

4:30pm
Big Bones FacePlant Theatre

Big Bones. Even Bigger Adventure!<br/>Inspired by the true story of the Irish Giant, this brand new family show is created by the team behind One Duck Down, winner of Family Show of The Year, VAULT Festival 2018. Come join the circus!<br/>Little Nora thinks she is all alone in the world...and is thrilled to find she is the long lost grand daughter of Big Bones, the founder of the Big Bones Big Top Circus who are in town that week! <br/>But this circus is in deep trouble, under the spell of a dreadful curse that has blighted them for 100 years. They haven’t had a single audience member since Big Bone’s humongous skeleton was snatched and put on display in a museum against his dying wishes.
Can Nora break the curse, save the circus and keep her new family together? <br/>Big Bones features puppetry, original songs, an all female cast, a psychic octopus and a daring museum heist for the ages.
Big Bones is a humerus tale which celebrates that friends can be the family that we choose, and shows us that the things that make us different; are really the things that make us magic.<br/>Praise for previous show One Duck Down: <br/> ‘A funny family show with a beautiful message'
***** The Upper Circle<br/>‘Impossible for the whole family not to enjoy’
***** The Spy in the Stalls

4:30pm
SPLINTERED Lagahoo Productions

Carnival is rebellion, through rebellion we find joy. Caribbean people have a tendency to celebrate through hard times, and here we are - celebrating and trying to unpack what it means to be queer in a homophobic culture. It’s a carnival dance party littered with sad truths and joyful lies<br/>Welcome to SPLINTERED, the queer carnival party! Sprinkled with sad truths and joyful lies and based upon interviews with queer women in Trinidad & Tobago, this is a show unlike any other to grace the Edinburgh Fringe. Carnival is a celebration despite and in spite of oppression. How does one deal with coming out in a homophobic culture? With a party, duh. Expect a form-breaking, joy-inducing cabaret with plenty wining and a f*cktonne of glitter – “come free up yuhself”!<br/>Lagahoo Productions are a New Diorama Theatre Emerging Company 2019/20, and a Soho Theatre Young Company. SPLINTERED is Lagahoo’s inaugural show, and hope it can make a small but vital step in providing more space for Caribbean artists on British stages.<br/>SPLINTERED is generously supported by Arts Council England.

4:45pm
Annawon’s Song Circle Productions

When the guns are silent and the peace treaty is signed it is only then that we see the true legacy of any conflict. Annawon's Song is a multi media, drama which tells the story of a Native American military veteran who returns from the Afghanistan war wounded both in body and mind. His story is twinned with that of a young Afghani orphan who is being groomed to be a suicide bomber, a nameless casualty of a terrible conflict. <br/>Both stories are haunted by the massacre of Wounded Knee, a massacre which took place in America in the late 1800's, carried out by the American army, in the wake of the mystical movement of the Ghost Dancers which swept the American plains. Annawon's Song highlights the fact that the most likely legacy of any war is simply more conflict. <br/>Annawon's Song was shortlisted for the Alfred Fagon award and the Sundance Theatre lab. Its directed by Murray Woodfield and written by Beverly Andrews who was recipient of the 2017 Roland Rees Playwright Bursary.

4:50pm
Drop Dead Gorgeous Same Same Collective

The cracks on the surface.
The low rumble.
The sparkling eyes.
The twitch.
The wanting.
The drip drip dripping.
The intake of breath.
Four breaths.
And then?<br/>What happens when we let go?<br/>drop dead gorgeous is a darkly comic exploration of femininity and appetite. Drawing on their experiences as women from three different cultural backgrounds, Same Same delve into issues of respectability, containment and refinement. One thing is certain. They won’t be amenable for long.

6:00pm
Coming Out Of My Cage (And I’ve Been Doing Just Fine) Shepard Tone

4 stars As a concept, it could be madness or genius: an hour-long celebration of Mr Brightside, the monotonic song with the driving beat that might just rank as the nation’s favourite earworm. It’s a funny, self-aware and ultimately touching tribute, dressed up as a podcast-style investigation. But you needn’t need to be a Killers fan to appreciate it, for this is a universal celebration - a salute to bittersweet memories and to experiences shared. Read the full review.

