Stardust, VAULT Festival

by guest critic Joanna Trainor

There’s political theatre, and then there’s Stardust.

Arguably the most visually stunning piece to come to the VAULT Festival this year, Blackboard Theatre combine movement, out-of-this-world animations and the power of words to expose the dark world of the Columbian cocaine industry.

Continue reading

Bismallah! An ISIS Tragicomedy, VAULT Festival

Image result for bismillah an ISIS tragicomedy, vault festival

by Maeve Ryan

Bismillah! An ISIS Tragicomedy is a consummate two-hander played out entirely in one location: a cell in Iraq, which houses an ‘infidel’ British soldier held by Islamic State. The twist is that the captor in the story is also English, or, as the character says, ‘born in England’. Tension is sustained by the captor/hostage dynamic and the sense of very real violence.

Continue reading

The Wedding Room, VAULT Festival

by guest critic Lara Alier

Even though I grew up in Catalonia, my reference of  weddings come from watching American romcoms and attending two weddings in England. Despite the fact that I am a hopeless romantic, I feel this tradition is closer to resembling a funfair than a spiritual ceremony and frankly, makes me cringe. Maybe this play was trying to raise this issue. Maybe not.

Continue reading

Ian Done a Bad Thing, VAULT Festival

by guest critic Lara Alier

Forgiveness, guilt and punishment: these words are part of our nature and yet they’re still hard to talk about. The death penalty has always granted me hours of heated arguments. I’ve found our morals are malleable depending on each situation and can stretch or shrink like copper.

Continue reading

Testosterone, VAULT Festival

Image result for testosterone, vault festival

by Meredith Jones Russell

Testosterone is an explosive, energetic, riotous exploration of all things male, asking what exactly it means to be a man.

Rhum and Clay Theatre Company has teamed up with Kit Redstone, who wrote the play based on his own experiences as a trans man, and stars as himself. We meet him as he prepares to walk in to that bastion of machismo – the men’s locker room at the gym – for the first time.

Continue reading

Treading Water, VAULT Festival

Image result for treading water in ocean, sad

by Meredith Jones Russell

Carol and Sue are lifeguards sat out on an appropriately chilly-looking British beach. They make conversation, eat biscuits, and wait for something, anything, to happen. Meanwhile a dog walker scans the sand with his metal detector, pausing occasionally to ponder such issues as the nature of buried things, or which sea creature would have the nicest garden (spoiler alert: Ringo Starr-like, he reckons it’s the octopus). Will these three come together, and how? And what, if any, will the consequences be?

Continue reading

Trust, Gate Theatre

Image result for trust, gate theatre

by Laura Kressly

A couple who have been together for either 14 years or 3 weeks argues as the world around them threatens to collapse. Or maybe it’s collapsed already. An Uber driver writes a book about the fall of civilisation. A lonely woman in a hotel room surveys her destructive work in the financial sector.

Time passes and bends and flips. Personal and global crises unfold in an endless cycle of pain and rage.

Continue reading