Today's full programme, more choices & comment
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.
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.
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.
'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.
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.
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.
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.
Jazz is a story of rhythm and improvisation, race and privilege, high art and laughing stock. This show is also called jazz.<br/>Martin Willis is a mixed-race bisexual with a penchant for jazz. Startlingly, he's got a great relationship with his mum. Somewhere in all of that is this, his debut hour.<br/>Expect jokes, energy and a Twitter storm. There is also a small amount of dancing, but don't worry, Martin has 14 years of practise under his belt and a silver Jazz Dance Award. No big deal.<br/>Formerly of sketch act Loose Brie
"The banter is quick and easy, a lot of the jokes are impeccably dumb... But there's also something heartfelt behind it." **** - EdFringeReview
"A show filled with distaste and laughter" **** Mumble Comedy<br/>Founder of Objectively Funny
"A compassionate approach to creating shows" Guardian
"Former performer" STV<br/>As seen/heard on BBC3, Radio 1, London Live, BBC Radio Scotland & Comic Relief.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
- "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
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"
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.
Set in a small Scottish town, where a lack of prospects leaves the young people looking for more, Salmon follows Angus and his self-destruction in the aftermath of his dog's death. <br/>As Angus struggles between the weekend raves and weekday restlessness, we are swept along into a world where dogs run security businesses, flies talk, and nothing is quite what it seems.<br/>As Angus spirals to breaking point, Salmon explores the lack of purpose felt by so many young people, their inability to admit or express this sense of futility and the abuse of drugs to escape the emptiness. Devoid of prospects, Angus fixates on the salmon’s innate objective in life, as his family and friends attempt to understand what is going on inside his head. <br/>Blending spoken word, an original score and surrealism, Eve and Sea Production’s powerful show unsettles and disrupts; confronting its audience with an exposing commentary on male mental health, drug abuse and the disillusionment of youth in the 21st century.
"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.
in her first one hour show, brutally honest and quick-witted rising irish comedian Mairead Doyle regails stories from her years jobbing in the painfully corporate world of part-time temping. Her hilarious take on the people and places she has experienced on each temporary work contract will give giggles and gobsmacks as she spills the office tea all over the audiences funny bones.
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.
Star of BBC Radio 4’s Chinese Comedian and co-host of E4’s The Hangover Games, Ken Cheng is back with a complete treatise on racism. Using racism he’s received from Twitter trolls as a jumping-off point, Ken explores racism in all its forms from the unique position of a British-born Chinese, ex-Cambridge mathematician dropout and professional poker player. From BBC Radio 4’s The Now Show, Comedy Central at the Comedy Store and BBC Three’s Top Tens. Dave Joke of the Fringe 2017 winner and one of The Guardian’s Best Edinburgh Shows 2018.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dirty stop outs is a party sketch show with a banging playlist, audience interaction and silly sketches are at its heart.
On the surface it’s a pretty typical house party; there’s awkward chat, unhinged hosts and a weird neighbour in the corner who nobody invited. They're here to entertain you with some of their newest sketches and silliest ideas.
“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)
Join Fletcher for an intimate, up-beat hour of stupid jokes and gleeful set-pieces - including a bit where he levitates. Yeah, like off the ground and everything. <br/>Edinburgh Comedy Awards Best Newcomer Nominee<br/> Time Out’s One To Watch<br/>“A total Pro”
**** The Times<br/>“A Star is born”
This formidable drag duo of lovable soft-boy and sassy queen will serenade you with spontaneous raps, songs, and an entirely new musical, based on audience suggestions. A drag comedy show unlike any other. Think RuPaul's glamour meets ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway’ style improvised comedy. Serving you wit as sharp as their contour; jinks as high as their brows; memories that will stick with you longer than last night’s glitter, we present Dragprov: <br/>"Musically flawless" [730 Review]; "Radio ready" [lgbtq+ arts review]; "Good, clean fun!" [The Sunday Times].<br/>Dragprov have featured on the BBC radio, The Sunday Times, and in The Evening Standard's Top Ten LGBTQ+ Shows to see in London. The show also won the Phoenix Remix's 'Improv Act of the Year' Award 2018. They have headlined at Rachel Parris' (award-winning musical comedian and star of BBC2's The Mash Report) Musical Comedy Club, The Southbank Centre, Underbelly Fest, The Glory, and the Brighton Fringe. Catch them now at their VAULTS debut!<br/>Improv's never looked this good. <br/>Follow Dragprov on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, and check out the website at @dragprov.
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.
Join Dian Cathal, an immigrant of country and gender, in an attempt to prove their hypothesis: that Trans jokes CAN be funny, when we tell them. If you laugh, it’s comedy. If they cry, it’s theatre. It may sound binary but heck, it’s always good to know where you stand, right? Trans*Atlantic is a humorous exploration into life beyond the binary. Hailed as Nanette 2.0. You’ll laugh, laugh some more and adjust your perspective.
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.
Collective act of golden manifestation, sacred laughter bath and ceremonial mess-about orchestrated by a preposterously dazzling goddess. Very golden, mostly truthful. Sacred as holy hell.<br/>Lucy Hopkins is an award-winning clown, director, teacher, priestess, clever person and lover of humans. Recently, she has appeared in the Spencer Jones's The Mind of Herbert Clunkerdunk (BBC) and been an associate director of Caroline Horton's acclaimed piece of theatre All Of Me.<br/>"Hopkins is fantastic" Guardian<br/>**** ‘Hopkins is utterly present... an otherworldly vision in gold... in this extraordinary transformative happening, which leaves its audience with a deep feeling of peace’ Scotsman<br/>***** ‘Outstandingly original... Lucy Hopkins is a golden-goddess revelation in this extraordinary power hour of one woman’s improvisation and the healing power of comedy’ ToDoList<br/>MUST SEE SHOW ‘Only Lucy Hopkins can Lucy Hopkins like Lucy Hopkins’ FringeReview.com<br/>***** ‘Lucy Hopkins will transform you... takes femininity and turns it into the most spiritual, enchanting and indeed: powerful of phenomena... a wickedly enjoyable hour"’ EdFringeReview.com