The Buzztones Present ‘Guilty Pleasures’, VAULT Festival

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by Zahid Fayyaz

The group’s sophomore run at the festival, this is the a-cappella company’s homage to
‘guilty pleasures’ – cheesy songs you shouldn’t love, but (judging from the singalongs at this afternoon performance) most people do. An all-male, eleven-strong group greet the audience at this show, with a backdrop of album covers of by the cheesy artists they would be performing.

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Aamira and Gad, VAULT Festival

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by Zahid Fayyaz

A site-specific play with a slight immersive element for the audience, this is the latest
production from new company Bee in my Beanie. They establish a framing sequence consisting of the Archivist Society looking at a ‘story’, with the head archivist portrayed as a magnificent, giant puppet. This is mainly the story of Aamira and Gad, two children on opposite sides of a border conflict, forced to come together following a sudden loss.

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Sticky Door, VAULT Festival

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by Joanna Trainor

Disclaimer: Good reviewing practice is not to put yourself into your article – your review is about the show, not the journalist. But I have such an emotional connection to Katie Arnstein’s work, that I struggle to write about her productions as ‘objectively’ as I perhaps should. It’s probably why it’s taken me so long to put pen to paper.

Rhubarb and custard sweets, a ukulele, placards, and a voiceover montage of misogynistic statements that make you oh so angry – all signs point to the final installment of Katie Arnstein’s It’s A Girl! trilogy.

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The Future is Mental, VAULT Festival

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by Dora Bodrogi

The Network Theatre Company has put together a brilliant night of short plays that are certainly entertaining, if slightly alarming about where the world is heading. The Future is Mental gives us an assemblage of six near-future, ‘soft-dystopian’ stories, admittedly inspired by Black Mirror, that makes us take a step back and really rethink our present lifestyles.

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The Incident Room, New Diorama Theatre

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by Laura Kressly

Over the second half of the 1970s, a serial killer murdered at least 13 women in the North of England. He attacked many others. Determined to stop him, the West Yorkshire police assign a small team of staff to the case, using a paper system to pursue and track numerous leads. Hardened force veteran George Oldfield helms the investigation, and he is determined that they leave no stone unturned. Shut away in a dedicated room at Millgarth Police Station in Leeds, they comb through evidence, argue over approaches and race to catch the Yorkshire Ripper before another woman’s body is found. Yet, they have another enemy – the systemic misogyny and pride that cause chasmic blindspots in their investigation.

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Who Cares, VAULT Festival

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by Becky Lennon

Presented by Just Add Milk (JAM), Conor Hunt’s Who Cares is a powerful and moving piece of theatre which explores the challenges faced in society today because of austerity. We join Jamie (Reece Pantry), who is enjoying a pint in his local pub The Crown, served by the charming bartender Dan (Kyle Rowe), who claims he is the ‘Shakespeare of Swears’. We follow the pair on their journey to create a final send-off for the pub, in hope that they can save their beloved local by showcasing the need for this community space, which is so important to Jamie and Dan in different ways.

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