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Vault Festival 2018: Our pick of the best shows to see in week three

Pip Brignall in Think of England Pip Brignall in Think of England
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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

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.

Be Prepared

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.

Be Prepared review at Underbelly, Edinburgh – ‘quietly moving’

Mission Abort

Therese Ramstedt in Mission Abort. Photo: Steve Ullathorne
Therese Ramstedt in Mission Abort. Photo: Steve Ullathorne

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

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.


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