The song ‘Mr Brightside’ hasn't left the UK charts in 16 years. How did it end up like this? It was only a hit, it was only a hit. <br/>Tim and Hannah come across a viral video of an Irish bar singing ‘Mr Brightside’ to their recently departed friend. Reading online comments they uncover a series of stories of incredible people who are all celebrated by those around them - all united by one song. Tim, Hannah and the audience conduct an investigation into the chart-busting phenomena, taking them from that small Irish bar to a karaoke booth in Nevada and back to an English Students Union bathroom. Combining karaoke and fun audience interactions with on-stage explorations into how this song touched the world and became an anthem for millions and giving you an unashamedly good night out in the process.

6:00pm
LOVE (Watching Madness) SpeakUp Theatre

'My mum threw a trifle at my best friend and that's when I first thought something was probably wrong.' <br/>Izzy’s mum isn’t very happy which means, a lot of the time, Izzy isn’t very happy. Her best friend says she should probably talk to someone about it. So she does. <br/>LOVE (Watching Madness) is a fast paced, poignant and painful celebration of mums, daughters and the strength of a child’s love in the face of tough odds. A heart wrenching and hilarious autobiographical one-woman show about the relentless journey of caring for someone who can’t always show that they care for you. <br/>"This is a show for everyone: mums, daughters and all in between." (EdFest Magazine)<br/>LOVE (Watching Madness) was developed with the John Thaw Mental Health Initiative at The Actors Centre and has since been performed to sell out audiences across London and Norwich. SpeakUp Theatre return from their award nominated, critically acclaimed 5 star run at the Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

6:00pm
The 4th Country Plain Heroines

Misunderstood, neglected and under-reported, Northern Ireland is just across the water but feels a million miles away.<br/>Set in contemporary Northern Ireland, The 4th Country looks at the ways in which global political decisions impact the lives of ordinary people. Most of the stories that inspired The 4th Country only earned a single article in the British press. As old wounds heal, and new ones open, we see the extraordinary changes facing Northern Ireland through the lives of ordinary people.

6:10pm
[The Cobbled Streets of Geneva] Ellandar Productions & 45 North

3 stars A man stands outside a mosque. The imam brings him a cup of tea. A friendship is born. [The Cobbled Streets of Geneva] follows the developing interactions between the reserved, uncertain Adham and the assertively accepting Raushan, as they travel through Switzerland - a trip that gradually reveals their true feelings through the deception they present to the world. Read the full review.

A queer British-Muslim romantic comedy. <br/>Adham is a silent and brooding middle-aged tragedy, standing outside a Mosque in North London. Waiting. It’s raining. Tea, an umbrella, and friendship arrive.<br/>Two years later Adham’s boss invites him on holiday to “set him up”. Panic-stricken and wanting to bat away her advances he fabricates a husband, but when the plan backfires he’s got to convince someone to act the part... Who best but his Imam and absolutely platonic friend Raushan? The rest is what you’d expect: a call to adventure in the Alps, a quarrel, and a sweet queer love story that ends in gardening gloves. <br/>Nemo Martin’s [The Cobbled Streets of Geneva] is a warm queer romantic comedy about how role-playing new lives might bring us closer to who we really are. <br/>Praise:<br/>“It is a gentling of story, a caretaking of truths that invites revelation, and the result is utterly beautiful.” - Jenifer Toksvig.

6:15pm
Jollof Wars Gail Egbeson

It’s a culture clash, told through the lens of a Nigerian chef and her Ghanaian fiancé. Historically, Africans have debated who makes the tasty dish best. The question is... what’s really at stake?<br/>The play starts in familiar settings but things suddenly go left when we realise how deep the tension surrounding food goes. Its surreal yet accurate. Funny but tragic. Sad but true! Come and get your fill at Jollof Wars.

6:30pm
Jake Lambert (Work in Progress) Off the Kerb

Jake Lambert returns with another show full of 'brilliant one-liners' (Chortle) to discuss how people are perceived and the way we judge others.
Other topics Jake will be covering: Michael Jackson, Australia, Straight Pride, Tattoos and School.
'If likability alone won comedy awards, Jake Lambert would have a full mantelpiece' – Chortle
'Sharper material, even stronger likability' - I Talk Telly
'Jake Lambert seems the equivalent of a good times politician' - The Skinny
'Someone to watch out for in the future' ***** - London Theatre 1
'Lambert has marked himself out as one to watch' **** - Edinburgh Festivals Magazine

