What might just be the largest subterranean arts festival ever takes over the labyrinthine Vaults at Waterloo later this month, and it will be massive indeed.
This is the second Vault Festival, the first having taken place in 2012 in the Old Vic Tunnels. The second instalment, produced by the Heritage Arts Company, combines performance, music and art, interactive/immersive theatre, burlesque, circus, live bands, comedy and more.
The festival takes place over six weeks, and will unfold throughout the tunnels of the Waterloo Vaults from Tuesdays until Saturdays, 28 January 28 until 8 March.
Free live music and comedy can be enjoyed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, featuring the house band Kansas Smitty’s. Look out, too, for the Vault Lates — an 18-night series of one-off parties, performances and gigs, which will run on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays starting at 10.30pm, featuring the likes of Electronic Lockdown and the House of Burlesque.
Rather than a “day pass” for the entire festival, each event is ticketed, and must be booked separately; however, it is also possible to enter the Vaults and explore its multiple venues.
Here’s a selection of suggested highlights to see each week.
Week 1: The Artful Badger’s Wild Worlds, Sara Pascoe vs. the Truth and Engineer’s Missing.
Week 2: Superbolt’s Centralia, Dissolve Theatre’s SPARK, and the Lost Circus.
Week 3: Pythagoras Ensemble’s Tango Fugue, Static Moves’ Tryals of Anne Bonney, Superbolts’ Uncanny Valley.
Week 4: Papier Hearts, For the Trumpets Shall Sound, Solo
Week 5: Then, Painted Faces
Week 6:Bukowski’s Cass, Infinite Space Part II, The Collision of Things.
Vault Festival runs 28 January until 8 March. For listings and to book tickets, please refer to the Vault Festival website. Tickets start at £7.50. Comfortable footwear is recommended, as some performances involve plenty of standing or walking. Some events might be restricted to over 18s.