Quick Fire Questions | Becky Brown, Head of Producing at The VAULT Festival 2019

The VAULT Festival officially kicks off in London today! Taking over a whole range of performance spaces in Waterloo, there is something for everyone to go and see at the VAULT Festival 2019. To find out more about this year’s festival, I managed to grab a few moments of the Head of Producing, Becky Brown’s time to answer a few of my questions.

HS: For those who have never heard of VAULT Festival, how would you describe what it’s all about?

BB: VAULT Festival is London’s largest arts festival, the UK’s largest curated festival, possibly the world’s biggest and therefore the most gargantuan in the UNIVERSE! But in all seriousness, VAULT Festival is an eight week festival which takes over venues across Waterloo offering a wide range of theatre, comedy, immersive experiences, cabaret, live performance and late night parties. There is something for everyone and a chance to discover new shows every night. We invite one and all to join us for this carnival of experience, filled with entertainment and unexpected adventure!

HS: As the event showcases a range of forms from comedy to theatre to cabaret and more, do you tend to strive towards an equal balance of programming?

BB: We are thrilled this year to be working with three new Heads of Strand to curate the programme. Our Head of Theatre and Performance, Gill Greer, brings her expertise as a dramaturg and playwright to the programme. Brid Kirby, Head of Comedy, returns to curate our second Comedy Festival building on the successful programme she developed last year. Laura Drake Chambers, as Head of Lates, brings over a decade of late night and festival experience to the Late Night programming. The combination of these talented humans and our programming panel means this year the programme is larger and more diverse than it has ever been before.

HS: Can you tell us about the charities that VAULT Festival have teamed up with for 2019?

BB: VAULT Festival will be working with Help Refugees for 2019. They are an incredible organisation started only a few years ago by a group of people who wanted to offer support to those in refugee camps across Europe. In less than two years, they’ve become the biggest facilitator of grassroots aid on the continent, with more than 80 projects across Europe and the Middle East! When you buy any ticket to VAULT Festival, you’ll be given the chance to donate to Help Refugees and support their vital work to provide humanitarian aid to displaced people around the world.

VAULT Festival is also working with Child.org’s on their Team Mum campaign to launch pregnancy support services in Meru, Kenya. Our exciting new partner venue at The Horse and Stables will host a variety of theatre, comedy, music and poetry, all with a special emphasis on the power of femininity and motherhood across the last three weeks of the festival. Highlights include: Drunk Women Solving Crime (a special International Women’s Day recording of the chart-topping comedy podcast), Seska: Spot the Difference (a family comedy magician), and Call Your Mum (a live show featuring your mum). A percentage of ticket sales for this venue will be donated to Team Mum.

HS: What can aspiring creatives do to ensure their pieces can be considered for a festival like VAULT Festival?

BB: Keep on doing what you are doing! We have an open application process and anyone is invited to apply. We are always on the lookout for exciting new voices and never-before-told stories, formal innovation and bold new ideas. Ask yourself what makes your piece stand out from the crowd and sing about it!

HS: Are there any shows appearing at the Festival that are absolute must-sees?

BB: Picking is always so hard with more than 400 shows! Here are a few highlights but do check out vaultfestival.com as there are so many more.

COUNTING SHEEP – The London premiere of a brand-new version of the award-winning show (Scotsman Fringe First, Amnesty International Freedom of Expression) from the directors of the Belarus Free Theatre. An immersive guerilla folk opera!

NEW DIORAMA THEATRE TAKEOVER – A showcase of some of the UK’s most exciting ensemble work including: A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad), Kill the Beast’s Director’s Cut, Queens of Sheba and The Talented Mr. Ripley.

BOBBY & AMY – From Fringe First Winner Emily Jenkins, it’s a tale of friendship, heartache and loss of innocence, when two outcast teenagers try to save their sleepy country town from catastrophe.

ROB OLDHAM: WORM’S LAMENT – Rob Oldham, Amused Moose Breakthrough Comic 2017, considers politics, youth and death. He does jokes to ensure this is funny.

ELF LYONS: LOVE SONGS TO GUINEA PIGS – Award-winning comedian and clown Elf Lyons presents a surreal tale of love and loneliness in the style of a 1980s Elton John rock concert.

THE CHURCH OF THE STURDY VIRGIN – Our first ever takeover in our immersive venue, Unit 9! Boomtown Fair favourites and interactive specialists Dank Parish take audiences on an immersive voyage exploring the discourse of death. Abide with us at the Church of the Sturdy Virgin, where death is our pleasure.

JUNIPER AND JULES – Stephanie Martin’s new comedy/drama about queer relationships, non-monogamy and how we choose to love.

THE EMBERS COLLECTIVE TAKEOVER – Gather round with The Embers Collective and meet some Beautiful Monsters from myth and folklore, for an intimate performance combining live music, stories and songs. Just for you.

Huge thanks to Becky for giving us her time! I’ve also done a post detailing my top picks for The VAULT Festival this year which you can view here. The VAULT Festival runs from 23rd January to 17th March. For tickets and more information you can visit https://vaultfestival.com/

Until next time,


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