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. Continue reading “2020 VAULT Festival – 20 shows to see”

Review: What The Dolls Saw / He’s Behind You! The Slasher Panto, London Horror Festival at the Pleasance Theatre

What The Dolls Saw gives an hour of impressively chilling comedy at the London Horror Festival at the Pleasance Theatre, whilst He’s Behind You! The Slasher Panto feels like an experiment that hasn’t quite paid off

“I think I only eat quiche at funerals”

 

There can’t be anyone who isn’t at least slightly creeped out by dolls, surely. And that’s kind of what Nic Lamont is relying upon for her new play What the Dolls Saw, playing the Pleasance as part of the London Horror Festival. Drawing on fairytales, stories around the campfire, shadow puppetry and the world’s interest in true crime, she’s fashioned an hour of effectively chilling comedy.

Three wildly different sisters are brought back together to their family home by the death of their father, a renowned dollmaker. Their mother, a former child star with a dead twin (this is a horror show after all…), is naturally behaving a bit oddly but of more significance to the siblings, is the opportunity to delve into the secrets and traumas they each have buried, turning this reunion into a reckoning with chilling ramifications galore.

Continue reading “Review: What The Dolls Saw / He’s Behind You! The Slasher Panto, London Horror Festival at the Pleasance Theatre”

Review: Graeme of Thrones, Charing Cross

“It’s going to be Hodorable…”

If you haven’t seen an episode of Game of Thrones, I’m not entirely why you would want to come and see a show that spoofs it lovingly if relentlessly. The blurb for Graeme of Thrones mentions it could be seen as “an introduction for the unenlightened” but let’s be frank, to expect a rapid-fire comedy show to catch you up on seven seasons of intricately plotted fantasy drama and enable you to get such puns as the one above is to make you as naive as, well, Ned Stark.

But for the initiated, there’s lots to enjoy in this madcap which rattle through an inordinate amount of material in its 90 minutes and still barely scratches the surface of the Seven Kingdoms. From its hilarious re-enactment of the opening credits to the arrival of actual dragons*, John-Luke Roberts, Nicola Lamont and Ross Spaine work overtime to take us from Westeros to Essos and back and cover as much of the plot as they can shoehorn in, along with jokes at many of the tropes it fully embraces. Continue reading “Review: Graeme of Thrones, Charing Cross”