Big Girl, Bread & Roses Theatre

by Laura Kressly

Emily Jane Rooney longs for a world that doles out praise for being happy rather than being skinny, and where people can comfortably be their true selves. On the other hand, she wants the posh kid she works with to just fuck off. This clever use of contrast – switching from warm and vulnerable, to biting and sharp, and back again – keeps this one-woman show consistently engaging and fun despite a few underdeveloped moments that don’t fully cohere with the rest of the narrative.

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Bard in the Yard, Park Hill Park

Preview: Bard in the Yard - Theatre Weekly

by Laura Kressly

About four and a half months since seeing last seeing live, in-person performance, I’m in a park 20 minutes away from my flat, about to watch a one-person, outdoor show. It feels slightly surreal given the times we live in, but Bard in the Yard embraces that, and truly lifts a mirror up to pandemic life today.

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I Malvolio, touring and online

Tim Crouch on 'I, Malvolio,' His One-Man Show at the Duke - The ...

by Euan Vincent

This is Tim Crouch’s retelling of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night through the eyes of the
blighted and picked-upon puritan, Malvolio. It’s the fourth time Crouch has written such an adaptation, which he hopes will “unlock Shakespeare for young audiences”.

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Orangutan, VAULT Festival and online

Image result for orangutan, vault festival

by Grace Bouchard

When she was three years old, Alice fell into an orangutan enclosure. Now, as a 24-year-old woman, she recounts the story directly to us, though she makes a point to let us know she doesn’t tell people this story often. Years of being called ‘Monkey Girl’ in school has scarred her somewhat, despite the fact that orangutans are not monkeys – they are apes – something Alice reminds us of frequently throughout.

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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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Alice, VAULT Festival

Image result for alice, vault festival

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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Sticky Door, VAULT Festival

Image result for Sticky door vault festival katie arnstein

by Joanna Trainor

Disclaimer: Good reviewing practice is not to put yourself into your article – your review is about the show, not the journalist. But I have such an emotional connection to Katie Arnstein’s work, that I struggle to write about her productions as ‘objectively’ as I perhaps should. It’s probably why it’s taken me so long to put pen to paper.

Rhubarb and custard sweets, a ukulele, placards, and a voiceover montage of misogynistic statements that make you oh so angry – all signs point to the final installment of Katie Arnstein’s It’s A Girl! trilogy.

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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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The Place’s Young Critics review: Sexy Lamp at VAULT Festival

Image result for sexy lamp, katie arnstein

by Cara Lee

Much like Bicycles and Fish, the first show Katie Arnstein performed at the festival, Sexy Lamp is a perfect mix of wit, emotion and more serious points, that reflect both her own experiences and the experiences of the majority of women with misogyny, perfectly. In this show, the second of her trilogy It’s A Girl!, she moves on to her first experiences trying to make it in London in the world of acting, once again discussing her struggles against misogyny.

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