7:00pm
Oddball Forristal and Clarke

About eating disorders. But funny. And informative? Mainly funny. <br/>Take a look inside the brain of someone with an eating disorder and get to know Oddball on her own terms, as she tries to behave like a normal person on a date. Easy. It is in a restaurant though. Restaurants have food. And other people. Food and people. She might pull her skin off with pliers. That's normal, right?<br/>Musical Comedy Awards Finalist, Francesca Forristal “uses humour as a feminist weapon” (The Sunday Times) in this disarmingly candid exploration of the messier elements of eating disorders and NHS inpatient care, based on lived experience. <br/>This one woman show show uses sound-design, silliness, and zero respect for the 4th wall. All Oddball has to do is deconstruct every toxic preconception society has about eating disorders - in 60 mins. Piece of cake... Wait.<br/>Directed by Micha Mirto
Sound Design by Jordan Clarke
Original music by Forristal and Clarke

7:15pm
Ask Me Anything The Paper Birds

Ask Me Anything
Created & Presented by The Paper Birds
Co-Produced with Live Theatre
Music by Rosie Doonan<br/>A loud, live, love song, to not having it all figured out.<br/>We asked young people, living in today’s world of mobile phones and google, to write to us and ask us anything. Nothing was off limits. We received over 100 letters from young people across the UK. This show is our reply.<br/>Inspired by the magazine problem pages we read growing up in the 90s and 00s (anyone remember Smash Hits?!), in Ask Me Anything The Paper Birds become the agony aunts. The show explores what young people think, want and worry about today and what different generations can learn from each other.<br/>Ask Me Anything is a new, immersive theatrical experience, from multi-award winners The Paper Birds, whose previous shows include Mobile, Thirsty and In a Thousand Pieces.<br/>Set in our teenage 90s and 00s bedrooms, Ask Me Anything features cutting edge digital artistry, The Paper Birds' unique brand of mischief and mayhem, and original live music from celebrated singer-songwriter Rosie Doonan.<br/>This is a show for teenagers, parents, grandparents, and everyone in between, who, like us, are still figuring it all out. <br/>So, take off your shoes, pull up a cushion, and come on in.

7:20pm
Jacuzii The Free Association

Come on in, the water's fine... In this critically acclaimed improvised comedy show, an all-star of improvisers will be join by a very special guest 'monologist'. <br/>Our guest will take a one-word suggestion from the audience to inspire their ‘monologue’ - true stories, opinions, thoughts, and anecdotes from their own life. These monologues are sometimes dark, sometimes racy, usually weird and always real! <br/>Our all-star team of improvisers will then use these monologues to inspire completely improvised scenes and sketches, for a fast-paced, electric and hilarious hour of comedy. Every show is completely different, but one thing is for sure - It’s all created in the moment, before your very eyes.<br/>GUESTS NOW ANNOUNCED:<br/>Friday 7th Feb with special guest AMELIA DIMOLDENBERG
Saturday 8th Feb with special guest JORDAN BROOKES
Saturday 15th Feb with special guest GEORGINA CAMPBELL<br/>This show is one of a series of hit improv shows presented by The Free Association in a two-week VAULT takeover. Other shows include SORRY, The Nearly News Show, The Badge: An Improvised Cop Show, The Nearly News Show, Starry Starry Eyes, RAD Party, Important Art, LGBTQFA and Minority Report. Book two for £15 or three for £20 as part of The Free Association Package Deal.

7:20pm
Tinted Scripped Up

Tinted is a revolutionary disabled response to the #metoo hashtag. Staged as accessibly as possible and written by disabled playwright Amy Bethan Evans (Libby's Eyes, BBC Access Room, Kudos Fellowship shortlist and producer of Access Platform) Tinted is the debut full-length monologue from Scripped Up, championing D/deaf, disabled and neurodivergent writers.

7:30pm
Alex Edelman: Just For Us Alex Edelman

Bostonian comedian. Jew. Sweetheart. <br/>Alex Edelman’s first show, Millennial – about very traumatic stock photos and young people - won an Edinburgh Comedy Award for Best Newcomer, the first show by an American to do so since 1997. The follow-up, Everything Handed to You - about identity and the availability of plug sockets in airports - was even more acclaimed: selling out its entire Edinburgh run and garnering the second-best reviews of any comedy show at the Festival. It was also filmed in its entirety for a special called Live at the BBC, which is currently available on Netflix.<br/>Just For Us is what comes next. Nominated for the Barry award at Melbourne International Comedy Festival, earning the prestigious Herald Angel award as well as being nominated for the Edinburgh Comedy Award Best Show, it’s about gorillas that can-do sign language and tribalism. Come.

