Today's full programme, more choices & comment
What if making a baby were as simple as ticking a box. <br/>In the not-too-distant present, gene splicing has taken the queer family to a whole new level. Sigrid and Jim are a normal couple - they laugh, they fight, they make up. But when it comes to starting a family, will their relationship stand the test-tube of time? <br/>Follow these two queer womxn as they navigate the edges of morality in a dystopian tale of genetic engineering, baby showers and losing love.
Mo is the newly elected Head of State of Nechora – a country so tiny, it’s literally not even on the map. Inspired to get into politics by the two women he admires the most – his beloved Grandnana and pop sensation Ariana Grande – Mo is now determined to host a world changing summit on the climate emergency. But when he receives the customary congratulatory calls from world leaders, his approach is so unorthodox and his country so politically insignificant that rather than discuss global affairs, the leaders instead begin unburdening themselves of their own personal problems. Suddenly, Mo finds himself the trusted therapist of the world’s most powerful leaders and soon realises that the fate of the entire planet rests in his hands...
On Arriving is a new one-woman play, exploring a young refugee’s fight for survival, as her country falls apart before her eyes. <br/>We are transported back and forth through memories as she shares her journey; from the familiarity of joking with friends and navigating young love, to what it means to lose loved ones and what we call home.<br/>Presented through a non-linear structure - reflecting the way we recall memories - this brave, poetic play looks at the human moments of one person’s choice to leave a place they have known their entire life, to set off for something unknown.<br/>Sophia Eleni performs with deep, personal connection to the story of home and war, her own family having been made refugees when fleeing Cyprus in 1974 after the Turkish invasion.<br/>The play is directed by Cat Robey, Deputy Artistic Director of Jermyn Street Theatre.<br/>It is written by Ivan Faute, an award winning playwright from the US, who has worked with Bosnian refugees in America and minority students in Vietnam, where he lived for several years.<br/>Praise for the earlier short version:<br/>“With Cat Robey directing, it is of course performed with compassion and care. Actress Sophia Eleni ably captures all the anger, frustration and desperation from having to leave the most important thing behind.” ????View From The Gods<br/>“A strongly performed and emotionally charged piece of theatre.” LondonTheatre1
The ‘remarkable’ (Scotsman) and bite-sized Jack AG Britton presents Mighty; a TED-talk-meets-theatre show that combines comedy, live music and spoken word to ask the big (or little) question: should we be taking Heightism more seriously?
Often whimsical, sometimes woeful, Mighty delves into masculinity, body image and mental health in a documentary performance that could just about make it onto the best rides at Alton Towers.
'Hilarious and thought provoking' **** Three Weeks
Joe has always been a nerd. As a kid he was unaware of it. As a teenager he hid it. As a twenty-something he owned it. But as Joe turned 30, two things occurred to him. Firstly, humanity had been given 12 years to save the world from climate chaos, and what was Joe doing? Playing games and watching films, that's what. Secondly, he'd always felt like the fandoms he belonged to gave him a community when he was isolated. But, as he looked closer, it seemed some of those communities had become perpetrators of the very things they once provided respite from. It's like Buzz Lightyear said: "You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain." Wait...what?<br/>Fanboy is a love-hate letter to the things we adore absolutely, unconditionally and obsessively. It also asks questions about the nature of fandom. Is our relationship with pop-culture and nostalgia preventing us from engaging with the present? Are we worshipping false gods? And - when Donald Trump claims he could shoot someone and not lose voters - just how far will fans go for their idols? <br/>Multi-award-winning Worklight Theatre (How to Start a Riot, Labels, Monster) return to VAULT Festival to present a work-in-progress of their brand new show. Written by Fringe First winner Joe Sellman-Leava, and directed by Yaz Al-Shaater, Fanboy is a blend of storytelling, comedy and performance art. Fast-paced, funny, and highly visual, expect mini-versions of your favourite films. Like Harry Potter in 60 seconds. The Marvel Cinematic Universe in 60 seconds. And Gone in 60 Seconds in 60 seconds. Expect hand-drawn fan-art filling the floor, slash fiction and haikus filling the air, and the smell of the 90s filling your nostrils...whatever that means.<br/>And expect more quotes, references and easter eggs than Pixar films have Randy Newman songs!
Meet Miss Donny.
Life hasn't quite turned out the way she thought it would when she accepted her sash and crown, stood on a podium in Trilogy nightclub back in 2007.
No-one goes out any more. Tinder is shit. And she's pretty sure her dad is dying.
Things couldn't get much worse. Until she sits on a Cactus...
