PREVIEW: VAULT Festival Family Favourites

With Vault Festival 2020 already well underway, we bring you our guide to the family friendly shows gracing the tunnels of Waterloo during London’s biggest arts and entertainment festival.

We were going to do you a helpful guide to every single family show that’s on during Vault Festival, but it turns out that we’re quite lazy*. Also, the official website is really rather good and allows you to filter shows by category. So for full details of everything that’s on for families, head here and filter by “family”. Update: Mummy has recently discovered that there are actually two separate filters that you might want to use. There’s a “family” category but there is also a “family friendly” tag a bit lower down on the page. Some shows only appear under one or the other, so search twice to make sure you pick up everything!

If you are also interested in our recommendations, read on to discover our Top 5 family friendly picks (in no particular order other than that in which Mummy decided to type them)……

1. Tappuccino

What: A new musical, suitable for ages 5 – 10 but super duper fun for all the family. Tickets from £11.

Why: What more do we need to say other than “tap-dancing coffee bean”? (Actually, we probably should say that this is an award-winning show that was in Edinburgh Evening News’ top 10 family shows at the Edinburgh Fringe last year).

Who: Brunch Bunch Theatre Company.

When: 29 February, 1 March, 4.30pm.

Where: Cage – The Vaults, Leake Street.

2. Mustard Doesn’t Go With Girls

What: Another new musical, suitable for under 12s and their adults. Not so suitable for crocodiles. Tickets from £13.

Who: Bric a Brac Theatre Company.

When: 14 – 22 March, 4.30pm.

Where: Studio – The Vaults, Leake Street.

Why: What’s not to love about a feminist fairy-tale fringe musical for children? Check out our review from the last time that Croc Madame came to town.

3. The Misadventures of David & Sam

What: A true-ish comedy for all the family. Tickets from £11.

Who: Al Dente Theatre.

When: 2 – 23 February, 3pm.

Where: Pit – The Vaults, Leake Street.

Why: Leave London behind and head to the farm where two farmers, one gran and a cow are creating chaos. There’s a love story too. We’ll be seeing this on 9 February so look out for our review! In the meantime, check out their trailer…..

4. Sunshine

What: The tale of Mr Sea and Mr Sand. Clowning for the whole family. Tickets from £11.

Who: Stickyback Theatre.

When: 23 February at 3.15pm.

Where: Crescent – The Vaults, Leake Street.

Why: Escape the winter blues with a trip to the beach that will have the whole family swimming in a sea of laughter. And if that’s not reason enough, a quotation from our review of Sunshine at Brighton Fringe 2019 features on the Vault Festival website! Check out the whole review here.

5. Big Bones

What: A new family show, inspired by the story of the Irish Giant, featuring puppetry and songs. Suitable for the whole family. Tickets from £7.50.

Who: FacePlant Theatre.

When: 8-16 February, 4.30pm.

Where: Studio – The Vaults, Leake Street.

Why: FacePlant Theatre won Family Show of The Year, VAULT Festival 2018 with a show about rubber ducks. This year they’re back with a story about a cursed circus that celebrates friendship and difference. And as if that wasn’t enough, it features an all-female cast and a psychic octopus!

*Best (ok – actually – all) of the rest

Despite assuring herself that she would actually stick to 5 shows in this list, Mummy can’t help but tell you about all the others anyway. For more comedy, check out The Extraordinary Time Travelling Adventures of Baron Munchausen (OhSoFunny) and Let’s Build a Planet (The Incredible Rebel All-Stars). And if you fancy seeing a mash-up of circus, puppetry, projection and poetry then look no further than Sky in the Pie (The Feathers of Daedalus Circus).

The shows above probably have the broadest appeal but if the kids are into science/space, then Luna: a play about the moon (Roustabout Theatre) would seem to fit the bill nicely. Other shows that look good for slightly older children (7+) include Wild(e) Tales by Tales from the Shadows (which features traditional Irish storytelling, shadow puppetry and a non-binary drag artist as Oscar Wilde ) and Icarus by The Wild and the Innocent (an actor-musician retelling of the classic Greek tale). And if you like Welsh folk stories, Taffire Theatre have a show for you with Nest.

Update: As noted above, some shows only appear under the “family friendly” tag on the VAULT Festival website. Don’t miss out on Nanna’s Bolognese from Prickly Pear Productions (a family tale inspired by Mediterranean Culture) or Aamira and Gad from Bee in My Beanie (an immersive family adventure inspired by experiences of the Palestinian/ Israeli conflict). Burn Bright Theatre’s Super Scary Film Club (For Kids) also looks good for older (and braver) children. Those age 12+ might also like to check out young impressionist, Josh Berry in Work in Pogress.