Quick Q&A: QUADRUPLE THRE4T

Where and when:16:30 Sat 22nd Feb; 15:10 Sun 23rd Feb at VAULT Festival

What it’s all about… Nominated for Best Comedy at the 2019 Brighton Fringe, Australian comedian Henry Moss brings QUADRUPLE THRE4T to London’s VAULT Festival February 22nd and 23rd. This critically acclaimed comedy cabaret is a “delightful and delectable exploration of the cut-throat and ever-unforgiving entertainment industry” – LondonTheatre1.

Mr Henry Moss plays Harry Ledgerman, a musical theatre star and national treasure who after a public mental break-down is desperate to revamp his career. He aims to promote his tell all celebrity memoir ‘Quadruple Threat’ by hosting a series of motivational Ted talks featuring other obnoxious guest speakers who all claim they have the secret to success.

Photo credit: Seann Miley Moore

Inspired by Henry Moss’ move to London three years ago, this is a hilarious reflection of the Australians who have made it big in the UK; Kylie Minogue, Hugh Jackman, not to mention millennial pop sensation Troye Sivan (a friend of a friend of Henry’s – he’s not bitter at all).

You’ll like it if… you’re a lover of satire, character comedy, Aussie comedy and Musical theatre.

“A fast paced tour de force, Moss seldom leaving the stage and only then to return as yet another character in this crash and burn descent set in the world of entertainment… And if all that sounds rather dark then don’t worry, because the whole is delivered with side achingly funny humour.” The Latest ★★★★★

You should see it because… it’s a hysterical depiction of the self-help and entertainment industry.

“A number of celebrity interviews demonstrate Henry Moss’ versatility still further, as he plays out each character himself… he utterly nails both the persona and intonations… simply magnificent, and frankly, it’s worth attending this show just for that.” London Theatre1 ★★★★★

Anything else we should know…: Mr. Henry Moss’s QUADRUPLE THRE4T has evolved into a tour de force with the viral spin-off web series ‘Krystal Lee Management’ that follows the hilarious inner workings of an Aussie talent agency. (mrhenrymoss.com/videos)

Where to follow:
Twitter: @mrhenrymoss
Facebook: @mrhenrymoss
Website: mrhenrymoss.com

Book here: vaultfestival.com/whats-on/mr-henry-moss-quadruple-thre4t/

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Quick Q&A: V+15

Where and when: 26th Feb – 1st March VAULT Festival

What it’s all about… Jo Sutherland’s dystopian debut play V+15 imagines a world in which books are banned and dissent is brutally suppressed. When whistle-blower, Alina, tries to convince journalist, Vincent, to play a part in sabotaging the system, the pair are forced to confront the ways in which they are guilty of manipulating language for their own gain. V+15 explores the cost of speaking up against injustice and the weaponization of words by the powerful.

You’ll like it if… you like shows like Black Mirror and Mr Robot, or books like The Handmaid’s Tale or Fahrenheit 451. It’s dystopian fiction meets political thriller.

You should see it because… it’s a tense two-hander which explores big issues like censorship and freedom of speech from a human perspective.

Anything else we should know…: V+15 is the inaugural production of Nevertheless Theatre Company. Nevertheless is a new, female-led company committed to staging urgent, inventive productions designed to entertain, excite, and challenge our audiences.

Where to follow:
Twitter: @NeverthelessTC
Facebook: @NeverthelessTC
Instagram: @NeverthelessTC

Book here: https://vaultfestival.com/whats-on/V15/ 

Got a show opening soon? Visit Promote your show and tell us more!

Quick Q&A: If This Is Normal

Where and when: VAULT Festival, 25th-28th February 2020

What it’s all about… Meeting as kids in Kilburn, siblings Madani, Maryam and school mate Alex hit it off from the moment they meet. 10 years later kids’ playful chats about ninja turtles and bobble pens have been kicked out by teen opinions powered by what they Twitter and YouTube. Still, best friends can talk about anything. So why are there suddenly so many unspoken thoughts between the three?

After last year’s critically acclaimed world premiere of If This Is Normal at the Edinburgh Fringe, Chatback Theatre are delighted to bring this new play about the sexual experiences of young adults in a world of information overload and weaponised language to VAULT Festival 2020.

You’ll like it if… you like new writing, drama with a dash of comedy, inventive and energetic staging, plays about relationships and complicated situations.

You should see it because… the play tackles an important, modern day issue in a unique and engaging way. Previously the show ran at the Edinburgh Fringe and got great reviews including four stars from The Scotsman, The Wee Review and EdFringe Review and Everything Theatre said: ‘Delivered by three compelling actors, this is the sort of play that people can’t stop talking about on their way home, splitting opinions and sparking debate.’

Anything else we should know…: There are a limited number of 2-4-1 tickets on the StageDoor App!

Where to follow:
Twitter: @ChatbackT
Facebook: @ChatbackTheatre

Book here: vaultfestival.com/whats-on/if-this-is-normal/

Got a show opening soon? Visit Promote your show and tell us more!

