In Clay, VAULT Festival

by Zahid Fayyaz

This is my first show at the Vault Festival, which has been on hiatus until now since the pandemic started in 2020. London’s version of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, this is a wonderful festival in the tunnels underneath Waterloo station that hosts almost 2 months’ worth of new shows, cabaret and stand-up comedy.

This performance, a one-woman musical set in a kitchen in Paris in the 1930s, looks back at the lives and loves of Marie-Berthe Cazin, a ceramist. Through a jazzy score, it details how she fell in love with a man who then went on to take credit for her work. Both a warm and fascinating show, the songs are wonderful overall, bringing the story to evocative life. Rosalind Ford is very good in what is an intense and wordy role. She keeps the story moving in a compelling way, despite the large amounts of story she has to convey in between the songs. The jazz numbers are certainly different to what is normally found in a musical, and are especially good in such an intimate venue.

There is definitely some hope for this show to find a future home at the Fringe. If you are not able to catch it at Vault Festival, it is certainly worth watching wherever in transfers this brief run.

In Clay runs through 28 January.

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