Lava, Bush Theatre

Lava – Bush Theatre

by Laura Kressly

Renewing a passport is usually a straightforward – if annoying – bit of life paperwork so Benedict is surprised when a letter arrives from the Home Office indicating otherwise. However, this admin obstacle is the start of her explorations a historic maze of familial border crossings, cultural differences, and complex identities. Of course, it’s still far bigger than than that because a family does not exist in a vacuum. In this instance, colonial and racial violence have shaped entire nations and Benedict’s family is a part of that, and she is here to ensure we hear her story, and those of many others who are marginalised and oppressed by imperialism.

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Baaba’s Footsteps, VAULT Festival

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By Keagan Fransch

Baaba’s Footsteps begins with a striking first image: Takako, a 16-year old woman embarking on a life-changing journey in Japan, 1920. She stands upright and wide-eyed; determined, stoic, hopeful, and perhaps a little naive, Takako gazes into the middle distance, willing her new life as a picture bride into existence with a desperate intensity. It is this image that Yu, Takako’s great-granddaughter, frantically chases a hundred years later. Yu works as a television director in Tokyo, talented and busy and upwardly mobile. However, when she is suddenly fired for having an affair with a married co-worker (who is then promoted to the position she was up for), she is forced to take stock of her life, and decides to retrace her great-grandmother’s footsteps to America to hopefully regain a sense of meaning and control.

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Lòng Mẹ, VAULT Festival

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By Keagan Fransch

For many of us, the struggle to understand our mothers and the choices they’ve made is a lifelong adventure, often unearthing more questions than answers. Lòng M (a Vietnamese phrase meaning Mother’s soul/heart/love) interrogates this struggle through two very different, very personal stories told through the lens of the most questioning of all children – the child of immigrants.

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Dual, VAULT Festival

by Laura Kressly

Peyvand Sadeghian was born in Canning Town, and East London runs through her veins. Yet, there’s also the scent of something else, from somewhere far away – rose water and pomegranate, from an ancient civilisation the western world loves to demonise. She doesn’t give this much thought until she is 10 years old and first travels to Iran with her father. This is a turning point in her life; it’s when she finds she is not just one person, but two. As well as Peyvand the Londoner, she’s also Parisa the Persian girl. These two identities are set in opposition in this deliberately messy collage about having multiple citizenships and identities, and embedded with a spirit of revolution.

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How We Love, VAULT Festival

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by Dora Bodrogi

“But it’s getting better, right?”

This is the question I get the most often when I mention institutionalised homophobia in a country I’ve left, Hungary. And it’s not so bad there in this regard, they ‘only’ have a ban on marriage equality, same-sex joint adoption, and Gender Studies. After all, a Pride march isn’t the same without skinheads booing from the cordons, and pulling out of Eurovision because it doesn’t agree with traditional national values (read: because it’s too gay). It could be worse.

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Notch, VAULT Festival

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by Dora Bodrogi

CW: war, migration, mental health, homelessness

How do you cope when the promise of the West turns out to be a city in the midst of a housing crisis, and you’re only one pay check away from homelessness? A.A. (Danaja Wass) doesn’t really know.

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The Grim, VAULT Festival

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by Laura Kressly

In a recent article, Nick Chater explains that the majority of people aren’t likely to rebel against tyrannical governments. Most of us are predisposed to follow rules, no matter how arbitrary they are. We might think that we would lead a revolution, but in all likelihood, most of us will do what we’re told. 

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Lost Laowais, VAULT Festival

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by Lizzie Jackson

A greater force does a good job of weaving together the lives of these lost Lǎowàis, causing many awkward, funny, and heartfelt moments to materialise. The term ‘Lǎowài’ means ‘foreigner’ or more literally ‘cold outsider’, which is telling of the reason that fate keeps bringing this bunch of misfits together.

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