LONDON – VAULT Festival is more than ever before a launch pad for some of the most exciting new works and artists in the industry today. This year sees eight weeks with over 600 innovative live performances with over a third of the programme given over to brand new work in its very first incarnation.
Championing early career artists, over 230 shows have never been seen before with upwards of 170 shows staging their first full professional premieres. More than 150 early works-in-progress across theatre and comedy are using excited VAULT Festival audiences to test new material as they get ready for the Edinburgh Fringe, international tours and beyond. Making the most of their lower-risk accessibility for artists, VAULT Festival aims to remove as many barriers to entry as possible, providing the perfect platform for creative teams to develop a piece and share it with brand new audiences and professionals.
The VAULT Edition of the Brand Nouveau Initiative has brought together a group of the best black and minority ethnic artists ready to take the next step in their careers and provided opportunities to network, receive mentoring, and benefit from creative space, time and research opportunities. From 10th – 22nd March, The Kola Nut Does Not Speak English, written by Tania Nwachukwu using African theatre practices, call and response, dance, song, and poetry, will play in rep with Resonate from Ntonga Mwanza which merges physical theatre, hip hop dance and spoken word.
The final week of VAULT Festival 2020 will see the winners of Wildcard Theatre’s RAISE and Four of a Kind Awards take to the stage. Alinement Productions was awarded RAISE to help them present their first full professional production, A Lightweight Disposable Product in which a teenage runaway becomes one of the UK’s first women working in punk. Wildcard’s Artist Development Programme Four of a Kind showcases four brand new work-in-progress performances from emerging companies hoping to establish themselves.
Nick Hern Books’ Plays from VAULT 5 marks 27 plays, over 30 playwrights, and half a decade of publishing some of the most exciting work coming out of the festival. This year five of the six writers, behind four of the five plays, were published for the first time. Meanwhile, the VAULT Festival New Writers Programme will have its public showcase of ten-minute extracts on Sunday 22nd March. Led by OFFIE Award nominated playwright Guleraana Mir (Coconut and BBC Writer’s Room) and proudly supported by Nick Hern Books, prospective writers of any age have taken part in an eight-week practical writing course to develop a piece of writing for the stage.
Throughout the festival over 40 workshops across disciplines will take place all over VAULT, creating free opportunities for visiting companies and staff to build on their skills, networks and resources within the industry. Its inaugural year saw The CULTIVATE Bursary, in association with COMMON and The Corn Exchange, Newbury awarded to two working class artists at this year’s Festival, Shy Bairn Theatre for
Talk Propa and to Sarah Henley for Essence. They received a cash injection towards the production cost and £750 worth of communications support, as well as mentorship and industry exposure.
The VAULT Festival Directors and Producers Mat Burtcher and Andy George comment: “Since VAULT Festival began in 2012, it’s grown faster than we ever anticipated – but our core values of opportunity, equality, honesty, respect and kindness remain the same. The Festival is and always has been a place for artists and audiences of all walks of life to feel welcomed, to find new perspectives on the world and to be able to take risks in sharing important stories. We’re honoured that more artists than ever before have this year chosen VAULT Festival to be the launch pad for their new work, as part of a programme that continues to showcase diverse and emerging talent from London and beyond.”
VAULT Festival 2020 runs from 28th January to 22nd March 2020. For full list of programmes, venues and tickets, visit their website here