Every year, The Vaults Festival, cooler cousin of Edinburgh Festival, brings the railway arches under Waterloo Station to life with hundreds of theatre, circus and dance acts, as trains trundle above.
This year, PLAY, an award winning theatre company, founded in 2015, have devised the Subterranean Company to craft a bold season of new work. The result- The Subterranean Season, four short plays, produced over a two week period, about friendship, life in the city, and vulnerability. Short they may be, but short on laughs they are not!
PLAY regularly works with the best, upcoming creatives in the UK, and has previously produced 22 plays. The four plays tonight (out of a total of eight for the festival) are simply titled 23, 24, 25, and 26, and feature some of the brightest UK actors, writers, and directors.
23 seems to be about sibling rivalry, family dynamics, and the responsibility of the young to elderly and aging parents, but turns out to an unpredictable affair, full of surprises, and drawing some of the largest laughs of the night with its fizzing dialogue. 24 mixes mime, music, cardboard boxes, and a lament to Peckham and the state of London renting in 2017.
25 is set at a boot camp, where mobile phones are forbidden, and the two lead characters are forced to get to know, and accept eachother the old fashioned way, warts and all. The finishing act, 26 is a raucous dialogue between two lewd girls talking about spots, boys, and private parts, who together have to overcome a lack of substance to find a deeper meaning and appreciation in their friendship.
The Subterranean Season proves that a cast of young talent can hold its with some of the most established, and exciting acts out there. Deep.
Review written by Evan Parker.
The Subterranean Season is currently showing at the Vaults Festival until Sunday 29th January. To find out more, visit here…