Do you remember the last time you were held? Like really held?<br/>I don’t mean that awkward quick wrap of the arms we feel we need to do when greeting someone, or that weird mistimed was it a hug or handshake business. I mean really held. Yeah, Me neither.<br/>The truth is I think we're scared. We are scared to touch, to hold, to be held, to give in, to let go. Why is it that in a world where we are the most "connected" we feel the most alone?<br/>What if what we are missing isn’t a pill to swallow or a pillow to scream in? What if all we need is a cuddle? In fact, human touch releases a cocktail of chemicals in our brain which contributes to reduced anxiety levels, immune support, reduced blood pressure and lowers cortisol levels.<br/>“The Art of Cuddling and Other Things.” explores topics such as human touch, connection, loneliness and isolation using high level acrobatics, dance and theatre. Combining artforms to produce images that allow us to look into ourselves and each other.
In an age of global mobility, what does it mean to be “home”? It’s a question that’s asked a lot these days - but never quite in the way that Tal Naveh’s chosen for this stylish, evocative show. Her story stars three women, and a big pile of sand: a versatile and malleable medium, which the performers shape and play with throughout their hour on stage. Sometimes they use it as a literal sand-pit, sometimes they shape it like tufts of meringue, yet later, under a colder light, it might be the dust of the tomb.
From the heart of the sea is a devised live performance that explores the concept of land through the physical and emotional connection with home. <br/>We invite the audience into a playful experience of touching sea stories through materials.
At the show we are looking for partners to swim with us in the sea.
It's scary, sometimes wild and deep and we don't know how to paddle.<br/>We can share how we learn to swim
and who choose where the border will pass
and in which country we are now.<br/>We invite you to a space where touching, laughing and crying is allowed.
A moment to look back at where we came from, and where we are now.<br/>We will change houses but take with us the ground.
No more playing alone, because soon you will come
and my sandcastle will become your grave
and your grave will become my garden.
The Kabobot fight will land everywhere and
the brooms will clean what they can, but our pieces
will hide at the corners, deep in the heart of the sea.<br/>So let's build a home together just for a second.
To feel comfortable on the sofa and tell each other about a bad dream
or sing a happy song when we are sad.
We will keep telling the stories that play here with building and destroying, mum and dad, salt and water
The survivors of the sea and the ones that are swallowed by it.
The philosophical musings of an existential fool. Omar used to be on the left, his new position is ‘The Transcendental Centre’, think Lib Dem on acid. In an attempt to move away from liberal orthodoxy and shape his own world view, Omar risks losing all of his friends, by thinking for himself. A simmering offering of comical heresy served up by a delightful idiot.
Flora does a show about trying and failing to be creative in London. Is she an epic Romantic vagabond or just an entitled absolute prick? She's chasing a dream but the chase might be much much funnier.
On the eve of her 22nd birthday, Kerry Frampton got pregnant, catapulting her into the life of a young mum. 22 years later, Matilda's wondering how the fuck her mum did it. Together, mum and daughter retrace the events that have defined them. Bound together in a constant cycle of separation and closeness, how do you figure out who you are, separately from the people that are a part of you? Who are you without them? That complicated, fierce, unquestioning love between two people, that is simultaneously too much and never enough. How do you navigate the world without that person? Join this mum and daughter duo as they attempt to figure it out without ending up in close spoon or physical fight in the process.
Five parties. One big mouth. <br/>Bri's not who she used to be, so she's revisiting the five parties that changed her. A biting and heartfelt dark comedy about what it really means to be loud, this new play is a story of survival, an exploration of self-awareness and a lesson in how to throw a really good party. Sellout shows Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Pleasance Theatre "Best of Edinburgh" Season 2019. <br/>***** "Unforgettable" (Broadway Baby)
***** "A raw, triumphant and soaring one-woman odyssey" (Stage Whispers)
**** "Pure genius" (North West End)
**** (Feminist Fringe Review)
**** (Remote Goat)
Ever found yourself stuck in a rat? Unpleasant, isn't it? Time marches on, but you're on the spot. Not even marching. Very still. Stagnating, even. Stuck in that rat. We've all been there. Join Anna O'Grady and Helen Cripps in their debut show for a chance of getting out. The future is exciting and it's still in front of you. If you've got the questions, they've got the answers*. *Depends on the questions. As seen on Flowers (C4 and Netflix).<br/>" this double act could make anything funny...comedic bliss" **** Guardian<br/>"every bit of the show... is exploited for comedy, and the result is a madcap romp of gentle silliness" **** One4Review<br/>‘creative, fun and full of music and is not one to be missed.’ **** VoiceUK
Good evening and welcome to The Nearly News Show, live at 7:30pm.<br/>Tonight’s Headline News: It’s The Stories You Want To Hear.<br/>Join some of the UK’s top improv comedians as they present comprehensive coverage and hilarious in-depth analysis of the real stories behind today’s headlines, as selected by the studio audience.<br/>We’re giving you hard-hitting investigative journalism. Or maybe the exact opposite.
