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EDITORIAL: 6 High Concept Shows to Kick Off the First Week of VAULT Festival 2023

VAULT Festival begins in earnest today, and we’re celebrating by offering up six servings of high concept, high drama shows. These are the productions from Week 1 which have caught our eye in the sideways glance they offer on the world, the unusual concept they’re delivering and the powerful messages they are hoping to impact on audiences. Check them out, and support the companies by going to see the shows!

Tuesday 24th Jan

All In Good Time
24th Jan – 27th Jan, 19:50 (60 mins)
Studio
Tickets from £13.00
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Get your VAULT Festival timings right with All In Good Time by The Not-God Complex. This show takes on neurodivergent experiences of time and celebrates the nuances in that experience, especially within ADHD. With the ominous hook of a disembodied countdown appearing on stage, the show promises “Dodos, disco balls and ducks and whatever else we have time for.”


Wednesday 25th Jan

JASON
24th Jan – 29th Jan, 21:00,20:30,14:45 (60 mins)
Crescent
Tickets from £13.00
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Unleash an emotional, queer experience with The Goat Exchange and Marcus Amaglo’s JASON. Taking a sideways look at the seminal 1967 cinematic piece Portrait of Jason, Marcus engages with both the concept and persona of Jason Holliday, his impact on them and the wider world, as well as exploring the intricate circumstances which brought the original film to be. Sure to be emotive and impactful, JASON offers a new, meta look at an old classic.


Thursday 26th Jan

The Pudding Club
24th Jan – 27th Jan, 20:00 (60 mins)
Cage
Tickets from £13.00
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This intriguingly named production originates in exploring the ‘responsibility’ and expectation of Women to be ‘birth-givers’ in Chinese Society. The piece takes this theme with an experimental and unusual concept – turning it into a game, of which the audience take part and decide the story and outcome of the piece. From co-creators Belle Bao and Zhiyuan Jiang, the piece was co-written by Chinese and UK artists. Intrigued? The piece has a few questions to ask before you step in… “If you were in charge of this game, how would you choose? Would you give up the chance of a new birth, or would you embrace all the difficulties and move on to that nebulous future?”.


Friday 27th Jan

HIGH STEAKS
24th Jan – 27th Jan, 18:25 (60 mins)
Studio
Tickets from £13.50
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Performance Artist ELOINA invites us to explore and celebrate labias and bodies in this thrilling (and almost sold out!) concept piece whereby she dangles two raw steaks from her own body. Speaking with ELOINA, she told us she wants to make the audience completely comfortable in the room, focusing on rebelling against patriarchal, educational, medical and capitalist structures which convince people that they need to have labiaplasty – surgery to cosmetically augment the labia. The piece has already proved immensely popular, with a vivid and distinct message, and ELOINA promises to craft a space which opens up insightful and rebellious discussion about our relationships with our bodies.


Saturday 28th Jan

Cybil Service
27th Jan – 10th Feb, 18:45, 20:30 (60 mins)
The Flair Ground
Tickets from £6
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Who left a Drag Queen in charge of Sustainability at the Department of Transport?! Yes, that’s really the concept for this fun, dark and set-to-be hilarious piece. Cybil Service by Sal Mohammed offers up equal parts frivolous fancy and dark diplomacy, tackling our society’s unhealthy relationship with work-life balance and satirising all kinds of elements of diplomacy, governance and the World of Work. All while making you laugh! Who knew drag and the civil service would work so well together?


Sunday 29th Jan

Project Atom Boi
24th – 29th Jan, 20:30, 20:00, 16:20 (60 mins)
Cavern
Tickets from £13
Buy Now

Ensemble Not Found’s Project Atom Boi promises a smorgasbord of inticing, interesting narratives all centred around China, its historic relationship with the USSR, Nuclear Warheads, Utopia/Dystopia and your relationship with your Grandparents. The narrative centres around Yuanzi, a 20-something self-described ‘Doomer’ who decides to make a film about her life. The show takes on themes of apathy and cynicism, as well as our relationship to utopian ideals, especially in a Cold War context. How they are fitting it all into 60 minutes… Well, that’s a mystery that can only be solved by turning up to see it!

Jake Mace

Edinburgh-based Editor-in-Chief. Jake is a prolific writer, known for putting together novel-length reviews that try to heat-seek the essence of everything they watch. Jake is interested in New Writing, 20th Century Adaptations, Musicals and Comedy. They particularly cover Queerness, Nationality, Identity, Automation, Technology and the Post-Soviet Space. Their favourite drink is a North East IPA.

Pronouns: They/Them
Festivals:
EdFringe (2018-2019, 2021-2022), Brighton Fringe (2019), Paris Fringe (2020), VAULT Festival (2023)

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