Today's full programme, more choices & comment
‘I hear Mother Nature calling, and I don’t know how to face her.
I’ve been having sleepless arctic nights on my two-bedroom glacier... ’<br/>It’s 2026, and Coco’s found a letter from the last ever polar bear. He’s somehow ended up at the top of Scotland. She’s going to save him.
Join us on a wild polar bear chase, through peat bogs and protests. We might just need your help... <br/>How To Save A Rock is a multi award-winning musical comedy about how to still have hope – for kids and adults alike. <br/>This show is carbon-neutral. The lighting is powered by solar-power and a bike cycled live on stage, production materials are recycled and recyclable, and all music is created live.
Winner of: The Sunday Times Playwriting Award (2019) / The Samuel French New Play Award (2019) / The Camden People’s Theatre Award (2019) / And the VAULT Festival 2020 x Staging Change Award.<br/>‘hilarious and touching... as many people as possible should see it’ – Theatre Weekly
“hope is paramount” - The Scotsman
APPLE charts the story of Rosemary Clark as she goes on a journey of self-discovery from slut-drops in the Trocadero back to rural Jamaica. <br/>It's a darkly comic and introspective look at a less-than-rosy mother and daughter relationship. Rosemary's desperate to have a moment of truth and connection and decides her mother's wedding day is the perfect occasion.
When a local hospital announces its closure, panic ensues. <br/>Healthcare Assistant Rhea is forced to look for work elsewhere. Local lad Aaron worries about his mum’s treatment in the cancer unit. And Curtis just isn’t sure where he’s going to sleep. <br/>But when the three witness a horrific accident, a rare opportunity presents itself. <br/>As a dangerous decision triggers a wild chain of events, Rhea, Aaron and Curtis soon find themselves gathering power, influence and infamy – and inspiring a cohort of vigilante activists. <br/>What does it take to enact real change? And what would you sacrifice to keep it?<br/>Following the success of ***** 'Digging Deep' at last year's Vault Festival, Chalk Line present Amy Guyler's new political thriller 'The Nobodies'. 'The Nobodies' is made in collaboration with the multi award winning New Diorama Emerging Graduate Company, Chalk Line Theatre.
After her life falls apart, Carys turns up for her first shift at a restaurant to find Simone preparing for the blood moon. Jason folding napkins. And Godfrey getting ready to leave the artisan-brunch-filled world he has made for himself behind. Their lives begin to weave into each other in small, strange ways, colliding, connecting, tangling. When Simone makes it her mission to get Carys to believe in something, anything, forgetting her old life is suddenly more difficult than Carys had planned. When you're too sad, too ambitious, too Scorpio for waiting tables, how do you make it through the day? Which parts of yourself do you let other people see, and which parts do you hide? A new play about hope, rage and gentrification. <br/>Godfrey was developed as part of The Monobox's Playstart initiative in 2018, and was long listed for the Royal Court's Lynne Gagliano Prize 2019.
“I feel normal. You make me feel normal”<br/>Jamie lives with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. Daniel Lives for his next pint. The only place Jamie feels accepted is in The Crown. But with austerity Britain in full force, it’s down to both boys to save their crown jewel.<br/>Who Cares is comedy/drama play exploring unlikely friendships and a fight for equality, even when the odds are set against you. This isn’t a story about disability. It’s a story about friendship, self-perception and a fair few pints.<br/>Written by emerging writer, Conor Hunt, the play examines the effects of CMT disease, a form of the long-term degenerative condition, Muscular Dystrophy (MD) and the limitations we place on ourselves, whilst giving MD a platform to raise awareness about the condition.<br/>Who Cares is generously supported by Arts Council England and Muscular Dystrophy UK.
Peckham 2020. Laquaya (15 - loves hip-hop, feminism, Peperami) has broken into Elyot’s house. Elyot (32) is reclusive, eccentric and probably quite lonely. He’s making a model boat and listening to Beethoven whilst checking off his life week by week on a chart on the wall.<br/>Watch this slightly odd couple go on a humorous and heart-warming journey from denial to acceptance, overcoming extreme difference and fear of vulnerability to realise that deep down, the essence of each of them make for a perfect match.<br/>Essence explores what it’s like to be lonely, how much it takes to let people in, and how the messy bits of life are ultimately where the gold lies.<br/>Essence is supported by The CULTIVATE Bursary, in Association with COMMON and the Newbury Corn Exchange.
