Vault Festival 2019 – Horror Highlights

Calling all fans of the darker side of theatre! The brilliant Vault Festival is set to return at the end of the month, and this time, it’s bigger than ever!

Running from January 23rd to March 17th, over four hundred new shows explode across a festival of festivals in their Waterloo home. These range from plays and comedy shows, to film screenings… and the great news for us horror fans is that there’s some darkly brilliant performances on the bill too.

Of course, to help you choose what to see, we’ve picked out our highlights for you.

The Milkman ComethVault Festival: The Milkman Cometh

Running from 23rd — 27th January

In a not too distant bleak and milkless future, a lone warrior woman arrives in the village of Cud seeking fellow survivors and shelter.

But this village is inhabited by a band of mason-like milky brothers, and is full of dark secrets. For they still have a milkman, and the milk still cometh.

Click here for tickets and further information

Blue Departed Vault Festival: Blue Departed

Running from 23rd — 27th January

Imagine, for a second, that Dante is a heroin addict and Beatrice isn’t breathing. He finds Her slumped on the kitchen floor amidst a crumbling and high-speed dystopia.

One more hit then he’ll definitely tell someone. But for now She’s going to keep Herself alive, by taking Him through His nine circles of personal Hell. On a comedown.

A natural disaster at a church service; an all night wake at a casino; a grieving little Brother pointing him back to God; a family wishing He was the one in the coffin, Blue Departed is a turbulent new play from emerging playwright Serafina Cusack.

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The Unseen Hour Vault Festival: The Unseen Hour

Running on 26th January

The Unseen Hour is a horror comedy audio-drama, recorded in front of a live audience, combining surreal comedy with genuinely unsettling horror and sci-fi concepts. Each episode is a stand alone story.

It might take place in an ancient Roman Legion, an abandoned space station, or an unassuming 1970s suburban kitchen – but it is always attended by a sense of looming dread… always surreal and always ridiculous. The same characters recur again and again, caught up in a churning cycle of apocalyptic chaos.

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The Darklings Vault Festival: The Darklings

Running from 1st Feb — 2nd Feb

Abi is a budding performer, but it’s tough to make it to gigs when you suffer with agoraphobia. She’s also developed a strange new ‘illness’; the symptoms include nausea, speaking in tongues and violent outbursts. Lloyd is your everyday clean-cut, straight-laced Cult leader who just can’t seem to attract any followers.

In the midnight hours, Lloyd releases a secret alter-ego who is equal parts evil… and fabulous. One night a mysterious stranger enters – is he the Satanic salvation Abi and Lloyd have been waiting for? Or does he hold the darkest secrets of them all?

A darker than dark comedy play from the team behind The Twins Macabre.

Click here for tickets and further information

The Incubus Vault Festival: The Incubus

Running from 6th Feb — 3rd Mar

The Foundation has been experimenting with the potential of hyper-reality technologies – blending virtual and physical reality to open up the doors of perception and explore what lies beyond, in this unnerving interactive experience for one.

They are looking for subjects willing to open their senses and experiment with their own subconscious. Some of the initial test audiences have reported layers of relaxation and even revelation, while others have reported a dark descent and visions of a strange hooded creature that bears similarity to the Incubus of Victorian psychoanalysis.

Click here for tickets and further information

Mistress To The Midnight Vault Festival: Mistress To The Midnight

Running from 9th — 10th February

Join the Sinema Society for a live stage spoof of the classic British horror film.

Ned Hellion, a young unsuspecting lawyer, is drawn to a foreign land to make his fortune. But not all is at it seems. Madame Zozanov is the rich old spinster with a secret history who has been waiting for him for a very long time. The clocks are ticking, the family are missing and the baby’s been crying in the cellar for decades…

An evening guaranteed to be thrilling, chilling and funny as hell.

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Carnival Of Crows Vault Festival: Carnival Of Crows

Running from 13th — 17th February

Join Poppy and step into the dark, Victorian underworld of carnival sideshows. In a fiendish fusion of puppetry, poetry, macabre cabaret and comedy, we meet The Laudanum Sisters, their twisted boss and head showman Edward B. Friday, and delve into his menagerie of misfits, amusements and oddities.

Secrets are unearthed as Poppy’s charming, yet disturbing tales unfold, leading us on a spiralling journey of horror and suspense, in this remarkable one woman show where there are no happy endings.

