Review: Violet, VAULT Festival

Some beautiful lighting work elevates Bebe Sanders’ Violet at the VAULT Festival

“A change is as good as a rest”

Bebe Sanders’ Violet should not be confused with Jeanine Tesori’s Violet, though they do share a touch of the same DNA in tracking an epochal journey for a young woman. Here, Bertie is 27 and when she loses her job, boyfriend and flat in quick succession, she abandons London to find refuge in a cousin’s house by the seaside.

Feeling a failure and lacking direction, it is only a chance encounter with an old woman on a beach that offers a chink of light through the darkness of her depression. But from there grows an unlikely friendship as Violet employs Bertie as an assistant and their relationship develops to include chip shop pickled eggs, swing dance lessons and no small amount of wine.

Sanders performs her monologue with real skill and an emotional openness that never lets you disconnect from the material, stepping gingerly through the minefield of Violet’s failing memory and her own situation . Ellie Gauge’s production is supported by her evocative design of sandboxes and a simple but beautifully effective lighting work from Ed Theakston.  

Running time: 1 hour (without interval)
Violet is booking at the VAULT Festival until 3rd February

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