A blog post written by Imogen for the theatre app @Stagedoor, of which she is Deputy Assistant of Content & Partnerships.
On January 24th the VAULT Festival 2018 opened up its doors to a world of underground magic. Eight weeks, over 300 shows, and a whole lot of surprises.
This is certainly a theatre festival to be celebrated.
In one of our previous posts “If you can’t see the change and you also can’t be the change…” fellow team member Niki spoke about some of the frustrations that exist in the theatre world, both amongst artists and audiences. Frustration at a lack of new faces, new stories, affordable seats, diversity, opportunity, creativity, and of course the all-important … inspiration.
Those frustrations are not unwarranted. But, as is often found in social or cultural states of frustration and unrest…if you look hard enough, if you dare to walk the unbeaten path, you may discover a whole community of people working towards change, towards innovation and towards inspiration. This, I believe, is what the VAULTS 2018 is packed full of.
The festival has been running for over 6 years now, and it has always been championed for its fearlessness in terms of what the program has on offer. Over the weekend I have worked to put together a curated list: VAULT Festival Top Picks, with Stagedoor’s show recommendations and let me tell you – it was no easy task.
There is comedy, circus, site-specific, immersive theatre, new writing, musicals, solo shows, cabaret, music, there is everything you imagine a theatre festival to have on offer. So, what makes the VAULTS so special and how is it different to any other theatre festival?
“VAULT is unique. It's low risk and high reward which is ideal for new, emerging and established artists to present work, share ideas and continue to grow. It's a broad ship, with scope for a rich mixture of styles, stories and experiences, so there's room for every kind of artist and audience member!”
- Jon Parry, Old Sole Theatre (Great Again: The Musical – VAULT 2018 24th Jan – 28th Jan).
It is big enough to appeal to everyone’s varying taste buds, and it is small enough to allow everyone involved to feel just that; involved. Seen. Noticed. Heard. After all, is that not what theatre should be about? Coming together. It is clear from the festival mission statement, and Stagedoor having been in talks with one of the festival co-founders Mat Bur, that this is a festival with a commitment to its artists and to its audiences. It wants to challenge the norm and push boundaries, without compromising the very people who are striving to do the pushing. It wants to encourage expression whilst advocating inclusion, collaboration and equality.
It is bursting at the seams with creativity and compassion, and its line up of work reflects that.
We at Stagedoor are eager to support and champion this festival because at our core, we have a shared ethos - to provide a platform with a level playing field for both theatre makers and theatre goers.
There is a whole world of exciting and unique theatre work waiting to be found. We hope to see you there…
Be Bold. Be Brave. Join us underground.