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Scream Phone Vault Festival: Scream Phone

Running from 20th — 25th February

After the runaway success of 2 Become 1, Swipe Right Theatre present their brand new, deliciously dark musical ‘Scream Phone’.

It’s 1989, the girls are having a sleepover and you’re like, totally invited! Pillow fights in their underwear, singing into hair brushes, and gossiping about their crushes, what could possibly go wrong?

Based on the retro classic game ‘Dream Phone’, Scream Phone will take you on a killer journey back to the 80’s with an infectious original* soundtrack. Scream meets Clueless in this hilarious spoof horror musical!

Click here for tickets and further information

April Vault Festival: April

Running from 20th Feb — 24th Feb

“April is simply astounding. The wellness-positivity-black comedy is just the tip of an obsidian stiletto the size of an iceberg.” (Kieron Gillen – Phonogram, The Wicked + The Divine)

Written and performed by Carrie Marx, April is the new genre-disrupting show from Hermetic Arts, the creators of BADD (Bothered About Dungeons & Dragons) and Unburied.

Click here for tickets and further information

Without That Certain Thing Vault Festival: Without That Certain Thing

Running from 27th Feb — 3rd March

When Emery Sullivan, an ex-private investigator, meets the conspicuously straight Madeleine at an LGB speed-dating night, sparks don’t exactly fly.

But when Madeleine reveals she’s being stalked by a mysterious stranger called Swann, Sullivan is hooked – and agrees to take the case. She starts following Madeleine across London as a way of observing Swann: finding out who he is, what he wants, and what he might be capable of.

And when he mistakes her for a rival for Madeleine’s affections, Sullivan decides to play along – letting herself be drawn into a tangle of deceit and obsession…

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Artemis Vault Festival: Artemis

Running from 27th Feb — 3rd March

Set in a future where the world has drastically changed. In the pits of a disintegrating city, Artemis awakes surrounded by brick, stirring from the echoes of prayer, to witness the consequence of our actions & the destruction of nature.

A multidisciplinary performance, set to the backdrop of an eerie underground vault where the archetype of the Guardian ‘Artemis’ weaves together humanities story through aerial circus, physical theatre & movement.

Haunting images of a deer skull are juxtaposed with soundscapes, spoken word and song to create a mesmeric performative ritual, offering up a journey of transformation, through the emotional landscape of grief, rage, reconnection, commitment and hope.

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Ladykiller Vault Festival: Ladykiller

Running from 27th Feb — 3rd March

A hotel room, a maid and a dead woman.

It’s not what it looks like, really, it’s not. It was self-defence… and anyway the woman was asking for it

The chambermaid considers herself to be a pretty normal person; she reads books. She pretended to read the party manifestos at the General Election. She’s even read The Psychopath Test and she’s pretty sure she’s not one so…

Ladykiller is a blood-soaked morality tale about victimhood, power and flipping the gender rule book on psychopathy. Ladykiller charts one woman’s journey from violent oppression to bloody revolution; a jet-black comedy for the age of the gig economy.

Click here for tickets and further information

The Church of the Sturdy VirginVault Festival: The Church of the Sturdy Virgin

Running from 6th – 17th March

Ever looked at a coffin and thought, “I bet it’s comfy in there”? Ever heard a eulogy and thought, “His best man speech was better”?

Then welcome to our temple for all things macabre and mortiferous. The Sturdy Virgin has long watched over the Other Place and its various rites and ceremonies; her brave congregation of the curious are on hand to usher you, or your loved ones, into the Great Beyond with great care, great skill, and great hymn choices…

The Church of the Sturdy Virgin is a surreal, immersive journey exploring our connection with death – inviting you, our initiates, to teeter on the brink of uncertainty, to choose the manner of your descent into the void and to discover your own funereal wishes and rites for our modern age.

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Let’s Summon DemonsVault Festival: Let’s Summon Demons

Running from 13th — 17th March

Is it wise to ask the questions you always wanted to ask?

Let’s Summon Demons is a semi-immersive folk horror play in the round. It examines our attitudes to ritual, to revenge and to the uprising of female power. Can community lead to mob mentality? What are ghosts and demons and do they come from below or from within? If you stare into the abyss, can you come back?

Join their coven for one night to encounter comedy, folk horror and – perhaps – some demons.

Click here for tickets and further information

For all the details on the 2019 Vault Festival, head over to the festival website.