Today's full programme, more choices & comment

Too Pretty To Punch Edalia Day

A comedy spoken word show about gender, the media and not fitting any of the boxes, full of explosive movement, original songs and kickass video projection. Edalia Day is a banjo wielding, poetry slam winning, trans warrior, taking on the world one troll at a time. <br/>Too Pretty To Punch is a hilarious and uplifting journey through what it means to be trans in 21st century Britain. It reminds all of us (regardless of who we are) of the power of celebrating our existence.<br/>"Head-spinning, joyful, painful, funny - and I loved the tech. It's a blast from and to the heart." - Chris Thorpe<br/>Edalia is a transgender/non-binary spoken word artist, animator and theatre maker based in Norwich. Trained at Lecoq and Alra, their theatre is visually stunning, with physical comedy and a child like sense of play at the heart of everything they make.<br/>?Writer/Performer/Animator: Edalia Day
Composer: Billie Bottle
Artists: B Mure & Jack Kelly
Set Design: Leo Calder
Stage manager: David Calder
Poster Design: David Cousens<br/>The finale includes poetry, video and audio contributions from 15 transgender and/or nonbinary poets from all over the world:<br/>Lee Mokobe, Ashe Vernon, Cairo Nevitt, Ash Palmisciano Robbie Masters, Adriana Scott Newsum, Leo George, George Cook, Millie Quick, Sez Thomasin, Jay Hulme, Carey Wood-Duffy, Kit Rayne, Kay Kassirer.

Chyna Weave Stories

Chyna is 14. She’s a dancer. She touches sound.<br/>She is a Deaf performer. Come and meet her as she tells her story.<br/>In this multimedia dance production, mixing a video documentary with a live solo performance, she takes us on a journey through her daily life, immersing us in her world as she uses all her senses. Deafness is not a disability here but the opportunity to experience the world differently. Resonating in all of us, this show is accessible to both hearing and non-hearing audiences, without the use of translation. <br/>Created in collaboration with Oak Lodge, a specialist school for the D/deaf in Balham and Deaf Dance Artist Chisato Minamimura, this performance aims at bridging the D/deaf and hearing communities. <br/>We welcome audience feedback following the performance.

Our Man In Havana Spies Like Us Theatre

Havana, Cuba! A Cold War world of suspicion, suspense and silliness. Amidst the sultry climes of Havana our heroes twirl, twitch and tango away from enemy agents, MI6 and the truth. Jim Wormold, a run-of-the-mill vacuum cleaner salesman turned accidental spy, resorts to fabricating ludicrous military reports in order to save his business and satisfy his decadent daughter, beginning a hilarious and improbable rise to the top of the British Secret Service. By popular demand, Spies Like Us return with their award-winning sell-out hit which will leave you gasping for breath and an ice-cold daiquiri.<br/>SELL-OUT Edinburgh Festival Fringe Show 2017
WINNER of Theatre Weekly's 'Best Fringe Debut' award 2017<br/>***** "Unmissable... This wouldn't be out of place on the West End" - Everything Theatre
***** “If you are a fan of spy thrillers, British comedies or loved The 39 Steps, then this is the show for you” – British Theatre Guide
**** “Quite simply, a joy” - Broadway Baby
**** “An incredibly funny production” - Theatre Weekly
**** "An immensely enjoyable theatrical experience" - The 730 Review

Lòng M? (Mother’s Soul) VanThanh Productions

Two different stories tied together by one commonality, their Vietnamese mothers. Lòng M?, which translates into Mother’s Soul/Heart/Love takes you on two very personal journeys; a son coming to terms with the lengths his mother takes to provide for him, even if it means a brush with the law, and a daughter seeing her mother in a new light through her own impending motherhood. This is a tender love letter to all mothers whose love, sacrifice, wit, and steel are what makes us who we are, whether we like it or not.

Closed Lands LegalAliens Theatre

Why is the ‘free world’ obsessed with walls ?<br/>A unique fusion of poetry, satire, reportage, multimedia and traveller’s diary, Closed Lands traces the history of modern walls - real and metaphorical - from Berlin to Mexico to Europe. <br/>Beginning in 1989 with the euphoria for the fall of the wall - "the end of shame", as it was described - it moves in space and time to Mexico, the Sahara desert, and the wall of water surrounding "Fortress Europe", ending with the wall of bureaucracy faced by asylum seekers.<br/>LegalAliens' powerful and evocative production features the cast rotating through the roles of migrant, politician, citizen, CEO and a VIP bot, all part of a perverse and random mechanism. A live camera projects part of the action on screen, as our lives become increasingly part of a gigantic video game in which even the most dramatic situations - boats crossing the Med, border control techniques, the selling of weapons - can be sold to the public as glamorous products. <br/>Based on factual research and testimonies, and performed by actors who are all migrants in the UK, Closed Lands chronicles the "Free world's" obsession with walls and our journey back to shame. <br/>This is the English premiere of Closed Lands (Terres Closes), by award-winning playwright Simon Grangeat and performed by an all female international cast. <br/>Presented in co-production with Exchange Theatre and part of "Migrations Harbour Europe", an ACE funded project to promote plays from across the continent focusing on migrant voices and experiences in a non cliched and theatrically original manner.

