As Vault Festival strides into its fourth week, there’s a real sense that the festival has found its feet. Week four sees the arrival of several headline transfers, as well as a splurge of exciting new writing. Fergus Morgan picks out five shows not to miss…
If We Got Some More Cocaine I Could Show You How I Love You
John O’Donovan’s first full-length play was a mini-hit when it premiered at the Old Red Lion in September 2016, The Stage’s Dave Fargnoli describing it as “a caustic character piece exploring love, identity and illegal substances”. It features two petty thieves stuck on a rooftop after a robbery gone wrong, and explores everything from homophobia to the collapse of the Celtic Tiger. Thomas Martin’s production was a heady mix of tension and vertigo in Islington. Hopefully it will recapture that on its transfer underground.
Longsight Theatre was behind Camilla Whitehill’s well-received monologues Where Do Little Birds Go? and Mr Incredible  back in 2016. Its production of Mark Wilson’s play about adoption has been around for a while, debuting at the Brighton Festival in 2015 and picking up several awards in the process, but it will still pack a punch. Wilson and director Sarah Meadows were both adopted themselves, so expect a painful, personal journey into the thorny issues involved.
I Have a Mouth and I Will Scream
One of three pieces of new writing co-produced by Joyous Gard at Vault this year – the other’s are Joe Eyre’s Tiger and David K Barnes’ Timothy – this is a “play-performance-art-protest-thing” that attempts to address every single feminist issue in 60 minutes. Written by Fringe First-winner Abi Zakarian and directed by Rafaella Marcus, it’s developed from a short play on similar themes and features six women doing a whole lot of crazy stuff, loudly.
A Serious Play About World War II
Farceurs Willis and Vere’s last show, The Starship Osiris, scooped up both Vault Festival’s and Brighton Fringe’s comedy awards last year, before being showered in even more accolades during a successful Edinburgh Festival Fringe run. This follow-up show heads into murkier territory, poking fun at the pretentiousness of theatre and the tragedies of the Second World War at the same time. Hmm…
The closure of Exeter’s Bike Shed Theatre  may be a tragedy, but there are reasons for the city to be cheerful. The Peaceful Defeat is just one of a handful of exciting, young, Exeter-based companies making waves in the wider world right now. Its debut show by Alex Benjamin follows three e-sports enthusiasts suddenly thrown back into a world they can’t cope with. It ran briefly at the Camden Fringe last August and returns to London now with its promise of a “dizzying, manic trip into the world of professional gaming.”