Today's full programme, more choices & comment

If This Is Normal Chatback Theatre

Growing up in Kilburn, siblings Madani, Maryam and school mate Alex hit it off from the moment they meet. 10 years later, playful chats about ninja turtles and bobble pens have been kicked out by teen opinions powered by podcasts, porn and politics. Still, best friends can talk about anything. So why are there suddenly so many unspoken thoughts between the three? A critically acclaimed play direct from the Edinburgh Fringe 2019 about teenagers crashing into the modern world.<br/>****'Powerfully performed by a first-rate cast it's a funny sugar-rush of exceptional energy' The Scotsman
**** 'Superb coming-of-age tale...brilliantly done' The Wee Review
***** 'Four days into the Festival, and I might have found the best piece of Fringe theatre I’m likely to see this year' The Fountain

Alexa, Play. Connick & Schuller

The case of Christine and Lea Papin has fascinated artists and writers alike for almost a century. In Alexa, Play., the case is reimagined and brought to the modern day by handing Christine’s role in the murder of their employee, to Amazon’s Alexa. Has Alexa updated to an emotional, manipulative being or has Annie, an overworked PA, given Alexa human attributes to cope with her ever demanding and abusive boss?

Beige Magna

Alex is funny. That’s what Lila says at least. But it’s more embarrassing coming from yer mum right? “It’s genetic, Hun. I’m f**king funny me.” <br/>You know that thing when yer dad’s a philandering absentee, yer relationships are forever on the wonk and the binary don’t apply? Yeh, that’s Alex on the daily.<br/>Thank f**k for Lila.<br/>Alex and their mum are both just trying to do life. Some days it’ll make them wanna punch through a wall, on others they’ll find themselves slow-dancing in an art gallery. Whatever gets ‘em through ya know? <br/>In this half-play, half stand-up gig, Anna Wheatley explores the art of being human in a world obsessed with boxes. You might do a laugh. You might do a cry. You might join hands and stick two fingers up to society. <br/>Director: Jessica Daniels (Girl From The North Country)

motherEarth ThisEgg

A goodbye to the world and a goodbye to our mums. There will be a lot of dancing and a lot of singing. There will be a lot of noise. This is a brand new work in progress performance from the makers of Fringe First Award 2018 winning dressed.

My Mother Runs in Zig Zags Coriander Theatre

This play is about a mother who lived through the Lebanese civil war, and her daughter, who has not. It’s about the way this mother speaks to her daughter about trauma, and about the funny, heart-breaking stories which she tells as one would tell a fairy tale, or what happened that day at the supermarket. This play is about silence, and everything that is never mentioned. It's about how we use stories, laughter, and silence to heal, and how they prevent us from healing.<br/>With humour and an original live music score, it explores the ways a queer daughter interacts with these stories, how they shape and clash with her life in the West, and how slowly, softly, she can find agency inside them.<br/> All the stories in the play are based on real conversations between a daughter and her mother, a refugee who survived the Lebanese civil war.

Father’s Son James Morton

1974. A shattering and inconvenient truth. <br/>2001. An act of extraordinary violence.<br/>2018. The severing of family ties. <br/>This restless, tender and deeply personal new play wrestles with the trauma inherited from father to son with sharp focus on how this shapes who we are. Spanning three generations, Father's Son examines how the unresolved trauma, toxic behaviours and poor mental health ripple through a working class family in Stoke. <br/>James Morton is an urgent and necessary working class voice and makes his professional debut at VAULT Festival.<br/>“James Morton is a writer of real and rare talent and humanity. He is restlessly searching, deeply compassionate and as fucking funny as he is truthful. In the future you will be definitely boasting about seeing his early plays.” (Simon Stephens)<br/>Father's Son was developed through the National Theatre's Toolkit programme and Soho Writers' Lab. It was shortlisted for the Tony Craze Award in 2018.

Dumbledore Is So Gay Robert Holtom & Tom Wright

It ain't easy being Jack. He hates French, he got sorted into Hufflepuff on the official online quiz and he's in love with his best friend Ollie. But dodging bullies, keeping secrets and trying to get the man is too much for Jack to take. So he pulls out his trusty Time Turner and does it all over again. Maybe this time he'll get into Gryffindor.<br/>Dumbledore Is So Gay is a witty, poignant and contemporary coming-of-age drama for the naughties. Written by Robert Holtom (The Cluedo Club Killings, The Quest) and directed by Tom Wright (Undetectable, My Dad's Gap Year).<br/>For those who love fantasy and those who don't, for the LGBTQ+ community and its allies, and for anyone who loves a good laugh and maybe a little cry. Join Jack as he tries to be true to himself in a world so full of prejudice and indifference.