In Our Bones Diniwe and the Hadedas

"We wander the sunset plains, like nomads awaiting the rains".<br/>Three musicians and a painter imagine an astonishing and beautiful vision of hope in ecological crisis.<br/>Processed through formulae and machine, set free in imagination and music, Diniwe and the Hadedas explode a single poem by Don Paterson in a song-cycle that speaks of migration, landscape, roots, heritage and home. A multimedia collaboration collaging voices, song, poetry and paint, calling for action on the most pressing issue in the last ten million years. Profound, ridiculous and beautiful.<br/>"Tell us who we once were, we are not afraid of ourselves."<br/>Supported by Theatre Royal Plymouth

BIG Rebecca Dilg Productions

Society puts a lot of pressure on Fat Girl. All she wants to do is be with her soulmate Pizza. Instead, her mother signs her up for the reality show The Only Way Is Pretty. What will happen to Pizza when Fat Girl meets Hot Boy?
Big by Urvashi Bohra is a personal ode to pizzas and body positivity.

She Is A Place Called Home. Esohe Uwadiae

"Dad's getting married again. A second wife. As in, in addition to his first. <br/>(We were shocked too)."<br/>This is a gripping story about two sisters in the run up to their dad's marriage, as they rehearse the traditional Nigerian dance he's asked them to perform, all the while navigating the complexities that come with lies, love and bigamy. <br/>It explores what happens when religion and culture collide, under the spotlight of a family in crisis, and the things people do to try and survive.<br/>This thought-provoking play was developed as part of the VAULT Festival New Writers’ Programme 2019, led by Camilla Whitehill, and showcased during VAULT Festival 2019 in a sold-out show.<br/>She Is A Place Called Home is partnering with Solace Women's Aid, an innovative and grass roots charity that supports women and children who have experienced domestic and sexual violence to build safe and strong lives. After each performance, we will be holding a collection of donations and toiletries on Solace's behalf. Any contributions will be very appreciated.

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)

V&V Sprezzatura Productions

“I regret that you have been in bed, though not with me”<br/>Through carefully crafted letters that are awaited with anticipation, Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf begin an exquisite romance. Filled with sharp intelligence, wit and elegance, both iconic women’s letters conquer each other’s hearts through carefully chosen words inked onto a page - luckily, their husbands don’t mind. <br/>“You’re the first person I’ve seen on this app which isn’t posing with a dog, a baby, or in your bra.”<br/>In the overwhelmingly tangled world of dating apps Mia and Lottie meet online. Flirting through the beam of a phone screen, they navigate many challenges, including kiss politics - two x’s or three? When an emoji can change not just the tone of the conversation but the entire meaning of what you write, reading between the lines takes on a whole new meaning. <br/>Brought to you by Sprezzatura Productions, V&V charts two narratives: the iconic love story of literary treasure Virginia Woolf and esteemed socialite Vita Sackville-West; and a far newer story of Lottie from Tunbridge Wells and love cynic Mia. Shortlisted for the Charlie Hartill Theatre Reserve 2019, V&V makes its debut at VAULT festival 2020.

Maria Shehata: Hero PBJ LIVE

Failed love, crippling debt and living with an angry 83-year-old. Not exactly what Maria had in mind when she left LA for the UK. ‘A slick, gag-driven US-approach’ ( ‘A charming, engaging storyteller’ ( ‘I love Maria Shehata, she is funny on an off stage.’ (Bill Burr).

Ride Bottle Cap Theatre

5 stars “Everybody loves a show!” declares Annie Londonderry - the real-life Bostonian immigrant who, in 1894, accepted a wager to cycle around the world. And with this striking, fast-paced, thoughtful new musical, Bottle Cap Theatre deliver a show indeed. On the face of it, it’s a story of feminist empowerment - a celebration of a woman who had the confidence and chutzpah to out-balls the men. But there’s a flip-side to that brassiness. Given all that she’d genuinely achieved, why did she feel driven to tell so many outright lies? Read the full review.

One woman. One bicycle. One hell of a story.<br/>It’s 1895 and 24 year old Annie Londonderry has returned victorious to America, hailed as the first woman ever to cycle around the world.<br/>She’s pioneering, she’s plucky, and she's pitching her story to the New York World. But as she shares her adventures, the cracks begin to show, and she's forced to confront a past she'd rather leave unexplored. <br/>RIDE is the incredible true story of a young woman with big plans, and an even bigger imagination, from the award-winning team behind VAULT sell-out THE LIMIT (***** FringeGuru).

