Our pick of the best shows to book from Vault Festival 2023 – Bloody Mary: Live to Good Grief

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After a two-year hiatus, Vault Festival returns with 500 shows over the next two months at venues around Waterloo. Here are 12 shows you must see.

Audiences engage in this interactive, impromptu show about a group of friends trying to return to civilization and survive in the wilderness after a plane crash. In this horror story from theater company Chronic Insanity, the audience’s decisions determine the plot and how many characters survive the ordeal.

24-28 January

    (Ashley Garrett Photography)

(Ashley Garrett Photography)

A musical about the wives of Henry VIII became an international phenomenon with Six after it debuted at a festival. So why not have a stand-up hour with Henry’s daughter, Mary Tudor? Olivia Miller takes the microphone as the young queen who has come back from the dead to improve her so-called ‘bloody’ image. A brutal stand-up show that looks at all the drama a “queen” has to deal with, from divorced parents to religious purges. The show also played Edinburgh last summer.

24-29 January

Polish actor, writer and producer Remi Rachuba, working with dreamthinkspeak and Katie Mitchell, premiered his solo play Intruder/Intruz in English and Polish at the Edinburgh Fringe last summer. He later brought the game, described by The Scotsman as “complex and disturbing”, to London and Warsaw. It is about a Polish man who comes to Scotland to pursue his dreams of becoming an actor, and encounters traumatic events.

Between 28-29 January

    (Diana Patient)

(Diana Patient)

With her compelling presentation “Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness meets Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” the Ballerina demands further research. This gripping film takes place in a country “not too far, not far” where a British diplomat is arrested by the intelligence agency after being accused of conspiring to overthrow the government. A show that explores democracy by putting the African continent at the center of the discussion. It premiered in 2019 at the Theaterlab NYC in New York.

From January 31 to February 5

It’s a game about deep fake technology that allows images to be manipulated so that anyone can pretend to be someone else – a somewhat frightening prospect. Sockpuppet follows the lives of three students who, from student digs, discover the thorny belly of the internet. Using live camera work, video projection, and real-time deep spoofing software, this show might ask the question – Well, is it your face or mine?

1-2 February

Appearing on the Bridgerton and Mr Selfridge TV series and in Jerusalem, Amy Beth Hayes is making her screenwriting and directing debut in Cracked, set in a Topps Tiles off Route A. Frustrating and disturbing with a complex character at heart who doesn’t know everything about Tile, this show offers a heroine for our time.

from 7 to 10 February

    (Bjorn Bauer)

(Bjorn Bauer)

This is Tom Powell’s new play, which won the Papatango Award for new writing in 2021 and is working on Holby City and EastEnders at the BBC Studios Writers’ Academy. Resurfacing is about Luc, an NHS therapist who is about to drown, and when she surfaced, her whole world changed completely. This two-handed device uses motion-sensitive video design and composition and motion sensor technology to create a ‘Contemporary World Through the Looking Glass’.

14-19 February

The first show of FlawBored, the theater group managed by the disabled, attracted great attention at the festival this year. This black comedy about the monetization of identity politics centers around blind talent manager Tim trying to make disability the next cultural stamp… and thinks he may have hit the jackpot with blind influencer Ross. This won the 2022 LET Greenwich Theater Award.

Between 21-26 February

Written and starring Eleanor Higgins, In Pursuet comes to the Vault Festival for the first time after two sold-outs at the Edinburgh Fringe. She was sent to her ‘female’ therapist’s office to deal with her drinking problem. But she thinks she doesn’t need help and what she really wants is Sue Perkins. They’re made for each other and she’s going after that love, she. Higgins has been described as “perfect” in this one-woman show about addiction and obsession.

From February 25 to March 5

Announced as “STICKY, SEXY and eXXXtra HOT”, The Bitten Peach, the UK’s only pan-Asian queer cabaret ensemble, is at the festival’s new venue, Flair Ground, for a spicy show. Last year, the group featuring more than 70 artists performed at Glastonbury and was the focus of Peach Paradise: Redefining Asian Drag, a Netflix short documentary available on YouTube. Founded in 2019, The Bitten Peach is getting stronger day by day.

25-26 February

This is a comedy about badminton you never knew you needed. It began life as a work-in-progress at the Omnibus Theater in Clapham and now, nearly three years later, here at the Vault Festival. set at the end of 19pearl In the 21st century, this boisterous comedy from the Incognito Theater Company follows a five-man badminton team sent to defeat a mysterious monster terrorizing the English countryside.

From 7 to 12 March

In Good Grief, award-winning physical company Ugly Bucket processes the death of a friend through “a kinetic vortex of ugly clowning, personal testimony, and big techno music.” The Untapped Award-winning show, played in all the halls of the Edinburgh Fringe, started with real experience when a mentor of the terminally ill co-founder of the theater company asked them for a 10-minute performance at the memorial service. They quickly realized that they had more than enough material for a full show about grief and the memories left behind.

Between 14-18 March

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