7:30pm
The First Barry McStay

- "What do you think they’ll say?"
- "Whatever it is, it’ll all be wrong."
- "Maybe. We’re the most famous people alive right now."
- "Right now. Yes."<br/>A spacecraft approaches Mars. They are The First.
Back on Earth, two writers compose two speeches. One if the mission succeeds. And another...<br/>When things start to go wrong aboard just days away from the Red Planet, astronauts Rose and Simeon are faced with the prospect of being more alone than any two humans in history.
Meanwhile, experienced political hack Marcus and celebrated screenwriter Aisha must find the words to summarise a feat bigger than words, and a disaster that may never happen.<br/>From writer Barry McStay (Vespertilio - Show of the Week, VAULT 2019) and directed by x2 FRINGE FIRST Winner Emily Jenkins (Bobby And Amy - also won Show of the Week, VAULT 2019). THE FIRST is a new play about tragedy, heroism and imperfection.<br/>Praise for Barry McStay
VESPERTILIO
Lyn Gardner, StageDoor - "This is such a pleasure"
The Irish Times - "Wistfully charming...effortlessly engaging"<br/>Praise for Emily Jenkins
BOBBY AND AMY
The Stage - "She directs the show almost like a ballet, with lithe and tireless physicality from the two superb performers Will Howard and Kimberley Jarvis"
Fest Mag - "The raw simplicity of the staging of writer and director Emily Jenkins' play allows the breadth of feeling and imagery to breathe and come to life"

7:30pm
Sticky Door Katie Arnstein

From the multi-award-winning team that bought you the "exquisite" (The List) Sexy Lamp and Bicycles and Fish... <br/>“The 2014 plan was a simple one, I would “Casanova” myself around our nation's capital looking for consenting heterosexual adult males. One no-frills lover-man for every month. I was the original calendar girl. Helen Mirren plays me in the film.” <br/>In 2014 Katie was very sexually active. She was also extremely depressed. Join her as she examines whether the two things are connected. <br/>A storytelling show with songs about sex, stigma and cystitis. <br/>Sticky Door is the third part in Katie Arnstein’s It’s a Girl! trilogy. <br/>Catch Katie's other shows at VAULT 2020 as she presents three shows together for the first time on 16th February. Three. Because that's how trilogies work.<br/>https://vaultfestival.com/search/?term=katie+arnstein<br/>Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. Also supported by Pleasance Futures and Redbridge Drama Centre.

7:45pm
Bonnie Feckter Bettine Mackenzie

Bonnie Feckter is a work in progress solo show. <br/>It's about the way we record ourselves, what we choose to record, how we record it, and the things that can't really be recorded at all - like the day-to-day moments that go by. <br/>It's sort of about archives. <br/>There will be characters and invisible characters and scenes that explore what it's like to just be normal. And also, hopefully, some dancing and filing cabinets. <br/>Things said about previous work:<br/>“An impressive range and ability to become different characters... a joy to watch”
- Scotsman
“Uncanny, intense and brilliantly entertaining... I am instantly entranced"
- FringeReview
“Unravelling narratives that become unnervingly realistic.... you’ll find technique and emotion in equal measure"
-Stage

7:50pm
Everybody Cares, Everybody Understands Papercut Theatre

"You think you're the only person that's ever felt like this? What makes you so special?<br/>Lou has a problem.
Lou is a problem.
She's moody. Impulsive. Unstable. A pain in the arse.
Her mental illness won't fit into an inspirational story of redemption. She doesn't eat enough kale. She doesn't do enough yoga.
Why can't she just be happy?<br/>When an act of desperation brings her into conflict with her family and friends, Lou starts to wonder where her mental illness ends and she begins. Played by an inclusive and eclectic ensemble of actors, Everybody Cares, Everybody Understands follows Lou as she tries to make sense of her condition and her place in the world.<br/>Melissa Dunne's inky black comedy explores mental health in a world that prefers easy answers to uncomfortable truths. Included in Lyn Gardner's 'Top Picks of VAULT Festival'.<br/>Produced by Papercut Theatre who brought the acclaimed Lola and Dangerous Lenses to Vault Festival 2019.

