2020 VAULT Festival – 20 shows to see

Insofar as it is humanly possible for any one person to know everything that is happening at the VAULT Festival this year, I present a handful of my recommendations for 2020.

In all honesty though, I think the best thing to do is just pick a night, go down there and see what tickles your fancy – the level of quality here really is something to admire and means it’ll be very hard to end up disappointed. Take a look at their website here.

LGBT+ stories

Body Talk – 29 Jan — 02 Feb
Full Disclosure Theatre take on male body image from the gay perspective, looking at the damage that can be imposed by obsessing over it.

how we love 18 — 23 Feb
Regi and Babs are getting married. She’s a lesbian and he’s gay but they need the cover to deal with the dangers posed by the prevailing attitudes towards homosexuality in Nigeria.

Notch 19 — 23 Feb
After the devilish fun of Ladykiller, the Thelmas return with this dark meditation on migration, homelessness and obsession from Danaja Wass.

V&V 03 — 08 Mar
Exploring communication then and now, V&V contrasts love stories past and present from Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West’s love letters, to Mia and Lottie’s online missives.

Too Pretty To Punch 03 — 08 Mar
A comedy spoken word show from Edalia Day about gender and featuring original songs and video work about trans life in 21st century Britain.


What The Dolls Saw 05 — 09 Feb
I saw this as part of the London Horror Festival late last year, and am very tempted to go again to revisit its idiosyncratic weirdness.

Sorry 06 Feb, 13 Feb, 14 Feb
This had me crying with laughter last year, so I don’t see why you shouldn’t expect the same with this hilarious improv troupe.

Sticky Door 11 — 16 Feb
The final show in Katie Arnstein’s It’s A Girl trilogy, this is guaranteed to be a success. And what’s more, you can see the full trilogy (including Bicycles and Fish and Sexy Lamp) on the same day – see you there?

Joseph Morpurgo (Work in Progress) 20 Feb
Morpurgo is, for my money, one of our finest comedians so the opportunity to see him is one never to miss.

The Brief Life and Mysterious Death of Boris III, King of Bulgaria: Part The First 11 — 15 Mar
Out of the Forest Theatre’s Call Me Fury ended up as the second best thing I saw in the whole of last year, so I have high hopes for this latest piece from their ever-fertile pen.


Over My Dad’s Body 28 Jan — 01 Feb
I mean, just look at this trailer!

Catch of the Day 29 Jan, 30 Jan, 31 Jan
Scheduling means I’m not sure I’m going to be able to make this sadly, but I recommend that you go along and tell me what I missed out on.

Asian Pirate Musical 29 Feb, 01 Mar
As if the title weren’t enough to tempt you along to this work-in-progress…
A 14th century diplomat-turned-treasure hunter.
A 19th century Pirate Queen.
A trio of plant-loving, queer as fuck deep-space revolutionaries.

STAGES – a video game musical 03 — 08 Mar
“A bold new British musical that has to be played to be experienced”, who could resist the lure of an interactive video game musical?!

Ride 03 — 08 Mar
This could have been in the above category too, as Bottle Cap Theatre’s The Limit was a cracking show in last year’s festival line-up. This time their focus falls on 19th century cyclist Annie Londonderry.

And the rest…
Dual دوگانه   n19 — 23 Feb
I’m putting aside my innate reservation about puppetry for this, as it also includes drag, poetry, and personal/archival interviews – all set to stripped back renditions of Persian pop classics. Am always on the lookout for new Spotify recommendations 😉

Dumbledore Is So Gay, 25 Feb — 01 Mar
From the writer of the quirky Cluedo Club Killings, A play for people of all sexualities and all levels of Harry Potter fandom.

Lòng Mẹ (Mother’s Soul) 03 — 08 Mar
Lòng Mẹ, which translates into Mother’s Soul/Heart/Love, features two different stories tied together by one commonality, their Vietnamese mothers.

She Is A Place Called Home 03 — 08 Mar
A tale about British-Nigerian sisters as they confront what their Dad’s decision to take another wife means for their faith, their family and their future.

All Quiet on the Western Front 03 — 08 Mar
We may not have been wanting for WWI stories as its centenary passed recently but how many of them were told from the perspective of the German soldiers? Incognito Theatre’s physical work seems ideal to bring this to light. 


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