Freedom Hi, VAULT Festival

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by Amber Pathak

Making a show political without feeling like a rant is a tough nut to crack; too much seriousness and you’re the news, not enough and you look misguided. The company Papergang Theatre make it look easy. They’ve incorporated just about every performance medium: dance poetry, lecture, video. This is proof that less is not always more.

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Resonate, VAULT Festival

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By Zahid Fayaz

This is the first preview performance of a one-man show following Jacob, a young man trying to turn over a new leaf away from his previous life as a hard-living and loving party animal. He’s doing this through Jesus and focusing on his education. He is, however, finding this difficult due to constant interruptions from his friends and ex-girlfriends whilst he is trying to finish an assignment.

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The Spirit part 1: The Camel, Battersea Arts Centre

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by Euan Vincent

Accompanying the first performance of Thibault Delferiere’s trilogy (directed by Jack McNamara), is a side of A4 paper containing three quotes from Nietzsche. They depict a journey through three transmutations: the spirit as camel, the spirit as lion, the spirit as baby. Like the camel, the spirit desires to burden itself and takes on heavy loads. Once laden it transforms into a lion – where it’s power and destructiveness can create the space for the new. And in that space, the baby emerges –  wide-eyed and forgetful, the spirit can now create unencumbered. That is the journey that the trilogy promises to traverse.

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L I M B O, VAULT Festival

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by Evangeline Cullingworth

Six young actors, maybe friends or maybe strangers, are stuck. They greet us when we enter and they are kind, but they do look a bit lost. They take turns to share important memories from their childhood, which sometimes fall out as fairytales or pop songs. Fragments of innocent childhoods which have slipped through fingers.

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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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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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Naked, VAULT Festival

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by Dora Bodrogi

A piece called Naked is sure to bring a memorable experience. Dancer duo Luke Vincent and Paige-Marie Baker-Carroll’s piece does not disappoint. Theirs is a performance that mixes dance, cabaret, theatre, music, and unconventional movement with the aim of putting unapologetic, raw self-expression in the spotlight in a way that lingers long after the lights fade.

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Sound Cistem, VAULT Festival

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by Grace Bouchard

Heart-thumping music blaring, performers Ayden Brouwers and Lizzie Morris take the stage. As they dance towards each other, vibrant disco lights hitting their slow moving bodies, they ask “How do we look?” and “How do you look?”. It is at this point that we realise why we are here. We are here to look, and to observe.  Simply through the act of being in the room with them, I am complicit in demonstrating the impact the cis gaze has on transgender bodies.

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All Wrapped Up, Stratford Circus

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by Laura Kressly

Oily Cart makes gently immersive, highly sensory performances for people under five years old, and people with complex needs. This winter-themed touring show for little ones takes them into a world of colourful lights, dark shadows and sparkly parcels that reveal an array of treasure, from reams of bubble wrap, to coloured lights to a magnificent puppet constructed out of cellophane. As lights dim and glow amidst the white drapes and shimmering cushions, children are invited to explore the tactile, etherial landscape that evokes the the wonder of unwrapping presents on a snowy Christmas morning.

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Ladylike, Arcola Theatre

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by Nastazja Somers

Casa Festival, London’s largest Latin American arts festival is an annual event that is not
to be missed. Some of the most groundbreaking and refreshing work I’ve seen in my 8 years in London was staged at Casa, including the incredible, heart-stopping 2017 production of Mendoza, a Mexican adaptation of Macbeth. British theatre reflects British society so to say a resistance to staging international work is quite present would be an understatement.

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