Our Man in Havana, VAULT Festival

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By Zahid Fayyaz

Spies Like Us Theatre have returned for one week with their award-winning show from 2017’s Edinburgh Fringe. A five-person adaptation of the Graham Greene satirical novel, this one-hour show follows the story of a local vacuum cleaner salesman pushed into working as a spy for MI6 in Cuba, Havana.

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Visit Bethlehem, VAULT Festival

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By Bryony Rae Taylor

Expert storyteller Osama Al Azza conducts a tour of his home, Palestine’s smallest refugee camp Al Azza, within the city of Bethlehem. A short, sharp, site-specific show which imaginatively blends fun into a personal tale about the brutal reality of living under military occupation.

A review in five vignettes.

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V&V, Vault Festival

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By Evangeline Cullingworth

Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West’s relationship is memorialized in their letters. Lifted from the heady Edwardian drawing rooms, phrases like, “throw over your man, I say, and come” or “I am reduced to a thing that wants Virginia” are stretched out and poured over. We ache for their magnetic rapport and searing wit. We savour the sweetness of their intimacy, captured with their skill and made more beautiful as generations pass.

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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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Alice, VAULT Festival

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by Amber Pathak

Smoke fills the room, we’re all sitting upright in stiff wooden pews, and in the distance a steady drip echoes off the walls. Is this part of the show or is there a leak in the roof? I wonder. Either way it’s very atmospheric.

A spotlight pierces the darkness, illuminating her. As she goes on, it feels more like a sermon. There is a holiness about the whole effect that is totally compelling.

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V + 15, VAULT Festival

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by Lizzie Jackson

The particularly dark and damp Cavern is a perfect location for V+15 what with its references to the trains passing overhead, as well as the mysterious, dystopian theme that runs throughout the play. Jo Sutherland’s writing is philosophical, political and fast-paced with twists and turns at every corner, and the direction from Sara Reimers is naturalistic and engaging, but a bit lacking in its ability to bring out the characters’ emotions. Whether this is down to the actors, the direction, or the script, it is hard to tell. It could be a combination of all three.

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If This Is Normal, VAULT Festival

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by Zahid Fayyaz

This is a three-person play, following the lives and loves of a brother and sister, and their best friend, from when they first meet at school, to after graduation, to university. Along the way, their close friendship is threatened by various events and miscommunications.  Developed with support from the Soho Theatre development labs, this is a punchy and kinetic show, in which the hour passes by in – almost – the blink of an eye.

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