After a very successful 2018 and a massive push to be more inclusive, the Vaults are back to take over London Waterloo’s nether regions. We’re just a little bit excited about what is going to be in store and don’t care if our nerve endings will be shattered by the end of it. BRING IT ON. Here are some of the team’s top picks:Jake Orr, Founder & Artistic Dircetor Following Snapper Theatre’s debut play Lobster at Theatre503 last year, Thomas is the company’s second show and highly anticipated. Thomas explores aspergers and masculinity and how the two sit side by side in growing up as young men Returning to Vault Festival, Christopher Adams turns his playwriting to something more personal as he shares the stage with his husband Tim. Delving into their open relationship and questioning what this means as a married gay couple you can expect all the wit of Adams’ writing in honest and enlightening show, Open. Jamie Eastlake is no stranger to the London Fringe scene following the founding of N16 and the championing of emerging artists. Now he takes the stage himself in one-man show, Monkey’s Blood, co-written by Eastlake, and featuring a puppet monkey. Yes, we’re just as intrigued as you are.. Thomas will run from 23 – 27 January. Open will run from 23 – 27 January. Monkey’s Blood will run from 6 – 10 February. Maddy Lee, Contributor I love the use of verbatim in theatre so am excited to see it used in I Stopped… When. The show also tackles new and modern issues about race – an intriguing topic in theatre today. It’s not often you find theatre about type 1 diabetes despite its commonality and difficulty it causes in people’s lives. I’m looking forward to see Katie & Pip because it feels like an unseen subject matter in theatre. I Stopped… When will run from 23 – 27 January. Katie & Pip will run from 23 – 27 Jan. Tricia Wey, Contributor I missed the original run, so I am beyond pumped that I’ll have another chance to catch Queens of Sheba. Misogynoir is a story not often told and I am so excited to be amongst the energy and vivacity of Nouveau Riche as they tell it! As a Black woman who hears this a lot, I’m psyched to see how AYT reviewer, Lekhani Chirwa’s solo show, Can I Touch Your Hair tackles the question that seems to be on the mind of friend and stranger alike Queens of Sheba will run from 30 Jan – 3 Feb Can I Touch Your Hair? will run from 8 – 9 MarchQueens of Sheba will run from 30 Jan – 3 Feb Josephine Balfour Oatts, Reviews Co-ordinator Eat Your Heart Out, an Anti-Valentines Riot – all shimmering chaos in the form of an immersive performance party. What’s not to love? Eat Your Heart Out will run on 16 Feb. Alannah Jones, Contributor I’m excited to see such an array of queer theatre this year, with 25% of work coming from LGBTQIA+ artists. I also love how the Vault Festival is championing new writing in what can be a very tough London theatre scene. Some pieces of LGBT themed new writing I’m excited about are: a modern retelling of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, genre-bending comedic/noir/mystery play Without That Certain Thing, and Pufferfish, a play based on gay 80s serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. Orlando will run from 20 – 24 Feb Without That Certain Thing will run from 27 Feb – 3 March Pufferfish will run from 6 – 10 March Samuel Sims, Managing Editor Whilst I’ve seen theatre dealing with meat consumption and veganism, I haven’t seen it done, (ahem) very well.. Comrade Egg and The Chicken of Tomorrow, a solo clown show about working in slaughterhouses, post-traumatic stress disorder and saving the world is, as freakishly dark as it sounds, right up my street. The show aims to ask questions about the meat processing industry in a light-hearted way and whilst almost nobody wants to go sit in a cave for an hour and be faced with an existential crisis, I hope it will at least aim to educate and make those in the audience who still eat meat ponder over a few things… Who doesn’t love an immersive theatrical experience where you’re well and truly pushed out of your comfort zone? Well me, usually… Going into Pussy Riot’s show at the Saatchi Gallery a couple of years ago I felt like I was going to faint/vom/DIE and whilst this experience certainly was ‘immersive’, it didn’t really push audiences to the limit or make them forget they were always safe. Is it ethical to make an audience feel otherwise? THIS: The Church of the Sturdy Virgin actually forces you to think about lots and lots of death – yours included. Is this what we’ve all been waiting for? Just give me a glass of red and a coffin and I’ll be more than happy. Comrade Egg and The Chicken of Tomorrow will run from 20 – 21 Feb. The Church of the Sturdy Virgin will run from 6 – 17 March.