Meet the Canaries, a motley crew of munitions workers doing their bit for the war effort. An air raid sends them on an explosive journey through euphoric emancipation, forbidden friendships and anarchic dreams.
Canary seamlessly combines physical theatre, sound design and historical archive material to offer audiences a rare insight into life during the First World War from the unique perspective of Britain’s munitions workers; The Canary Girls.
Created in collaboration with award winning Spanish theatre company Teatro En Vilo, 'Canary' tells real stories taken from Tyne & Wear Archives, The Devil's Porridge Museum and the Imperial War Museum.
Sea levels are rising. Wildlife is becoming extinct. We’re drowning in plastic.
But everyone is using Paper Straws, isn’t that something? <br/>Taking place in changing time frames, we follow the lives of three people brought up through the 'liferaft' system - a scheme that re-homes children from places deemed unlivable because of the changing climate. Now in their adult lives, and each having very different relationships to how climate change has shaped their identities, they get a calling: it's time to step up and do something. <br/>Part surreal comedy, part family drama set against the backdrop of our looming climate catastrophe, the characters are forced to decide 'how far would you go to save the world'? <br/>Please note: Paper Straws is an experiment in sustainable theatre-making, from the rehearsal room to the stage. This performance is a Work In Progress.
Cast and further creative team to be announced.
Alice-India is your new best friend.
A stand up comedy show about friendship and relationships and doing your best to be a person.
Mental health, sexuality and being too cute for her own good. Alice is loud, endearing and "a bit much" but she's leaning in to all of that to show you that she's ready to be your best ever friend forever.
A comedy lecture about how we cope with climate change and what we can do about it, from the 'attractively impish' (Guardian) environmental researcher and comedian Dr Matt Winning. The world as we know it is coming to an end regardless of whether we want it to or not. Here Matt explores what that means and considers what it must be like being a teenager nowadays compared to when he was young.<br/>As seen/heard on Unspun with Matt Forde, BBC Three, BBC Radio 4, BBC Scotland, BBC Radio Scotland and his podcast Operation Earth where he interviews comedians about climate change.<br/>'Everything a Fringe show should be: hilarious, personal, inventive, and something that will stay with you for some time to come' ***** (EdFestMag.com).
'Winning's sharp wit and intelligence allows him to educate as he entertains' ****½ (Sunday Post).
PICK OF THE PLEASANCE 2019 AWARD WINNER
Supported at Vaults by The Pleasance<br/>A 'breathtakingly sad and intensely funny' true-story of Rosa Hesmondhalgh's ovarian cancer treatment aged 23. The 5 star sell-out hit of Edinburgh Fringe is returning to London. Madame Ovary is a life-affirming show about the importance of love when your world comes crashing down.<br/>It's January and Rosa is writing her resolutions. This is her year. She is going to stop going out with plonkers, start doing yoga and write some really good art. But before she's had time to delete her dating apps and get into downward dog, she's diagnosed. With ovarian cancer. And it's spread. Suddenly faced with hospitals, chemotherapy and her own mortality, Rosa's new goal for the year ahead is to survive it. Based on Rosa’s real-life blog, Madame Ovary explores the typical struggle a 20-something has with trying to stay relevant and the less typical struggle of trying to stay alive.<br/>"Breathtakingly sad and intensely funny” Broadway Baby
'Devastating and beautiful and true' Caitlin Moran
***** (ThreeWeeks, Edinburgh Reporter, Young Perspective, Within Her Words, Sincerely Amy, ITalkTelly)
**** (Broadway Baby, Miro Magazine, The Upcoming)
Babs (a man) and Regi (a woman) are planning a wedding in London. But they’ve both left same-sex partners back in Nigeria, where it’s illegal to be gay. How We Love follows the preparations for their sham marriage, while they get intermittent updates from their real partners about how things are going back home. The show is hilarious and heartbreaking by turns, with a lot to say about LGBT rights and the difficulties faced by those who have to hide their true identity to survive.
