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Going underground with the Vault Festival

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The inaugural Vault Festival opens this week (9 February) for a three-week run in the Old Vic Tunnels. Here, theatre blogger Chloe Nelkin, who is helping to promote the festival, tells us more about it.

London has been lacking a festival and it’s now time for it to join the likes of Edinburgh and Bogota. This February, Heritage Arts presents Vault – a three-week festival of theatre, film and music offering an immersive focus on the best the arts has to offer.

The Heritage Arts Company exists to rouse the public imagination, using spectacle to inform, to teach and to entertain. Their methods of storytelling vary through music, theatre, installation art, radio, games and dance. Vault aims to push the boundaries within the arts.

Over 12 days, the underground labyrinth of the Old Vic Tunnels will become a temporary home to the award-winning Silent Opera, Kindle Theatre's The Furies, a film programme curated by Hammer and the flicker club, and many more undiscovered gems. Each night will offer a range of ground-breaking productions.

Silent Opera reboots La bohème as silent disco, combining live opera with a new recording of Puccini’s orchestral score, re-energising one of the most successful and enduring operas of all time. The opera takes place in an immersive environment – through personal headphones, each visitor will hear a full symphony orchestra and opera chorus while live singers perform around them.

Kindle Theatre’s The Furies straddles both the music and theatre worlds, uniting rock, metal and soul with text and poetry to retell the story of Clytemnestra through the eyes of her band of Furies.

The flicker club screens movies adapted from short stories and novels and invites surprise celebrity guests to read before showing a big-screen incarnation of their source. Previous guests have included Steven Berkoff, Joan Collins, Bill Nighy and Sir Ian McKellen. For Vault, the flicker club teams up with Hammer to resurrect chilling classics alongside their 21st century counterparts.

The programme is immense. Streetwise Opera’s Fables – A Film Opera is a series of short films created by some of the UK’s leading composers and filmmakers and 125 performers who have experienced homelessness. The Folk Contraption by Rogues Gallery is an album of short plays with music. Brand New Love Story is Richard Marsh and Katie Bonna’s new play about trying to make a one-night stand last a lifetime.

Pangolin’s Teatime star in The Great Puppet Horn, a cutting, satirical, shadow-puppet comedy. Broken Loops is a digitally interactive performance by Rolemop Theatre where the path of each performance is determined by the audience. There’s more theatre plus the Lates - live music catering to all tastes as well as cabaret, music and comedy.

Vault will make its mark, filling a gap in the 2012 London arts and theatre scene. Come and join the party.


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