8:15pm
Ed Night (Work in Progress) Individual Artist Management

Following a sell-out run at last year’s Vault festival, critically acclaimed stand up comedian Ed Night is back to road test a brand new show that will hopefully not detract from his critical acclaim. “Bleakly funny” - The Guardian. “As far as comedy goes, he’s pretty much cracked it” - The Scotsman. “Sexually ambiguous” - Edinburgh Festivals Magazine. As seen on Comedy Central.

8:30pm
Sam Lake: Cake (Work in Progress) Sam Lake

Sam Lake, "A thoroughly engaging larger-than-life personality" (Steve Bennett, Chortle) brings his debut show, Cake, to VAULTS Festival.<br/>In 2018, Sam got engaged and started planning a wedding to climate change scientist, David. A match made in heaven. But before he and David say the "I Do’s, Sam has to look back on his journey to this point and ask himself the hard questions: Where does he stand in LGBT community as a gay man now? Did he accomplish all he set out to do before settling down? Will his Dad say "David's an odd name for a bride..."?<br/>Winner of Leicester Square new Comedian of The Year 2018, Featured on BBC Radio 4 Xtra, VICE & LADBible, die-hard fan of the Eurovision Song Contest, join Sam for what promises to be a hilarious and cheeky hour of stand-up comedy. A piece of cake!

8:40pm
Joz Norris: You Build The Thing You Think You Are (Work in Progress) Joz Norris

Critically-acclaimed and award-winning comic and maker-of-things Joz Norris (Comedians' Choice Award for Best Show 2019) spent 5 years trying to express a feeling at the centre of his head, and made a show in 2019 that finally achieved it and became one of the word-of-mouth hits of the Edinburgh Fringe.<br/>Now he's given voice to the feeling he always struggled to close his hand around, he has to figure out what to do next, and that's got him thinking about how we all figure out who we are. You build yourself either by adding, or by taking away. Joz has been adding for 30 years, and maybe it's time to start removing to see what's at the centre of it all.<br/>"You spend your life building the thing you think you are, then something happens that smashes it to bits." - Nick Cave<br/>"A beautifully fully-fleshed depiction of the human experience." - Shortcom
"A comedy legend." - To Do List
"One of the most joyously creative shows you will see this Fringe." - Young Perspective
One of the Guardian's Recommended Shows of EdFringe 2019.

8:40pm
SPLINTERED Lagahoo Productions

Carnival is rebellion, through rebellion we find joy. Caribbean people have a tendency to celebrate through hard times, and here we are - celebrating and trying to unpack what it means to be queer in a homophobic culture. It’s a carnival dance party littered with sad truths and joyful lies<br/>Welcome to SPLINTERED, the queer carnival party! Sprinkled with sad truths and joyful lies and based upon interviews with queer women in Trinidad & Tobago, this is a show unlike any other to grace the Edinburgh Fringe. Carnival is a celebration despite and in spite of oppression. How does one deal with coming out in a homophobic culture? With a party, duh. Expect a form-breaking, joy-inducing cabaret with plenty wining and a f*cktonne of glitter – “come free up yuhself”!<br/>Lagahoo Productions are a New Diorama Theatre Emerging Company 2019/20, and a Soho Theatre Young Company. SPLINTERED is Lagahoo’s inaugural show, and hope it can make a small but vital step in providing more space for Caribbean artists on British stages.<br/>SPLINTERED is generously supported by Arts Council England.

8:50pm
RAD Party The Free Association

We're having a party - and we're bringing free booze and even freer VIPs to this raucously irresponsible improvised comedy show. Every show is different - and inspired by your wildest and weirdest party stories.
Past special guests include Mae Martin, Steen Raskopoulos, Phil Wang, Tom Neenan & others.<br/>GUESTS NOW ANNOUNCED:<br/>Thursday 13th Feb with special guests MAX and IVAN
Saturday 15th Feb with special guests MAE MARTIN, TOM NEENAN, and JACK BARRY<br/>This show is one of a series of hit improv shows presented by The Free Association in a two-week VAULT takeover. Other shows include Jacuzii, SORRY, The Nearly News Show, The Badge: An Improvised Cop Show, The Nearly News Show, Starry Starry Eyes, Important Art, LGBTQFA and Minority Report. Book two for £15 or three for £20 as part of The Free Association Package Deal.

