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VAULT Festival: A platform for underground talent

Returning for its seventh year, the eight-week festival boasts its biggest and most diverse programme to date in 2019.

VAULT Festival is returning to its home at Leake Street Arches in 2019, with 400+ shows from more than 2,000 artists, showcasing the best in cutting edge, experimental and innovative theatre and performance.

The annual festival, which runs between 23rd January and 17th March, has been held in the Arches beneath Waterloo station since 2012, growing from humble beginnings to becoming a staple in the capital’s cultural calendar.

Featuring the best new writing in theatre and comedy, cabaret, immersive experiences, late night parties and more, VAULT is now one of the UK’s most significant fringe festivals, with multiple performance spaces located in the festival’s central hub, The Vaults. In addition, LCR has made a surplus arch, known as Unit 9, available to the Festival to run immersive and interactive performances.

This year’s performances will be more diverse than ever, with 53% of all pieces being female-led and a quarter of work coming from LGBTQIA+ artists, as well as featuring 11% disability-led work.

Counting Sheep, the award-winning immersive Ukrainian folk opera, will headline the festival, playing a full eight-week run. Other theatre highlights include Tilda Swinton Answers an Ad on Craigslist, Boys and Katie & Pip. There will also be comedy from James Acaster, Phil Wang and Helen Bauer.

This year, the festival is supporting charities Help Refugees, with opportunities for audience members to donate with every ticket transaction, and Child.org, which will host an exclusive stage at The Horse & Stables Pub, receiving a percentage of total ticket sales. VAULT Festival will also continue its partnership with WeAreWaterloo, supporting the local community with a range of initiatives aimed at residents and students. WeAreWaterloo is a business improvement district (BID) focused on creating a safe and effective trading environment for businesses.

Waterloo’s Leake Street Arches, a network of street tunnels lying beneath the railway platforms, is a celebration of urban art, dining and entertainment. Featuring London’s largest legal graffiti wall, the venue, comprised of eight former railway arches, offers a curated collection of independent restaurants and bars that capture the essence of the capital’s urban culture. The redevelopment of the 23,250 sq ft space, led by LCR, complements the wider regeneration taking place across Waterloo and the South Bank.

The full programme and tickets for all shows are available at vaultfestival.com, 020 8050 9241 and in person at The Vaults box office from 5:30pm during festival opening dates. Prices vary, ticketed events from £5.


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