Gay investigative journalist Babatunde ‘Babs’ Okonkwo has come to visit his lesbian best friend Regina ‘Regi’ Abengowe in Lewisham, south London. With mounting pressures back in Nigeria, where homosexuality is illegal and escalating dangers for their partners, Babs and Regi hatch a plan to get married. They hope this ‘cover’ will stop the threatening rumours and allow Babs to safely expose the inhumane treatment of LGBTQIA+ people in Nigeria, especially in the north where being gay is publishable by death. <br/>Between Waitrose shifts, Regi's undergraduate degree, and snippets of news from back home, Regi and Babs put their friendship to the test. With the help of Regi’s 89-year-old German Jewish neighbour and the ‘Mr & Mrs’ Board Game.<br/>But the storms are gathering in Nigeria. Regi records the acts of violence happening to their friends and Babs’s own brother threatens to betray him. As the wedding approaches, Regi and Babs must choose what they care about the most.
how we love is a new play about different types of love.
Now that we’ve found love, what are we going to do with it?<br/>Sam and Rose had one of those head over heels romances that made sense of all the love songs. Years later after the devastation this love wreaked on their lives, they have a chance to put their story to bed or destroy each other in the process.<br/>Naomi Sheldon returns to VAULT festival after her smash hit Good Girl, with this fast paced, dark and sexually charged two-hander exploring who gets to be the bad guy and who walks away scot-free when toxic relationships end. Are the wounds we submit ourselves to in the name of love ever worth the scars? Would we do it all over again because although toxic, it made us feel alive?<br/>Good Girl won VAULT festival show of the week and Funny Women best show award before a month long run at Trafalgar Studios in 2018.
‘We are, each of us, a little universe’ - Carl Sagan
Nine piece, multi award-winning progressive brass band Perhaps Contraption (Les Enfants Terribles award winners 2019) take us on a curious audio-theatrical journey. <br/>Inspired by the words of cosmologist Carl Sagan, this unique gig-theatre experience describes the life-cycle of one extraordinary atom, and how our baffling, unlikely existence is intertwined with the universe. <br/>Expect an abundance of virtuosic musicianship, dynamic choreography and mesmerising contact juggling.<br/>Touching upon biology, spirituality and cosmology, Nearly Human is an epic and euphoric celebration of life and the universe; bursting with triumphant melodies, fascination and wonder.
Pop-comedy maestros The Buzztones return to VAULT festival with a brand new hour of nonsense dubbed, for the sake of trying to find a theme, 'Guilty Pleasures'.<br/>We all have those songs and singers that we secretly love but wouldn't admit to, right? The Buzztones certainly do and have been "entertaining" audiences for the last nine years with their eclectic collection of medleys, mash-ups and musical mistakes.<br/>'Guilty Pleasures' is packed with the tracks and artists that you love, but probably shouldn't...<br/>...including The Buzztones themselves come to think of it. Join them for an hour of unadulterated, guilt-free musical pleasure.
Are you happy now? Near-future stories drawing on Black Mirror, Margaret Atwood and the black comedy of Killing Eve. Focused on the stories of women, the plays feature all-seeing smart speakers, curing depression in unusual ways, a new way to choose a decent politician and how to look good in the afterlife. Decluttering, one of the pieces within the show, started life as a short story and was the runner-up in the Crime Writers’ Association Margery Allingham Prize 2019.
Mia and Mo have been to all the marches, turned off the heating and eaten the goldfish – but the climate’s still collapsing and they’re buckling under the pressure of saving the planet. Omelette is a new play by Anna Spearpoint (Theatre503), directed by Tash Hyman (JMK Award Finalist 2019) about climate anxiety, giving things up, and the pressure to do the right thing all the time.
Sketch and character act The Death Hilarious is running out of options. Life is a plush arts cafe that he is politely being asked to leave. Facing emotional and financial debt, he presents a motley crew of characters old and slightly less old, all bleak, all pathetic, all exempt from UK tax law.<br/>Chortle Best Newcomer Nominee.
