Big Bad, VAULT Festival

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by Laura Kressly

A woman is chained up in a damp cell. Alone, she is watched by an unseen group of men, afraid of her power. She rants, lectures and mocks them, gradually exposing the real reason she is imprisoned. It’s a pretty horrible thing, but her story of abuse, sexual power and society’s fear of strong women echoes like the howl of a wolf.

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All Boxed Up, VAULT Festival

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by guest critic Alex Dowding

You wake up every day, stumble bleary-eyed into the kitchen, pour yourself a bowl of cereal, gaze at that oh-so-cheery character on the box and wonder what the hell they could be so happy about. Sound familiar? Well, All Boxed Up is what happens when writer Sammy Kissin stares at the lifeless eyes on the box until they start staring back.

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Old Fools, Southwark Playhouse

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by guest critic Joanna Trainor

“Why have you stopped eating?” Viv asks Tom at the nursing home. “Why have you developed an entirely different accent in your old age?” Tom could reasonably respond.

This is a slightly harsh opener; Old Fools is one of those productions that has a few things to pick at but is redeemed by its ending. From their first meeting to a cold garden in a nursing room, this is the story of Tim and Viv and Alzheimer’s.

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Things that do not c(o)unt, VAULT Festival

by an anonymous guest critic

Nastazja Somers’ remarkable and brave one woman show delivers inspiration by the mouthful.

It’s not very often you get to watch someone eat a whole grapefruit on stage, but Somers does just that. As you watch her slowly devouring the fruit, it’s hard to break your gaze as she courageously stands in a defiant red dress that screams Siren.

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Ok Bye, VAULT Festival

by guest critic Lara Alier

Imagination and simplicity are very effective storytelling devices. Ok Bye feels like a small step forward in the evolution of theatre. Ok, I’m getting carried away, but when I see people pushing theatre forward I get excited. There are verbatim sections, choreography, lighting devices, live music, three actors and one musician.

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Boots, VAULT Festival

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by guest critic Lara Alier

Willow is a 35-year-old chemist who works at Boots and is writing a scientific journal. Liz is an older woman who takes care of her sick husband and spends half of her time  walking in the woods. They both become curious about the other,  and eventually care for each other. The non-judgmental writing creates really round characters with many different layers.

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