Atlantic, VAULT Festival

10by Joanna Trainor

I love an illuminated umbrella. All shows could be improved by a light-up umbrella.

Somewhere beyond the sea, Emma waits on the shoreline by the Golden Gate Bridge, and PJ looks out from some of England’s slightly less famous white cliff faces. At face value this is a story about a long-distance relationship and the struggles you face when you’re in one. But more than that it’s about isolation, dependence and the ties we have to other people. There are sections that are a little obscure, and the performance takes a while to warm up, but the underlying theme will always pull you back in.

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A Pattern of Bad Behaviour, VAULT Festival

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by Zahid Fayyaz

This is a new two-hander from Clown Funeral, a West Midlands based company who are also associates artists of the New Diorama Theatre, a hotbed for new work. It tells a slightly twisted tale of two strangers who meet, fight, and then form a friendship. This companionship is one based on a connection which neither quite seems to be able to express into words, but rather by attacking each other.

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The Art of Cuddling and Other Things, VAULT Festival

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by Euan Vincent

The Art of Cuddling and Other Things might more aptly be named the art of subversion, as Circ Motif delight in carefully building a set-up before delivering a delightfully twisted punch line. The die is cast with the opening sequence. Lights fade up on two men standing 10 feet away from each other, staring in blank silence. In the corner, a multi-instrumentalist solemnly creates an ambient soundscape (think Brian Eno when he still had long hair). The two men walk towards each other and – without uttering a word – they embrace. Ahh, the art of cuddling. How touching.

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The Legend of the Holy Drinker, VAULT Festival

Image result for the legend of the holy drinker, vault festival

by Euan Vincent

Hunchtheatre have a thing for re-inventing forgotten fiction. Their new production, The Legend of the Holy Drinker, provides a 2020 update to Joseph Roth’s 1939 novella of the same name. It mixes the time-honoured, moral fetishes of the original with the political milieu of our Brexit-addled times.

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