Either way, tonight’s news is live, improvised and way less bleak than the real thing.<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 Badge: An Improvised Cop Show, I’m Not Here To Make Friends, 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.
“He was a boy, she was a girl. Can I make it anymore binary?”<br/>When friends die and pronouns change, what's left of the memories that don't fit anymore? From childhood co-stars, through teenage rebellion, a moving and powerful autobiographical account about growing up queer in the mid-noughties, finding yourself, and losing a friend. Brought to life with storytelling, an original pop music score and way too many America’s Next Top Model references.
"You're here so I can keep on living. You're my legacy."<br/>Set in the near future as the climate crisis takes hold, Lana decides to clone herself so she can continue her life, relationship and digital presence. Lena takes on Lana's identity but the life and world she has inherited is not what she expected.<br/>Me Myself I is about how we continue to create meaning in a world that is disappearing.<br/>Brought to you by a team of multiple Off West End Award nominees, Me Myself I is written by Carla Grauls (Audible Emerging Writer, Nick Darke Award winner), directed by Andrew Twyman (Velvet - VAULT Festival, Pleasance Edinburgh Fringe, on tour) and presented by Holly White (Brilliant Jerks - VAULT Show of the Week 2018. Finding Fassbender - VAULT Festival, Pleasance Edinburgh Fringe).
Welcome to Beijing. Population: 21 million. Plus four Brits. Lost Laowais follows the intertwining lives of four expats in one of Asia’s largest metropolises and asks: can Westerners ever find a home in Chinese society?<br/>(L?owài ??. Noun. Colloquial term for a foreigner, literally 'old outsider'.)<br/>While translator Julian is looking for a flatmate, he meets Lisa, a British-born Chinese woman who has abruptly upended her life to teach English in a country that is quickly turning out not to live up to her expectations. Their initial meeting turns into a clash regarding the politics of China’s expatriate population. Meanwhile, celebrated writer and ‘old China hand’ Robert is beginning to tire of twenty years of feeling like an outsider. And ‘third culture kid’ Ollie is chafing under the pressures of overbearing diplomat parents whose lifestyle sees them uprooting their lives and moving across the world every few years. As the characters’ lives collide, Lost Laowais asks: how does the West approach China in the 21st century? And have we really moved on from our colonialist past?
Halfway through his life according to the life expectancy calculator, Watson takes an audit of his time on earth in this WIP of his brand new show. His thirties have been eventful to say the least. At 40, his life is in the best shape in living memory... but one problem remains, and it really is a huge one. Spiritual enquiry meets high-octane observational comedy as the still very skinny Watson, as usual, attempts to cram a year of pathological overthinking into just under an hour's (surprisingly cheap!) standup. Maybe we'll even solve the huge problem. Doubt it, though.<br/>***** “Quite unlike anything else I’ve seen in almost 20 years of covering the Fringe...witty, warm, perfectly judged” Telegraph
**** "This is a stand-up operating at the very top of his game" Independent
****“He always displays an innate understanding of what the audience wants...creating a bespoke experience for every gig, an added flourish to a strong hour of stand-up” Chortle
**** “A quick-fire hour of fun” Metro
**** “A classy, confident hour of comedy from one of the Fringe's most celebrated sons” Fest
We are seafarers. We catch fish, always have.<br/>The ocean is at the centre of all life. But especially for Julie and Simon, who have grown up with salt seeping into their bloodstream, their childhoods tangled up with the Cornish Coast. And the sea has always been there, sustaining generations of their families.<br/>But as adulthood looms on the horizon, and climate and ecological crisis shake the globe, Julie begins to dream of a life lived inland among the bright lights of the city, and Simon's nets keep coming back empty.<br/>Set amidst the decline of the British Fishing Industry, In My Lungs the Ocean Swells is a coming-of-age story, about holding on to who you think you are, in a world that is trying its best to shake that from your grasp.