Kraken Unbound Productions

Welcome to an ocean full of plastic, giant squid, and opportunity.
Simon & Trixie work in a submersible mining station at the bottom of the sea. Their relationship is falling to pieces, but they can deal with that later. They just don’t want to be left behind in the climate crisis.
Every day, they dig up rare earth minerals which the planet needs for green batteries, electric cars, and new mobile phones. No one said going green would be easy.
It’s business as usual until they meet Archie – a giant squid. The loveable cephalopod has a lot to say about the big holes Simon and Trixie keep making in his home.
Kraken is a classic (and the only) underwater climate crisis capitalist-cephalopod romance. It’s a story about monsters, and what (or who) we’re prepared to throw away. It’s about going green but hurting the world around you. It’s about keeping up with catastrophe. It’s about wanting to love your planet, but not knowing how.
First and foremost, this is a play about what happens when a giant squid just might be your best friend. Or life partner.

Sequins and Lies (Work in Progress) Matt Tedford

"When I was 12 I told my father my favourite song was 'everything.' He replied "‘No! That’s too easy. You can't like everything, you need to be specific!" I was too embarrassed to tell him that 'Everything' was track 4 on the 1976 ‘A Star is Born’ Album."<br/>When Matt was young he idolised his father, but that didn't stop him leaving when he was 5 years old to start another family. At a loss for male role models, the precociously camp Matt turned to some alternate idols for support - Barbra, Shirley and Cher! Now as an adult, he's going to need those divas more than ever when he discovers that the half-brothers he's always sent Christmas presents to... have never been told he exists. Now, he needs to break the news to them that they've got an older brother, but can he reconcile his love of glitter and show tunes with his sport-loving, laddish new family?<br/>A fabulous comedy cabaret musical play from the creators of the cult hits Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho and Margaret Thatcher Queen of Game Shows about absent fathers, family secrets, brothers who've never met and Barbra Streisand. <br/>Written by Directed by Olivier Award-winner Jon Brittain (Rotterdam, A Super Happy Story About Feeling Super Sad, Baby Reindeer).

All Quiet on the Western Front Incognito Theatre Company

"We were eighteen years old, and just learning to love the world and being in it, and then we had to shoot it to bits."<br/>Following an international tour, the multi-award nominated and award winning Incognito Theatre Company return to VAULT Festival with their critically celebrated adaptation of Erich Remarque’s tale, exposing the harrowing reality of trench warfare. <br/>Told through the eyes of five classmates, this adaptation is gripping and unyielding in its treatment of the visceral brutality of war, an honesty that lends itself to Incognito Theatre’s unapologetically explosive physical style. 'All Quiet on the Western Front' focuses on the harsh physical reality of this violent world from the perspective of the German forces, intercut with the vulnerability of human experience. An exploration of raw humanity and the power of brotherhood in the face of total bleakness, Incognito's 'All Quiet on the Western Front' exposes the personal sacrifices that were made for the sake of the Great War. <br/>Three Weeks ***** "Enthralling, moving and fundamentally, beautifully human."

STAGES – a video game musical ALP

“Load in the world.” <br/>Player 1, Aiden, is sixteen, autistic, and loves video games. They can be repeated, mastered and controlled. But what happens if the game starts to glitch? In this interactive video game musical the audience take control and help Aiden navigate STAGES.<br/>Playable characters include: Ellie, Aiden’s sibling, who’s stuck deciding on which avatar to select. Owen, Aiden’s dad, who hovers over the restart button. Alice, Aiden’s mum, who faces her greatest challenge, the final boss.<br/>Featuring an original electronic 8-bit soundtrack and arcade style graphics, STAGES by Christian Czornyj examines what happens when the code of our lives is rewritten and the way the digital world interacts with our own. It is a bold new British musical that has to be played to be experienced.

WORK.txt Nathan Ellis

This is a show about work.
But the worker isn’t here, so it’s down to you.<br/>You’ll clock in at the beginning.
You’ll get short breaks at regular intervals.
You’ll work in a team, and under your own initiative. <br/>You will be your own boss.
You will be free.<br/>work.txt is a show performed entirely by the audience. A show that explores the gig economy, financial instability and automation.<br/>14+
Supported by Arts Council England

Andrew Ryan: Is Everything Alright At Home? (Work in Progress) Off The Kerb

2018 Winner of Best New Show at the Leicester Comedy Festival. Irishman Andrew Ryan rails against himself, and everything around him. Trying to understand why he thinks one way and does the opposite.
'Rapturously funny' **** - The List
'An hour of hilarious comedy' **** – Edinburgh Festivals Magazine