Time Out says
Delve underground and you'll find experimental and immersive work in a party atmosphere
Waterloo's Leake Street is a dank hide out for aerosol-wielding graffiti artists, who cover the walls of this old railway passage with layer on layer of technicoloured designs. Make it through the painty fug and you'll discover The Vaults, a surprisingly huge arts venue hidden behind an unassuming door.
The Vaults is at its busiest each February and March, when hundreds of new shows take over this ramshackle collection of theatre spaces and bars, under the umbrella of Vault Festival. You'll find autobiographical solo shows, interactive adventures and installations, new plays, themed parties and hordes of tipsy theatregoers settling into the venue's many whimsically decorated bar spaces, which come alive with late night weekend events.
But there are plenty of reasons to venture to The Vaults at warmer times of year. It's become the go-to venue for ambitious immersive shows, most notably the venue's big 2015 hit 'Alice's Adventures Underground'. And it also holds dining theatre experiences a-plenty, jazz nights, gigs, and nights out which make the most of the venue's brick-walled, cavernous atmosphere.
The Vaults came into life in 2013 with its first event, a full album play of a Daft Punk album. It took over the space formerly known as The Old Vic Tunnels, which from 2009-2013 held an impressive array of pop-up theatre shows under the auspices of the theatre down the road. Today, it's got one permanent 160-seater auditorium, The Vault Theatre, plus a host more temporary galleries and spaces.
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Santi & Naz
Set in a small village in pre-partition India, this new play from The Thelmas follows two friends who are at risk of being separated amidst political turmoil - so they do something drastic. 'Santi & Naz' is written by Guleraana Mir and Afshan D’souza-Lodhi,...Drama Tuesday January 28 2020 - Sunday February 2 2020
A surprise pregnancy leaves a 35-year-old woman at a loss in 'Push', a cheeky look at motherhood by Popelei. It uses a Latin American setting to create a warm study of parenting, created by the makers of music-led feminist story 'Manuelita'.Drama Tuesday January 28 2020 - Sunday February 2 2020
‘The Sublet Next To Heaven’
Madeleine Accalia's solo show is a lyrical story of what happens when a couple meet in Preston Park - and then find that time is starting to speed up. It's her follow-up to 'White Girls', an Edinburgh Fringe hit that bitingly explored voluntourism in...Experimental Saturday February 29 2020 - Sunday March 1 2020
Things to do
Brazilian Wax: Underground XXL
Have you ever been to a club night that offered a midnight mass? No? That’s because you’ve never been to Brazilian Wax, a filthy-gorgeous queer Latin dance party that’s about to rock your world. It started out as a fundraiser for a stripper-stigma-smashing...Performances Saturday February 29 2020
This gory post-apocalyptic story is set in 2049, in a London beset by rising sea levels and climate catastrophe. But Hanna isn't going hungry - she's found an unlikely source of meat. 'Beastly' is the debut show of co-creators Frances Eva Lea and Phoebe...Experimental Friday March 13 2020 - Sunday March 15 2020
Users say (19)
Average User Rating
4.2 / 5
- 5 star:5
- 4 star:12
- 3 star:1
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:0
Amazing immersive experience at The Vaults, I went last month for The Cahoots 40's take over and was really blown away, it is such a great space that can be transformed based on the event. Your really felt as if you were stepping back in time and as the event included food and unlimited drinks it was well worth the ticket price of £60 that included two live acts. If you see an event there that interests you definitely go for it!
My only experience with The Vaults was for Goosebumps Alive, which was an immersive theatre production themed arround the 90s cult horror/comedy fictional book series. I was extremely impressed with the venue, it's very large and evidentally adaptable accommodatign to a variety of events and popups. The set design when I went was honestly breathtaking, but can't help felling it seemed a shame with the hard work that must have gone in it can't be more permanent - although I do welcome new experiences here. I will definitely look out for other things happening here in future, I've heard of Alice's Adventures Underground which might be worth a try.
The only slight hiccup was having never been been to here before I found it a little difficult to locate, even with the "help" of Google Maps (which actually seemed to make things more difficult) meaning we didn't arrive the recommended 15 minutes before showtime
but were bang on 9pm, despite this we missed the introductory
performance which was a shame but in no way ruined our visit.
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