Acclaimed stand-up Dan Cook returns with a brand new hour of high energy, contemplative idiocy. <br/>An hour long distraction from the chaos of modern life via the medium of jokes. That's why you're here, looking for a show. To escape it all for an hour or so. And to laugh, please god, make me laugh (That's the voice of you - potential audience member - not me, I do not require/want you to make me laugh). <br/>I will explain more when you get here - don't be late, i've got a lot to get through.<br/>“Frenetic and hilarious... Superb” **** List
“This is excellent stand up” **** EdFestMag
“Had the crowd roaring with laughter” **** Three Weeks
***** BroadwayBaby<br/>As seen on Toast of London (C4), Poldark (BBC1) and Absolutely Fabulous the Movie
Ben Pope is 'a total delight' (Fest). <br/>This is his charming, dewy-eyed, freshly-jellied new work-in-progress show - jokes, stories and verbal potpourri about God, faith, weddings, constellations, hoarding, murder, STIs, dogs, postcards and (urgh) love. Expect a 'consistently funny and deceptively thoughtful' hour (The Scotsman) as Pope putzes around with a new project. It'll be sublime. <br/>**** 'Undeniably funny' EdFest Mag
Work in progress stand-up show by one of comedy's brightest award-runner-upping talents. "His vigour wins over the crowd... a club-ready comic" Chortle. "New and original voice in comedy" Dane Baptiste.<br/>This event supports Child.org’s Team Mum appeal. We’re working to launch pregnancy support services in rural Kenya, where 1 in 26 babies die before they reach their first birthday.<br/>VAULT Festival are contributing a percentage of ticket sales from this event to arm new mums in Kenya with vital health information and medical support. You can help by donating to Team Mum when you book online or in person at the venue. This appeal is supported by UK Aid Match which means if you give before 30 April, your donation will be doubled by the UK government. (Only donations to Team Mum and not contributions from ticket sales are eligible for UK Aid Match, but it all supports the Team Mum appeal!)
When Andrew was 15, he and a couple of friends had a race to see who could down their pint fastest. Andrew finished his in two and half seconds.<br/>Irish comedian Andrew Nolan, his family and his homeland all have a complicated relationship with alcohol. Homewrecker weaves together wild drinking tales from throughout Andrew’s life in an attempt to make sense of the senseless. Part celebration, part cautionary tale, Homewrecker is an hilarious investigation into Ireland's love affair with boozing.<br/>Nominated for the BBC New Comedy Award 2017
Winner Up the Creek Blackout Competition
Current semi-finalist in the Leicester Square New Comedian of the YEar<br/>Seen/heard on BBC Three and BBC Radio 4<br/>Praise for previous work:<br/>**** “Wry wit” - TimeOut
**** - The Times
**** - Sunday Express
"An exciting and hilarious storyteller. Catch him now before he gets big” Aisling Bea
Patricia has spent a year crafting a kick ass speech while recovering from an abusive relationship. But when she bumps into her ex on the street, and accidentally agrees to dinner with him that night, she's got some big decisions to make; what to wear? What to say? And whether or not to go? Join Patricia as she gets ready for the date; tells stories of her past, how it has affected her present, and looks honestly at her future.<br/>Patricia Gets Ready (for a date with the man that used to hit her) is an honest, funny and heartbreaking look at what it is to recover from trauma. Aiming to shatter the weathered stereotype of the 'broken woman,' this show presents a survivor, in all her colours.
Super group sensation SORRY bring you an hour of improvised comedy.<br/>'An incredible group of talented, ground breaking improvisers, one of the most exciting groups in London' Cariad Lloyd<br/>SORRY are a long-form improv group made up of comedians Liz Kingsman, Alison Thea-Skot, Naomi Petersen, Sophia Broido and Lola-Rose Maxwell. They will welcome a special guest to join them for a chat at the top of the show (previous guests include Phil Wang, Mae Martin and Jason Mantzoukas), which will inspire a brand new hour of hilarious improv comedy.<br/>GUESTS NOW ANNOUNCED:<br/>Thursday 6th Feb with special guest GINA MARTIN
Friday 14th Feb with special guest ROSE MATAFEO<br/>SORRY also perform as part of London's leading improv theatre The Free Association and have been seen in Borderline, Drifters, Timewasters, The Literary Adventures of Mr Brown, Newsjack, Power Monkeys and across regional theatres and The West End.<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, 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.
This all-female horror story is deliciously spine-tingling, yet riven through with comedy, too. The tale surrounds a family - a mother, three daughters, and a mysterious friend - who re-unite for the first time in years after their father’s funeral. The father was a doll-maker, there’s an ominous locked workshop… and it goes without saying that a secret’s buried somewhere in the family’s past.