LIMBO Sara Carinhas

L I M B O is a show made of music, dance and auto-biographical stories. A group of young actors, from different nationalities, try to share little fragments, moments, that changed something within them forever. The line drawn between fiction and reality is blurry, real depositions and tales are mixed up.
The fact that L I M B O is a site specific show adds a different sense of occupation, both for the actors and the audience.
It may be a show about friendship, or about getting old fast (the endless fight of Humanity against Nature), or even about the fear of disappearing, of giving up - to sleep... and to fear never waking up again.

Milo Edwards (Work in Progress) Milo Edwards

A new work-in-progress stand-up show from ex-Cambridge Footlight Milo Edwards, a follow up to his award-winning 2019 show 'Pindos' (about his years as a TV comedian in Russia), this time about being in love and out of it and the relationships that define us.<br/>- ‘We need comedians like Milo Edwards' - ScotsGay *****
- ‘An intelligent, thought provoking hour’ - Broadway Baby ****
- ‘Keeps you hooked throughout... a sharp wit’ - Bruce Dessau, ****
- Winner: ScotsGay Comedy Award (EdFringe 2019)

Wigs Snatched, Perceptions Destroyed Erinn Dhesi

You need 'Wigs Snatched, Perceptions Destroyed'! A show that will teach you to:<br/>- Turn #ClinicalDepression into a #MinimalistAesthetic!<br/>- Cultivate a strong #instagay vibe to prevent girls on Hinge from ghosting you!<br/>- Come up with content ideas that will transform you into a woke Intersectional Feminist, including scripted apologies for your eventual demise because someone found racist/homophobic/sexist (delete as appropriate) tweet from Year 10!<br/>Like, subscribe and book your ticket huns x

Blow: A Deaf Girl’s Fight Tramp

A Deaf girl fights prejudice in a tough 80s boxing gym. Part play. Part immersive show. Part musical. <br/>A finalist in Pleasance Theatre's Charlie Hartill Award, Blow challenges how we treat d/Deaf and disabled people on stage, screen, and in real life. <br/>When 18 year old deaf girl Hannah wants to join Dennison’s Boxing Gym, she’s shunned by the boxers because of her disability, until trainer Bradley takes her under his wing. Blow follows Hannah’s journey from outcast to championship contender.<br/>A punchy 55 minute show that’s part play, part immersive, and part musical, Blow asks tough questions of the audience about how d/Disabled people are portrayed on stage and screen, and how society treats them in real life.<br/>All shows are BSL interpreted.

Special Guest Special Guest

Special Guest is the open mic night where anything goes. Anyone can take the stage to share anything for 60 seconds.<br/>Expect creative talks, shower thoughts, wild stories, searching questions, big ups, idea birthing, talent showcasing, deep and meaningfuls, and more. <br/>Previously, members of the audience have taken the mic to... share their grandma’s wisdom, read an ode to plantain, observe one minute of silence, ask for help, say what they wish they’d said to their ex, get feedback on an idea, make it rain, thank their mum, read an apology to their vagina, sing happy birthday to their mate, talk about their deepest fear, serenade the audience, co-write the first few lines of a book, and much more.<br/>How the event works:<br/>Listen, clap, cheer. Support your fellow special guests.
Share something on stage for 60 seconds: a thought, a feeling, an idea, a story, your party trick, anything goes! (optional) <br/>Want to come but not sure what to share? Come anyway. Sit back, listen, and enjoy the ride. If you feel inspired, you can take the mic whenever feels right. Speaking is optional.<br/>Proceeds from this Special Guest event will support the work of Restless Development (charity no. 1127488). Restless Development work with young people so that they can lead in solving some of the world’s biggest challenges, including preventing HIV.<br/>This event is supported and sponsored by WeAreWaterloo. WeAreWaterloo is a Business Improvement District (BID). Voted for and supported by local businesses, WeAreWaterloo are a not-for-profit company with the sole purpose of improving Waterloo as a place to work, visit and reside.<br/>In honour of International Women’s Day (8th March), we are encouraging you all to shine a light on, share a memory of or simply chat about your experiences of being a woman.

Life and Death of a Journalist Jingan Young, Alex Chang and Archie Macleod

Inspired by Hong Kong reporters LIFE AND DEATH OF A JOURNALIST follows LAURA (Lucy Roslyn, 'Orlando') a reporter who returns to London after covering the Hong Kong protests only to be offered a job of a lifetime by editor VICKY (Melissa Woodbridge). But there's one catch to this golden opportunity. The newspaper begins to increasingly censor itself to appease its Chinese investor. <br/>Will LAURA sacrifice her relationship with Hong Kong born MARK in order to change it from the inside? The play looks at journalism from a female perspective and tackles China's tightening grip on freedom of speech (as seen in the Guardian). Directed by Max Lindsay.

