London. It’s full of quirkyness and kookyness, artistic endeavours that sit just left of the middle. This Spring (maybe that’s optimistic, Winter) I’m looking forward to VAULT – a three-week festival of theatre, film and music, run by Heritage Arts. Taking place at the Old Vic Tunnels this festival mixes up film, music, opera, art, comedy and story telling to create an exciting and diverse programme. Aiming to ‘cross boundaries and invite a vibrant and hip audience to embrace the arts in an innovative way’, and ‘hopes to be to London what the Fringe is to Edinburgh.’
I’m heading down to Silent Opera, which reboots La bohème combining silent disco with live opera and a incredible new recording of Puccini’s orchestral score. Already having tackled Dido & Aeneas back in February 2011 this journey into the high tech world of one of the most successful and enduring operas of all time will be pretty interesting. Never having been to the opera before, this is certainly one way to experience it for the first time. Similar by name but not necessarily bu nature is into Streetwise Opera’s magical world of folklore with Fables – A Film Opera which consists of short films created by composers and filmmakers and 125 performers who have experienced homelessness. I’m already convinced of the power of music to change lives and this looks set to confirm this on an practical as well as emotional level.
Uniting my love of stories and sounds is the The Folk Contraption by Rogues Gallery. The concept is one of an album of short plays with music – the promise looks to be an eclectic night of storytelling, folk music and a dab of mystery. Sounding more conventional, although I’m sure set to challenge such presumptions, is Brand New Love Story, the play by Richard Marsh and Katie Bonna’s about two hapless romantics who try to make a one-night stand last a lifetime. Useless romance and witty banter – could just go to the pub with the girls I guess
Also having caught my eye is a tale of envy and rage about a woman finds herself betrayed and tells us about it through her band Furies. Organised by Kindle Theatre The Furies unites theatre and live music, combining rock, metal and soul with text and poetry. A lot of art. There must be a lot of angst.
Of course, if you don’t want to bump into Who’s Jack at any of these places, there’s also Lates, which are live music events with screens, live bands, dancers, DJs, magicians, tarot readings and, of course, champagne prizes for fancy dress, or The Great Puppet Horn, a satirical shadow-puppet comedy, all cardboard critique. Memories are explored via objects and videos in Broken Loops, and Punt is an evening devoted to puns. And if you want to hang out with the uber cool, check out the flicker club which screens movies adapted from short stories and novels and invites surprise celebrity guests to read before blowing them up on the big screen.
In short, it looks to be an exciting, engaging, eclectic blur of a three weeks. Look out for posts post-Vault to see if it delivers up to its unorthodox promise.
Vault Festival runs February 9th to 26th, at the Old Vic Tunnels. The website says the bar is ‘devilishly cheap.’ Awesome.
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