Three sisters travel home for the funeral of their father, who happens to be the world’s greatest Dollmaker. With their mother on the edge of sanity, and an unsolved case haunting the family, the sisters must unearth dark secrets to find out: what did the dolls see?<br/>A delight for fans of true crime with a plot that unravels like a mystery podcast. This a play about sisterhood, and the pressure upon women to fit into the perfect china mould. Not recommended for those with a phobia of dolls... or a fear of feminism.<br/>Written by Nic Lamont who has penned dark comedy for BBC3 and BBC Radio 4.
Star of Live at the Apollo (BBC Two), Hypothetical (Dave) and Roast Battle (Comedy Central), 'tour-de-force’ **** (Telegraph) Laura Lexx shines a light on how hard it is to be a good person these days. Why don’t we just leave each other alone and get on with the big stuff? <br/>Following a sold-out run at the Edinburgh Fringe which earned her a prestigious Comedian's Choice Award for the second year in a row, Lexx has a laugh with society's big issues: social media, mental health, climate change and conceiving...but come for the jokes, not answers.<br/>**** ‘A stand-up star is born. Laura Lexx is a tour-de-force' Telegraph
****'A must-see for all' The List
***** 'Utterly brilliant’ London Theatre
An original horror story with jump scares and a bit of well placed gore. Texas Chainsaw Massacre meets Medusa. You'll scream or be sick. That's the aim.<br/>A taxidermist loses her temper and decides to experiment with the human form...<br/>With live foley and horror tricks inspired by the gruesome Le Théâtre du Grand-Guignol - GORGON is a horror show to delight and scare in equal measure - focussing on that taboo subject... female anger.<br/>Created by award winning and renowned comedian and clown ELF LYONS (Edinburgh Comedy Award Best Show Nominee 2017)
Fresh from a successful run at the Edinburgh Fringe, Nick brings the mellow thunder back to London with a show containing jokes, tales of stubbornness and homeopathic levels of toxicity. <br/>If you've ever asked the question “can a leopard change his spots?” then this is the show for you. (Also, why don't you just leave the leopard alone? Maybe he's fine and doesn't want to talk right now? And let's face it, it's not like he's going to change that much at this stage of the game, is he?)<br/>Praise for Big Nick Energy, Edinburgh 2019:
**** 'Brilliantly penned gags... a perceptive portrait of middle age' - The List
**** 'A cracking display' - Three Weeks
**** 'A fantastic Fringe experience' - Short Com
**** 'A brilliant blend of jokes' - Edinburgh Festivals
Pope Lonergan is a comedian, Quaker, drug addict and creator of ‘Pope’s Addiction Clinic’ (“From fearless and funny to heart-stoppingly raw ????????” ~ Evening Standard) and ‘The Care Home Tour’ (“The comedians taking slapstick into new territory” ~ The Guardian).<br/>He’s also committed to brutally full disclosure and in this WIP he’ll talk about opioids, dementia, wound-dipping and breaking a woodlouse’s pregnancy sack in a manner that Alfie Brown described as “cheeky yet in pain”.<br/>This will be an inchoate version of his Edinburgh Fringe debut in 2020.<br/>+++<br/>“A fresh voice in comedy with such an interesting perspective. Pope is so honest, raw, different and brilliant” ~ Lou Sanders<br/>“Pope Lonergan has built a stellar reputation for his brave and candid approach and unique style of comedy” ~ The Friend (Quaker magazine) <br/>“A comedy happening” ~ Tony Law<br/>“The stories are awkward, humiliating, awful and hilarious, occasionally shocking but deeply compelling” ~ i Newspaper
Interactive séance with the legendary ghost-whisper Séayoncé. Trouble arises when a past spirit makes contact and blames someone in the audience for their horrific murder. A mystic murder mystery ensues. Desperate to get to the bottom (or top) of this case, Séayoncé will suck the truth out of you. Just call her Gag-atha Christie. The only real crime is how funny this show is... oh and the murder. <br/>The third dragtastic comedy hour of mystic mayhem with the greatest medium the world has ever known.
A hilarious and ludicrous take on the masterpiece by Leo Tolstoy. <br/>The epic tale of love, death and desire at the heart and toe of Imperial Russia - told by three idiots (Julia Masli, Tatiana Collet Apraxine & Julie Nesher). This life-affirming tribute to a fictional woman merges clowning, dance and live music. <br/>Directed by Dan Lees
Two transgender performers say 'up yours!' to the gender binary and invite you to their radical dance party! Under disco lights, over pulsing music, a queer celebration takes place. Set in nightclubs, Sound Cistem is an exuberant verbatim show about the cisgender gaze on the transgender body. Featuring recorded interviews from trans and non-binary people, a self-love manifesto is made through riotous, glittering disco. This duo keep moving to reject conformity and shame, despite the current transgender debate. See the beauty in these bodies, and your own.