Orange in the Subway Orange-You-Glad & Burt Dingles Unconscious Productions

You might laugh, you might cry, or you might be dead inside - Who are we to judge?<br/>'Ere lands a young comic genius, whose stage is a cold Cardiff pavement.
Will the Orange glow of the street lamp shine a brutally funny truth on the magic around her, or highlight the mundane?<br/>W**kers to G*ds. Cardiff to Outer space. Obsolete to Oranges. <br/>We have a laugh don't we! Why not come see.<br/>"Like a philosophy lesson that doesn't wreak your head"<br/>"It had fire. No really, it had real fire. Flames. Its the real deal"<br/>"Homelessness has gone up by 300% and this discusses in a compassionate and vibrant way- that the homeless, are just people, like you and me" - One of the cast's mam.<br/>*****

Max & Ivan: Commitment Max & Ivan

Say ‘I do’ to the triumphant return of Edinburgh Comedy Award-nominees Max & Ivan, as seen in BBC One’s W1A and heard on BBC Radio 4’s The Casebook of Max & Ivan.<br/>Commitment is the TRUE STORY of the unreasonable lengths one best man (Max) will go to in order to give one groom (Ivan) the greatest weekend of his life.<br/>It’s a show about dreaming big, growing up, and trying – but ultimately very much failing - to make it in the band.<br/>Directed by three time Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee Kieran Hodgson.<br/>‘A doozy of a comedy show... terrific’ **** Guardian
‘Astonishing gag rate... Commitment is a thing of joy’ ****½ Chortle
'An ingenious, affectionate two-man spectacular' **** Times
***** Theatre Weekly ***** RGM ***** Rule of Three
**** Wee Review **** Beyond The Joke **** Skinny
**** List **** Fest **** BroadwayBaby **** BroadwayWorld

Killing It Josephine Starte, Lily McLeish and Ameena Hamid Productions Ltd

A young man goes missing at sea.<br/>His girlfriend does what the traditions of her culture demand and turns her loss into a stand-up show.<br/>His mother takes comfort from her YouTube audience and her son’s best friend.<br/>His grandmother is not paying attention because she is busy plotting the assassination of the US president.<br/>KILLING IT is a comitragedy about the pressure to make grief useful.<br/>Written by Josephine Starte. Longlisted for the Bruntwood Prize. Starring industry veteran, Janet Henfrey. Directed by Lily McLeish.
Produced in association with Ameena Hamid Productions Ltd

Zoo Lily Bevan/Anteater

After hit runs at Assembly, Edinburgh and Theatre 503 - 'Zoo' returns to the stage to coincide with publication by Nick Hern (text available for sale at VAULT 2020).<br/>Welcome to ‘Cherokee Valley Zoo and Conservation Centre’, where the most dangerous event to ever take place was the Tapir's caesarian section. But when a hurricane heads straight for Miami, Bonnie rushes to keep her animals safe. Across the world in the Yorkshire dales – Carol feels the repercussions. However, the danger turns out to be deeper and darker than the weather.<br/>A play about 'climate change' both in the weather and in the discussion of the female experience, our relationships to the natural world, and perceptions of a life well lived.<br/>What do you do when you’ve always liked animals more than people and suddenly those animals are under threat? How do the decisions we make in a crisis shape our destiny?<br/>Sometimes our loyalty and commitment make us who we are... sometimes we drink too many margaritas and go home with Ian Butterwick, giant otter expert and notorious zoo lothario.<br/>From Lily Bevan - co-writer of Talking to Strangers w/Sally Phillips (BBC Radio 4) and writer/performer of Pheasant Plucker (Edinburgh sellout 2015) comes this glorious story of two complex, funny, awkward women. A tale of tragedy, courage, flamingoes and the need to escape.

Tamar Broadbent: Role Play (Work in Progress) Tamar Broadbent

A brand new stand-up comedy show from Tamar Broadbent (BBC Radio 4, Comedy Central, Boom Chicago). <br/>Tamar's had a truly international year. She's been working at improv theatre Boom Chicago in Amsterdam, where she has an American housemate, a Canadian boyfriend, and has been attempting to decipher Dutch people. <br/>Living in Europe in the wake of Brexit, running from the past and navigating nearly turning 30, Tamar has been on many new adventures, including revelatory non-drinking marathons and accidentally signing up with a very kind and ineffective personal trainer. Join her for this heartfelt and joyful comedy show that tackles some of life's biggest dilemmas: the Pomeranian versus the Great Dane? are we doomed to follow the patterns of our parents? and whose job is it to deal with the house ghost? <br/>***** EdFestMag. ***** Female Arts. ***** Broadway Baby. ***** West End Frame. ***** Forge. **** The Australia Times. **** Fest. **** The Stage. **** The Skinny. **** One4Review. **** LondonTheatre1.

Nigel Ng (Work in Progress) Off the Kerb

Join Nigel Ng (as seen on Mock the Week, Romesh Presents, and Comedy Central's Roast Battle) as he road-tests material for a brand-new show. Best Newcomer Nominee in the Edinburgh Comedy Awards 2019, and tipped as 'One To Watch' in 2019 by Chortle.
"Observational humour at its best" - Voice ****