Leake St, South Bank, London SE1 7NN, UK

Top 10 Picks for VAULT Festival 2019, London

One of the largest curated arts festivals in the world, VAULT returns to London this Spring. It features the best in comedy, theatre, cabaret and immersive experiences to get stuck into. 2019 will be their biggest, boldest and bravest programme yet with more than 400 performances taking place between January 23 - March 17.

The VAULT Festival is now in its 7th year and inhabits London's Waterloo as it's location. There are multiple performance spaces located underground in the festival's central hub, The Vaults. Other festival venues used include London's secret community performance space The Network Theatre, upstairs at The Horse & Stables pub, Granby Place, and the Travelling Through Bookshop on Lower Marsh where you can catch fresh material from television favourites and hot new comics. Unit 9 on Leake Street will be a space dedicated to ground-breaking immersive performances while other pop-up venues include shipping containers, caravans and escape rooms. 

This festival is extremely exciting and I even experienced it for myself last year for the first time. I thought the experience was outstanding. 

Having looked at the exceptionally vast programme on offer I've collated the Top 10 Picks from the festival that caught my attention particularly and sound fantastic. Of course, there's so much more in the full programme here. 

23-27 Jan
Yasmin Sidhu and Casey Smith are the best of friends. At the age of 17 the world as they know it is about to change. Yasmin will be off to University, a good one - to study Maths. And Casey, she hasn't figured out what she wants to be yet. She has heard you can make a living doing makeup tutorials on insta, and nobody can contour like Casey. They live in a small town in the Midlands where they've had to grow up wildly different, but this is what makes their friendship so strong. But when a video of Yasmin goes viral, everyone is shocked to hear that she's breaking the internet and not Casey. 

17 is a fantastic look at what it's like being a teenager in the 21st Century; trying things, learning stuff, failing, succeeding, heartbreak, expectations and shame. This play will certainly throw you back into those unsteady days of being 17 yourself.

You can find out more about 17 and how to book your tickets here.

Katie & Pip
23-27 Jan
Katie & Pip is a performance that celebrates the relationship between Katie, a Type 1 Diabetic teenager and Pip, her pet border collie trained by Katie to save her life on a daily basis. The performance duo have been on a journey of extreme highs and lows, therefore embracing the unpredictability of flailing blood sugar levels and dangerous symptoms with the aim of staying alive. Making Katie's invisible disability, visible. We're taken on a true story which began in Scotland; you'll celebrate freedom and living life to the full, with the help of a gorgeous dog called Pip. 

You can find out more about Katie & Pip and how to book your tickets here

The Bee Project 
25 - 26 Jan
The Bee Project invites us to look at how we view the world and how we can all create change. Laura finds a tired bee on the floor and becomes very worried about the world she's living in. Freya, her best friend just wants to get to the party. The two friends must negotiate the night as it dances away with them. It's about picking each other up, supporting each other and learning how to care. The Midlands based company will present The Bee Project as their first show together as a collective. It incorporates dance, movement and devised theatre to find entertaining ways to explore environmental issues. 

You can find out more about The Bee Project and how to book your tickets here

A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad)
30 Jan - 3 Feb
Brought to you Silent Uproar comes a hilarious cabaret musical about depression. It explains, sings and throws glitter about how it's OK not to be OK. You'll meet Sally and Sally is a happy person. She doesn't let the little things get her down and almost never cries. But she's got an illness. It makes her feel like she isn't the person she wants to be, but she doesn't want anyone around her to know about it. The show has received some fantastic reviews and will generate fantastic conversation about depression. It has been described as a joyful, buoyant, gleeful, slightly silly, sugar-coated, unrelenting and completely super happy show! (except for the bits about depression). 

You can find out more about this show and how to book your tickets here.

Bar Wotever Bonanza
22 Feb - 15 Mar
Bar Wotever Bonanza is packed full of performance, power and pride! Every show will present a different theme and energy but every evening will be just as powerful as the other. It will leave the sweet taste of queer love in your mouth. There are acts and performances from some of London cabaret's best artists, it is without a doubt something to educate, entertain and empower you! If you enjoy something with variety then Bar Wotever Bonanza will give you that from high energy lip sync to soft spoken world - definitely expect the unexpected with this one! 

Find out more and book your tickets for Bar Wotever Bonanza here.

06 - 10 Mar
Notflix is a five-star sell-out show at both Edinburgh Finge 2016-2018 and VAULT Festival 2017-18! Notflix combines the taste profiles of a room full of theatregoers to create a brilliantly hilarious and completely improvised viewing experience - a full musical. The all female cast use audience suggestions of recently watched films to create a brand new, fully improvised, one-night-only musical inspired by one audience member's idea and explanation. Every show is completely different but what remains is the same joy-filled, high camp, musical celebration of everything you wish a movie to be!

You can find out more and book your tickets for Notflix here. 

08-09 March
Last year it was reported that 34% of young people voted YouTuber as their top career choice. Claire was intrigued and decided to have a go herself. Part documentary, part live performance, part parody, part desperate as f*ck, Claire does everything she can to entertain her online audience. Whilst still remaining 100% totally authentically real. See-Through is an edited, unedited, live, pre-recorded, reality show that invites you to see behind the camera. I can see a lot of my fellow YouTubers finding this performance interesting for them! 

To book your tickets for See-Through and to find out more about the show, visit here.

Blue Planet III
09 - 17 Mar
The VAULT Festival also has plenty for children to enjoy on its programme, including Blue Planet III. Two idiots at the BBC are making another Blue Planet documentary - but how do you know what a fish is if you've never left your office? Put on your polar ice caps and climb aboard an adventure for this one to save the oceans! David Attenborough meets clowning in this children's comedy show brought to you by Luke Rollason and Christian Brighty. 

You can find out more about Blue Planet III and how to book your tickets here

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Access Platform 
13-14 Mar

Access Platform brings you the best of disabled theatre artists on the London theatre scene right now. Experience five exciting pieces of writing from five talented, emerging disabled artists all with something different to show you. They were selected from an open call and Last Word are bringing you five fresh voiced with new and bold statements perspectives for British Theatre. 

You can find out more about Access Platform and how to book your tickets here

Lucy Light
13-17 Mar
"Do you get to design your boobs? Is it like build a bear?" Lucy Light is a story that spans ten years, following two normal teenagers into adulthood...except Lucy has a big decision she must make. A comedy play written by Off West End Award nominee Sarah Milton, Lucy Light takes a nostalgic look on our relationship with our bodies, the hereditary nature of cancer, and the strength of female friendships.

You can find out more about Lucy Light and how to book your tickets here

Don't forget that there more than 400 performances at the VAULT Festival. You can find out more about the programme by visiting the website. 

Will you be heading to the VAULT Festival in London this Spring? 


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