"A bold and unique new voice in comedy" - Steve Bennett, Chortle ****
"A superb comic actor, with an appeal that's equal parts poetic, menacing and vulnerable" - The Scotsman ****
"A real spark of originality and sense of fun" - Broadway Baby
Liz Kingsman - one third of critically acclaimed sketch group Massive Dad (‘Properly hilarious’ **** Scotsman) - debuts her searingly honest one-woman odyssey (normal play). A bold, irreverent, raw, moving and triumphant celebration of adjectives, this blurb will nail down nothing. Combining theatre, movement, a thumping soundtrack and something kooky like SOIL(!!?) this show asks the question, what is happening here? So unflinching you’ll be begging for a flinch. <br/>As seen on TV’s Borderline, Timewasters, Power Monkeys. “Kingsman's deadpan delivery is a constant source of entertainment” (The Skinny), “.. definitely one to watch.” (Guardian)<br/>Praise for previous shows: <br/>**** “Chockablock with bold gags” Time Out.
**** “Tightly written and exceptionally executed stuff.” Fest Mag.
**** “Even the throwaway jokes are hilarious.” Guardian.
**** “Not a moment is wasted” The List.
A girl. An empty street. A half-eaten Subway.
And you. And you passing in the rain. Turning the corner when I saw you. <br/>A.A. is moving from Eastern Europe to the promised land of Guinness and gift shops: Dublin. <br/>Everyone says she’ll do well ‘cause she owns slacks and knows how to spell. But it turns out that you don't just grow out of working in retail. Or get on the property ladder. Or ascend the corporate ladder. Or own a ladder... without money. <br/>NOTCH is new solo show about sleeping rough on the streets of Dublin, exploring the links between xenophobia, mental health and homelessness. Croatian writer/actor Danaja Wass draws on her own experiences of a capital that has become increasingly polarized and daunting for people who are seen as foreign, inadequate, alien or simply ‘other’. <br/>Directed by Madelaine Moore LADYKILLER (VAULT Pleasance Award Winner 2019), ALGORITHMS, FATTY FAT FAT (VAULT Origins Award Winner 2019)
After their award-nominated, sell-out run at VAULT Festival 2019, The LOL Word returns with a Coming Out Special! Join Chloe Green, Chloe Petts, Jodie Mitchell and double act Shelf as they present an hour of stand-up about that ancient queer ritual: coming out.<br/>This gang of best buds and rising comedy stars will have you hooting with laughter at VAULT, with a brand new show about all things queer. Get ready for a raucous, inclusive, relatable and joyful celebration of being a lesbian, queer, non-binary or bisexual (while we collectively process our trauma, of course).<br/>Tickets for last year's Prom Special sold fast and they were nominated for the coveted After Dark award, so grab a date or your mates and get tickets, quick!<br/>As seen at Soho Theatre, Southbank Centre, London Pride, Latitude, Bestival, Gilded Balloon. As seen in the Guardian, the Independent, Time Out, and seen on BBC3, Pink News and LADBible. Sell-out run at Edinburgh Fringe 2017, 2018, 2019.<br/>“Hilarious, slick and smart ... it’s refreshing and revitalising to watch: they are energetic and exciting, oozing with passion." - Guardian
"My favourite comedy club in London" - Sofie Hagen
"Fierce, fiery and every so funny" - Broadway Baby
"Smart, insightful and completely relatable" - DIVA
“What if I had grown up there instead of here? No, not Iraq – the other one.”<br/>Two passports, two names, one woman. Peyvand is British. Parisa is Iranian.<br/>When she was ten years old, Peyvand travelled from East London to Iran with her father to meet her family for the first time. Her British citizenship wasn’t recognised, and so she had to acquire an Iranian passport (and a new name) on arrival. Only now, Parisa is forbidden from leaving the country... at least for a little while.<br/>The story may sound familiar so far, but what happens to Parisa when Peyvand is finally allowed to come back “home”?<br/>Drag, poetry, puppetry and personal/archival interviews – all set to stripped back renditions of Persian pop classics – come together in this darkly funny, formally inventive theatrical mosaic about dual citizenship, home, the arbitrary boundaries of nation states, and what it will take to start the next revolution.<br/>Developed on Starting Blocks at Camden People’s Theatre, with additional development support from Soho Theatre Labs, Omnibus Theatre, and Arcola Theatre.
