Vault Festival 2018: Our pick of the best shows to see in week three
As London’s Vault Festival moves into its third week, Fergus Morgan picks out five shows to watch out for, from a solo piece based around a collection of TV guides to female-focused wartime drama…
Think of England
Anonymous Is a Woman is a Worcestershire-based young company earning a reputation for producing sensitive, female-focused work in overlooked rural areas. Its immersive wartime drama Think of England went on a national tour in late 2016, adapting itself to village halls and community centres across the country, using 1940s song and dance to tell the scandalous story of two women tasked with boosting morale among doomed RAF squadrons. It should feel right at home in London’s premiere immersive venue.
An Act of Kindness
This debut play from Helena Westerman and Caroline Simonsen’s Rascal Theatre has had runs at the Lion and Unicorn, Theatre503, and the Edinburgh Fringe, and arrives at Vault with a rack of good reviews and an award tucked under its arm. Set entirely at a bus stop and following a conversation between two wildly different Londoners, An Act of Kindness is a relatable comedy that explores the warping pressures of gender roles in modern society.
Bruntwood long-lister Ian Bonar’s debut solo show first ran at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2016, where The Stage called it a “quietly moving” portrait of “a man floundering in a whirl of unexpressed emotions.” It returns for Vault 2018 with its touching, music-inflected story of a wrong number and an unlikely relationship finally allowing a young man to grieve for his father. A quiet, quirky tear-jerker.
Another Edinburgh transfer, Therese Ramstedt’s debut solo show appears at the Vaults after a successful run at the Gilded Balloon last summer. Telling the true story of one woman’s decision to terminate a pregnancy, it explores the still largely taboo topic of abortion with candour and charisma. Sprinkled with sensitive song and dance, it promises an intimate, emotional exploration.
Circled in the Radio Times
This John Osborne isn’t so much an angry young man as a cuddly, 30-something poet and storyteller; he’s an adorable onstage presence with a voice as soft as a duvet – a scruffy, oversized teddy bear you just want to hug. This short, solo show – provoked by the discovery of his late grandfather’s carefully annotated collection of TV guides – is a wistful, wandering act of remembrance. It’s on for only one night, so make sure not to miss it.
We need your help…
When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.
The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.
We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.
Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.