VAULT Festival: Weeks Seven & Eight

28 February 2020

VAULT Festival 2020 

This is our final VAULT festival round up as the festival draws to a close on the 22nd March. If you haven't been yet, and find the vast amount of options overwhelming, you can find below what our Stage One alumni are producing in the last two weeks of the festival.

Week Seven:

When We Died
By Alexandra Donnachie
Tuesday 10th March - Sunday 15th March


He’s dead, and it’s her job to prepare and present his body for his family’s final goodbye. She often imagines what each person’s life was like. But today she doesn’t have to imagine who he is. She knows him.

Faced with the body of the man who raped her eleven months ago, When We Died is a striking new play about one woman’s choice to confront her trauma and tell her story, on her terms.

Producer: Courtenay Johnson, workshop participant 2019

Carbon Theatre produces complex and divergent, free-form theatre. Run by Courtenay Johnson, we make bold new work centred on the feminine, both locally in the Midlands and nationally.

What is your top tip for emerging producers?

"I guess my Top Tip would be to nurture your network, be genuine about helping each other out so that when you are in a pickle you have a few people to call. Also, the importance of doing your research and not being intimidated by someone who appears more experienced."

Freedom Hi
By Papergang Theatre
Tuesday 10th March - Sunday 15th March


At the time of writing this description (25th October 2019) the Hong Kong AntiELab protestors are entering their 20th week of action. Where will they be as you are reading this? Freedom-Hi is a synthesis, and by March 2020, possibly a retrospective, of theatre and performance art made by UK based Hong Kong and British East Asian artists during the protests. Personal experiences and geo-political commentary combine in an act of total theatre. We don’t know how this ends, this will never end - every thing about this show is subject to change.

Producer: Clariss Widya, Bridge The Gap participant 2019/20

Clarissa has experience as a producer for her own company Papergang Theatre, a company for British East Asian and East Asian diaspora stories.

How has Stage One/the BTG programme helped you as a producer?

"Stage One's Bridge The Gap has given me a framework for my practice; having been mostly self-taught, it has been incredibly helpful to get the tools to make producing more efficient and being introduced to a network to exchange my work, knowledge and practice with."





Sugar Coat
By Emma Blackman Productions
Tuesday 10th March - Sunday 15th March


A new gig theatre show about love, loss and lubrication. Based on a true story and pop-punk feminism.

Sugar Coat follows the coming-of-age story of a young woman spanning across eight years of sexual highs and lows, from 90s shag bracelets to 21st century non-monogamous relationships.
Featuring original music inspired by bands like Le Tigre and Veruca Salt, Sugar Coat is an exhilarating journey of loud music, sexual content and many talented bad-ass womxn.
★★★★★- "A playful and technically skilled production from an all-female creative team”, Broadway Baby (praise for Emma Blackman Productions)
★★★★★ - "funny and heart-wrenching", A Younger Theatre (praise for Joel Samuels)

Producer: Emma Blackman, Bursary Winner 2019

Emma Blackman is a Fringe First award winning producer, and a recent Stage One Bursary recipient. She has been working with Theatre Deli over the past 5 years, and in late 2018 Emma launched her company Emma Blackman Productions, focused on championing and celebrating females creatives in the theatre, and offering a stage to female voices.

How have you been able to progress as a producer with the support of the bursary?

"Thanks to the Stage One bursary, I've been able to dedicate more time to my freelance career, and gain further skills and insights into commercial producing. The dedicated office space, support and mentorship, and ever-expanding network of fellow producers has proven to be a huge boost, not only to the projects that I'm currently working on, but also to my own confidence as a creative producer."


Tiger Mum
By Eva Edo
Friday 13th March - Sunday 15th March


Constance struggles alone to raise Elijah, her vocally gifted 8 year old bi-racial son in London today. Constance desperately misses the guidance of her recently deceased larger than life Jamaican mother, Agnes whose no nonsense parenting and hymn singing defined their lives.

Fighting to protect her son she must fend off the dangers that threaten his survival – his father, an unequal education system, her own crushing self-doubt and the "fried chicken at the bus stop boys".