Bonnie Knockers is a sex and relationships educator. Ruby Corkscrew is a mother of two. And both have a healthy appreciation for the bawdy and bonkers. Who better then to put on a sex-ed themed cabaret show?!<br/>Inspired by the government’s recent commitment to making Relationships and Sex Education a statutory subject in all schools by 2020, House of Burlesque brings you a sassy, silly and satirical social commentary on how we experience and are (mis-) educated about one of the core elements of our lives: featuring a range of burlesque, drag, cabaret and performance art which explores sex and relationships in all their messy, mundane and mysterious glory – with an educational twist... <br/>From STIs and sexuality, to pleasure, porn and parenthood, prepare for a show which – like a good lover – will tickle your funnybone, challenge your mind and broaden your horizons: all with your consent, and in safe, supportive, rhinestone-gloved hands.<br/>The latest new work from Tempest Rose's House of Burlesque, creator of House of Burlesque 2.0, Lock In and La Revue en Rose at Vault. The UK's top burlesque production company who have been ruffling feathers for over 10 years.
Last year Rory O'Keeffe moved to Rome. Why? He still doesn't know. From playing a priest as an extra in a Sorrentino film to interviewing graffiti artists for work, the stand-up comedian recounts his own surreal version of La Dolce Vita. Features unjustified stereotypes, justified stereotypes, and pasta. <br/>‘Funny, charming, and thought-provoking.’ Bunbury Magazine **** <br/>‘This is a fascinating show. For those in the market for something a bit clever, endearing and sweet, don’t pass it up.’
Shortcom **** <br/>'Sharp, intriguing and entertaining. A natural comedian' - The Upcoming **** <br/>“His jokes keep up with his own frenetic pace. Make no mistake: this is a downright clever show. As someone who loathes seeing a punchline coming, I might as well have been blindfolded in the dark. ” **** Edinburgh 49+3<br/>“Acutely well-observed and cringingly funny, this is comedy for a post-recession graduate generation” Fest ****
Austerity, free porn and "cashless society"; the golden age of of the strip club is long gone, but women keep auditioning with dreams of paying mortgages, supporting their families and pursuing their artistic careers, and those who stay are working harder than ever. Is stripping still worth it? As clubs all over the world close, what will happen to the thousands of women using their special skills and talents to earn a decent living?<br/>Based on lived experiences, ANGELS looks at a typical night in the life of three strippers in London, and imagines a future that is already fast approaching.
Stevenage soft-lad Jacob Hawley presents his WIP. New jokes, new ideas, same twat shouting them. "A must-see staple with his sensitive and joke-busy hours" - The List. "punchy wit and quite brilliant skill for concise social commentary" - Joe.co.uk.
House of Rhymes are turning tables for one night only brining nothing but an hour of filthy content, sexy stories and the most exotic poetry to your ears. <br/>The evening will bounce act after act leaving you all satisfied so bring a mate or if you’re looking to woo, it’s great for a first date.
A provincial fool does jokes about the Christian faith and community. Come see as he tries to vainly resurrect the stories and myths that once held us together.<br/>One half of acclaimed double-act Moon ('one of the best-reviewed shows of 2018 Fringe' British Comedy Guide; "wonderfully warped" **** The Scotsman).
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.
HoneyBee is a festival-driven show with a banging soundtrack, written by Eleanor Dillon-Reams. This marathon feat of gig theatre tells the story of Kate, as she flits and stumbles through her twenties fuelled on highs and hedonism. Having had her world flipped at a festival, Kate finds herself on a journey to rediscover her identity and self worth.<br/>Within a heady mix of music, stand-up and spoken word, Kate's story represents a generation's search for purpose and the need to dance in the face of adversity.<br/>It's Fleabag meets Kate Tempest, with a dash of dirty bass.<br/>HoneyBee is Eleanor Dillon-Reams' debut play, and was the winner of the Scotsman Best Newcomer Award and the ThreeWeeks Editor's Award at the Edinburgh Fringe 2019.