On Thursday 20th February I was invited by Play to the Crowd and Play Makers to attend the Vault Festival. As a theatre festival the Vault Festival was an amazing experience. The venue was beautifully decorated and lit. I was a cocoon of culture, beauty and art. Completely mind blowing.
I saw two production at the Vault Festival. The first was called The Nobodies by Chalk Line Theatre. The Nobodies is a play about three disenchanted young people whose local Hospital is closing. I felt a connections to the characters in their struggle for financial equality. They created comedy through the script, grotesques characters, movement, music and sound effects. These comedic moments and their breaking of the fourth wall resulted in the performance taking on a Brechtian style. This made it incredibly thought provoking and powerful. I was however conflicted about the narrative. The play began with a honest look at our country and the impact our political landscape has had on young people. It then became a play about revolution, how a revolution can get out of control and cause anarchy. I found this conflicting and felt even more disenchanted than I did prior to the performance.
The second production that I saw was called Vile Acts of love written by Naomi Sheldon and directed by Matt Peover. This was a beautiful performances staged like a boxing match. It was a fiery discussion between Sam and Rose who were deeply in love in their twenties and are together again at their friends’ wedding. The audience were lit and sat in the round. Being able to see the reactions of the other audience members was brilliant especially since the heated discussion between Sam and Rose was very honest about toxic Musicality, feminism and gaslighting. Sheldon has created two wonderful, complex characters who masterfully reveal themselves to the audience through out the performance. As an audience member it was impossible not to see similarities between Rose and Sam’s relationship and some of my own. It was an intoxicating, honest and tense performance. It’s a must see.
I want to thank Play to the Crowd and Play Makers for not only paying for my theatre tickets but also the train ticket to London. It is something that is unaffordable to a lot of young people and I would have struggled to attend the Vault Festival without that financial support.