9:00pm
Bible John THESE GIRLS in association with The Pleasance

4 stars There is a woman. She’s always late, sat on her bed, clicking through article after article on serial killers; you probably know her, you might even be her.  She is one of four temps, each sitting quietly at their desk, all listening to the same podcast.  And they’re not a alone - a growing number of people (particularly women) are fascinated by serial killers, and a host of podcasts, TV shows and online articles recount and analyse cases solved and unsolved. Read the full review.

1969 at the Barrowlands Ballroom in Glasgow, three women are murdered by an Old Testament-quoting serial killer, later nicknamed Bible John. He has never been caught.<br/>In 2019, four temps discover they share a morbid obsession with true crime, and with one podcast in particular: a reinvestigation into the Bible John murders by American journalist Carrie LaRue. As their fascination takes hold, they immerse themselves into the world of 1960s Glasgow, in an attempt to solve the case once and for all.<br/>Bible John is partly a retelling of one of Scotland’s darkest unsolved crimes, but is more broadly an interrogation into the ethics of true crime as entertainment, and the reasons why women in particular are so hungry for stories that has the victimisation of other women at their heart. It’s a riotous, furious, joyful exploration into violence and gender, weaving film, movement, and text, from Charlie Hartill Recipients - THESE GIRLS.

9:00pm
Rhubarb Ghetto inkjockey LTD

Rhubarb Ghetto is a raw, explosive story set in a graffiti-strewn underpass in London featuring the characters of Billy and Scarlet.<br/>Billy is a gang leader tying up loose ends before disappearing to escape the clutches of a mysterious character named Pavel. Scarlet is the mother of their 15-year-old child Alfie.<br/>Rhubarb Ghetto is an intimate portrayal of a relationship two decades in the making. It looks at choices and lost opportunities. It poses uncertain futures for the characters against the backdrop of life in London where rich and poor live side by side. It looks at the turf-war at the heart of the capital and the gentrification that has replaced council estates with hipsters, coffee culture, and urban allotments.<br/>Life in London can change dramatically in the length of a single underpass. Luxury flats on one side. Gangs and drugs on the other. <br/>Whichever side of the underpass we live on defines our choices and our future. But in the shadow of City Hall, we all live in the Rhubarb Ghetto.<br/>VAULT Festival 2020 will be the world premiere of Rhubarb Ghetto.

9:15pm
Comedy Swingers Party 2020 Comedy Swingers Party 2020

You know when your partner takes you to a party and then everyone starts putting their car keys in a bowl and pairing off with Carol from number forty -two’s husband Clive while you’re standing there holding a bowl of nachos cos you didn’t realise it was gonna be that kind of night?
This is that kind of night.
With comedy.
The names of sixty of your favourite sketch, character and stand up performers are put in a hat. From that 12 brand new sketch groups are created.
The only rule? They can’t work with anyone they have worked with before.
It’s not cheating if their partner knows about it right?
Each group has to come up with a 12 minute set of never seen before material and you the audience are gonna get to judge who the best is on the night.
The winning team each week will go on to fight it out in the final for the title of Comedy Swingers 2020.<br/>Heat One - Sat 8th Feb<br/>Group One<br/>Amy Gledhill - The Delightful Sausage
Kat Butterfield – Northern Power Blouse
Tom Burgess – Sam and Tom
Raphael Wakefield<br/>Group Two<br/>Chris Cantrill – The Delightful Sausage
Ed MacArthur
Natasha Granger – Swipe Right Theatre
Joz Norris
Pete Simpson - Pojj<br/>Group Three<br/>Anna Leong Brophy - Egg
Phillipa Carson – Just These Please
Rajiv Karia
Sam Nicoresti – Sam and Tom<br/>Group Four<br/>Alex Fox
Luke Rollason - Privates
Anna Piper – Hot Mess
Katie Davison – Next Best Thing<br/>Group Five<br/>Jordan Mitchell - Pelican
Marina Bye - Siblings
Seayonce
Conor Jatter – RH Experience
Len Blanco<br/>Heat Two - Sat 15th Feb<br/>Group One<br/>Ania Magliano
Frankie Thompson
Susie Scott – Bang Average Theatre
Serena Flynn<br/>Group Two<br/>Anna O'Grady – Anna and Helen
Alex Lynch
James Alexander - Pojj
Will Sebag-Montefiore – Just These Please<br/>Group Three<br/>Will Dixon – The RH Experience
Emma Hinds - Toucan
Isa Bonachera
Mark Jones - Sisters
Stuart Laws<br/>Group Four<br/>Hughie Stanley - Pojj
Jacob Lovick - LoveHard
Sinead Parker – Norris and Parker
Joshua George Smith – Sleeping Trees
Lucy Miller – M