Review: Feed at The Vaults

You might think twice about going back online after watching Theatre Témoin’s Feed. You might, but you probably won’t – which is exactly the point this darkly humorous and deeply unsettling show sets out to make. (In fact the company are so sure we’ll all be straight back on Twitter the minute it’s over that they end by encouraging us to use it to spread the word.) We all know the Internet is manipulating us: it’s full of glossy Instagram posts, clickbait headlines, fake news and targeted ads, all focused on getting our money, time, attention and more. We know it, and yet we somehow can’t seem to stop exposing ourselves to it.

Photo credit: Theatre Témoin

Devised by the cast (Jonathan Peck, Louise Lee, Esmee Marsh and Yasmine Yagchi) and directed by Ailin Conant, Feed takes a pretty everyday occurrence to extreme lengths. Journalist Kate uses a photo of a dead Palestinian boy, taken by her girlfriend Clem, on an article that goes viral. Make-up vlogger Mia sees the photo and posts an emotional tribute to the boy, which turns out to be great for her follower count. Soon, egged on by creepy troll-like SEO specialist Tim – who has distinctly un-humanitarian motives of his own – Mia’s going to ever more extreme and gory lengths to keep her followers interested, while Kate is determined to use her new-found platform to further her own causes, whatever the cost. Only “technophobe” Clem is able to see the damage being done, but she’s powerless to stop it – or is she?

Not a show for the faint-hearted (or the weak-stomached), Feed first dares us and then straight out asks us to stop watching, and yet nobody looks away. In the opening scene, Tim demonstrates how A/B testing works through dance – it makes sense at the time, I promise – and we laugh along, not realising what this means: that we’re constantly feeding the machine all the information it needs to keep harming us. By the time that realisation finally dawns, we’re past the point of no return and spiralling rapidly towards the play’s surreal and disturbing climax.

Photo credit: Theatre Témoin

This is even more unsettling given that the clues are all there, long before the chainsaw comes out and everything turns to pandemonium. Live sidebar ads for everything from toothpaste to Christian Aid are slowly tweaked to complement the on-stage action. An emoji-riddled online conversation between Mia and Tim is spoken aloud, exposing the glaring lack of actual words used. And a number of scenes freeze, rewind and repeat several times with small tweaks – almost as if the actors are experimenting to see which version gets the best response…

Theatre Témoin are known for tackling urgent topical issues in their own signature style, and Feed is no exception. It’s a cleverly devised piece that proves just how easily we can be manipulated by invisible forces into saying, doing, or buying things that we might never have thought about before. And it might just make you stop and think about how much time you spend online.

But then again, it might not.

Can’t see the map on iPhone? Try turning your phone to landscape and that should sort it. I don’t know why but I’m working on it… 😉

Review: Notflix – The Improvised Musical at The Vaults

Ever wanted to see Independence Day: Resurgence performed live on stage as a comedy musical? Well, unfortunately you’ve missed your chance, because that was last night and to quote one of the performers, “it will never happen again”. Who knows what the next Notflix show will be? Answer: nobody – not even the cast.

Notflix is an improvised comedy musical that recreates a movie suggested and chosen on the night by the audience. Completely made up on the spot based on a three-line synopsis and not a lot else, it’s fair to assume that the show bears little resemblance to the original film. It is, however, probably a lot more fun, and for a considerably smaller budget. And naturally it’s a musical – because as we all know, everything is better as a musical.

On the other hand, if you’re an improv performer, I imagine everything is also much more difficult as a musical. The dexterity with which the six performers – Holly Mallet, Ailis Duff, Clare Buckingham, Aisling Groves McKeown, Emma Read and Katie Pritchard (collectively known as Waiting For The Call Improv) – magic up not just characters and plot but also several song and dance numbers is nothing short of amazing. On this occasion, those musical delights included an anthem to the planet Zorbatron, and a Hamilton homage featuring the immortal line, “I am an alien…” Impressively, not only do these songs work, some of them are so catchy I caught myself still humming bits of them a day later – much of the credit for which must go to on-stage band members Patrick Stockbridge and Caroline Scott, on keys and drums respectively.

The plot of Independence Day: Resurgence: The Musical brings together a band of plucky astronauts battling to save Earth with the help of a time whip (I think…?), feuding alien brothers who must put their differences aside and work together to invade Earth, and a couple of gun-toting Americans who must decide what they love more – each other, or killing aliens. Given that nobody will ever see this show again, it’s not a spoiler to reveal that in the end Earth wins, the aliens fatally whip each other (again, I think…? I’m really not sure) then make up, and the Americans realise they do love each other, even though she just tried to destroy the planet. And in case you’re wondering – yes, it’s all exactly as insane and brilliantly bizarre as it sounds.

One tiny niggle: if, like me, you’re sitting directly in front of the speakers, you may find that some of the spoken dialogue gets drowned out by the music. But since that won’t make the slightest difference to your understanding of what’s going on, it hardly seems to matter. So if you’re in the mood for something silly, fun and boasting some serious improv talent, get yourself down to The Vaults this week for a hilarious hour of entertainment that’s also totally unique every time. You don’t get that staying home with Netflix.

Can’t see the map on iPhone? Try turning your phone to landscape and that should sort it. I don’t know why but I’m working on it… 😉