A heart-warming and playful one woman show which navigates the highs and lows of motherhood in a world where for some safety appears to have become a privilege for the few.  Included in Lyn Gardner's PICKS FOR VAULT FESTIVAL.

Developed with support from Theatre503, Traverse Theatre and Soho Theatre.

Producer: Lynne McConway, Bursary Winner 2019

Lynne McConway produced Vibrant 2017 and Returning to Haifa by Naomi Wallace at Finborough Theatre.  She was Assistant Producer for Vicky Graham Productions and Fundraising Assistant with Iris Theatre in 2018 and 2019.  As well as producing Tiger Mum at VAULT Festival, Lynne is co-producing The Real Deal by Katie Bonna and Maybe This is What it Looks Like by Bobbi Byrne.

How have you been able to progress as a producer with the support of the bursary?

"The support I have had from Stage One, at the Workshop and with the Bursary, has been instrumental in my career development and, without it, I would not have made the progress I have.  Having a brilliant network of peers around me who are so generous with their time and advice has been a huge help to me too."


The Brief Life and Mysterious Death of Boris III, King of Bulgaria: Part The First
By Out of the Forest Theatre
Tuesday 10th March - Sunday 15th March


Out Of The Forest Theatre's new play sets out to investigate the suspicious circumstances of our unlikely hero’s demise. I mean, it wasn’t every day that someone stood up to the Führer...

Expect satire, revisionist history and live Bulgarian folk tunes as we explore the history of Boris and a nation that stood up to power and fought to save the lives of their Jewish countrymen, women and children.

Out Of The Forest Theatre returns to VAULT Festival after their sold out, Off West End Award-nominated CALL ME FURY and the multiple award-winning BURY THE HATCHET.

By March 2020, here’s hoping every Boris is history. #MakeBorisHistory

Producer: Claire Gilbert, workshop participant 2016

Claire is an independent theatre producer with a focus on new, political theatre. In addition to Out Of The Forest Theatre she works for British-Romanian BÉZNĂ Theatre and Cardboard Citizens. She has previously worked for Complicité, Good Chance Theatre and Wayward Productions. @_ClaireGilbert_/ @OutOfThe_Forest/@Beznatheatre

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received in your career as a producer​?

"People are everything. You can create the snazziest budgets, write the tightest contracts and make the best plans possible but it’s the team who will bring the show to life. Showing respect, humanity and pitching in whenever necessary is key to any kind of producing."

Week Eight:

By Unlikely Productions
Tuesday 17th March - Sunday 22nd March


After the critical acclaim of The Apologists at VAULT Festival last year, which has gone onto to Omnibus Theatre, Unlikely Productions brings 1&Only, a near-fi, bureaucratic, satirical comedy to London's VAULT Festival, March 17-22.

The show takes place in 2048. The government has two years left to fulfil their promise of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, and so far, nothing has been done. In a last-ditch effort to save the planet, the Minister for Roads, Transport (and climate crisis) has decided to impose a one-child policy on the unwitting public.

Inspired by our current age of Boris Johnson, Brexit and Trump, 1&Only is a comedic romp about the politics of selling and the selling of politics.

Producer: Hugo Chiarella, workshop participant 2019

Hugo Chiarella completed the MA in creative producing at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in 2018. He has a background creating and producing shows in Australia and the UK under the umbrella of Unlikely Productions who in 2020 will produce The Apologists at Omnibus Theatre and 1&Only for the VAULT festival. He was previously the development producer at Fuel and is currently Resident Director on the UK tour ofLes Miserables. 

What have you found most challenging about this production and how are you tackling it?

"This show has been created and developed specifically for The VAULT festival. The biggest challenge of making and producing new work at the same time is working out how to sell something when you don't yet entirely know what it is and when it is still changing all the time. Helpfully, both processes can also inform each other to some extent. We have tackled this by being clear on the tone and style of this piece from the outset and making sure everyone on the team had a sense of this even though there were still a lot of questions we needed to answer. From there we have had to kind of taper our marketing strategy from being quite broad to gradually becoming more and more specific as we continue to make decisions about the shape of the piece. It's sometimes tricky, because it means that something we posted about the show three weeks ago, may now be totally inaccurate, but it's an exciting and dynamic way of working."