9:15pm
Alex Kealy: Rationale Alex Kealy

Political comedian and 'rising star of the British stand-up scene' (List) Alex Kealy explores the emotional roots of our rational thoughts. <br/>'A storming show from the whimsical funnyman' (Sunday Times)
Top 10 Jokes of the Fringe 2019 - The Guardian
Top 10 Jokes of the Fringe 2019- The Telegraph
'This is clever comedy... you've done yourself some internal damage from laughing so much' **** (Shortcom)
"Different and unique...a must-see at the fringe" - **** (Broadway Baby)
'Hilarious... fresh, insightful, and original...a great hour of cerebral stand-up' **** (FringeGuru).
'Well thought out and insightful... very enjoyable hour of comedy' **** (TheatreWeekly) 'Ferociously quick-witted' **** (EdFringeReview).
'This is intelligent, informative, funny stuff from an important voice' (ThreeWeeks)

9:20pm
Cara Vita: A Clown Concerto Felicity Hesed

“Cara Vita: A Clown Concerto” is a solo physical theatre piece which explores the joys, sorrows, and hilarity of romance, relationships, and child-rearing. Created and performed by Felicity Hesed, this comedy offers a uniquely female perspective on the struggles of maintaining one’s identity in the midst of family life. “Cara Vita: A Clown Concerto” incorporates live music, circus, and magic to spin a whimsical tale of love and loss. Felicity Hesed is joined on stage by violinist Clare Armenante who creates an invigorating and masterful soundscape. Felicity Hesed developed this innovative and interactive show in collaboration with award-winning Director Jeff Raz. "Cara Vita" is both a deeply personal and universally human story. <br/> "...a hilarious, heartbreaking and sexy piece of clown theater." (Cirque du Soleil star, Jeff Raz)<br/>“Felicity Hesed is an absolute delight... thoughtfully, playfully, lovingly, joyfully taking us along for the ride.” -- Steve Smith (Emmy Award winner, Clown Hall of Fame inductee, and Big Apple Circus Director)<br/>“Felicity Hesed’s 'Cara Vita' is a cleverly crafted solo piece incorporating music, clowning and movement into one thoroughly entertaining show. Filled with fun surprises, Hesed’s sharp comic timing will keep you laughing and wondering what will come next. But underneath the silliness is an achingly sincere exploration of marriage and motherhood as seen through the eyes of an artist, asking a question that many can relate to: what happens to your art when life gets in the way?” -- Genie Cartier (Founder of Bow & Arrow Circus Theatre Collective)

9:45pm
Sadia Azmat (Work in Progress) Individual Artist Management

Sadia Azmat is a stand-up comedian from East London. Wearing a headscarf she found a way of making herself even more diverse without realising what a nightmare of identity politics she was getting herself into. After making herself appear more visibly Muslim - terrorism really took off and she was kind of left stuck in the middle. With the narratives that revolve around Asian women being either those of the traditional victim or the so-called woke social justice warriors Sadia has never fit in.
This has been worsened by the secret shame she carried growing up of her father having two wives and trying to mother her mother with mental illness.
She never really got to live a life of her own for herself but is determined now to do just that - free of other people's expectations and judgements. Join Sadia in finding out whether she gets the D or just keeps takings Ls.<br/>Sadia is a British Asian comedian tackling sex, relationships and identity in her no holds barred style.<br/>Host of BBC Sounds No Country For Young Women - nominated best new podcast at 2019 awards.<br/>BBC Radio 2 ‘My Single Life’

10:00pm
Privates: A Sperm Odyssey Bright Buoy

Three idiots dress up as sperm to bring you an adventure as big as life itself, in a "physical" comedy from the pr*cks behind Planet Earth III (SOHO Theatre, ***** ED FEST MAG).<br/>Faced with teaching year 9 about safe sex, three hapless sex education teachers take the audience on a journey into genitalia, where they perform as all 300 million sperm in the testicles. These plucky Privates must survive basic training, hostile white blood cells and the most dramatic ejaculation sequence ever seen onstage to be the first to fertilise the egg and become a beautiful baby. <br/>Imagine Saving Private Ryan meets the sex ed you wish you had, and they don't wear adequate protection. Nine months later, out pops Privates - a funny, fantastical and very frank look at how we talk about sex, and why.