We’ve all been there. It’s Thursday, the weekend is coming and we still have no idea what to do with our (well deserved!) free time. One thing is certain: we can’t spend it in bed again. We text our friends and google what’s on near us. “Nothing. Nothing. No-… Wait a second! Look at this! It sounds cool and… Oh, c’mon! Who’s got that money?” Are you tired of the same old pub at the corner of the street? What about the crazy price of a night out in Central? Don’t despair! The solution for your weekend nights might be just a few tube stops away from you…
The Vaults is London’s magical home for alternative theatre and arts. The venue is built underground, in a maze of disused railway arches at Waterloo station. The creative space is so big, one can’t help but get lost in its never-ending tunnels and rooms. Also, if that’s not enough for you, the venue is also constantly transformed into something new according to what’s on. Every single time I’ve been there, I’ve always experienced a whole new environment!
But what happens, exactly, at The Vaults?
Before everything else, The Vaults is a space dedicated to theatre and performing arts. Its main interest is with anything that is unknown, daring and alternative. The projects received by the venue in the past include a production of Trainspotting– a 75 minute (no interval!), in-yer-face, immersive and absolutely mental experience of the internationally famous Scottish tale of addiction (the ‘Worst Toilet of Scotland’ scene included!)
Can’t forget the truly wonderful Alice’s Adventures Underground, a whole recreation of the magical world of Wonderland. The members of the audience were invited to fall down the rabbit hole and create their own adventure through a series of choices (eat or drink? Grow or shrink?). Their path would meet with that of all the characters of the story. The White Rabbit, the Cheshire Cat, the Caterpillar, the Mad Hatter (and his famous tea party!) and the Queen of Heart – in order to save Alice, who had gotten lost.
There’s more: The Vaults is so cool that it even has its own festival! Every year, between January and March, the space organises a festival full of events and with a focus on new theatre shows by emerging companies. The festival represents a fun and dynamic moment with always something new going on.
But what’s on at The Vaults right now, you must be wondering. The answer is easy: something for everyone! A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad) is a new cabaret musical about mental health, explaining how “it’s okay not to be okay”. Dinner is Coming is an immersive dining experience and parody of Game of Thrones. Tarot is a night of circus, music, divination and improvisation.
The Vaults is also strong with its music events! The Halloween, Christmas and New Year’s Eve parties are only some of them. The Halloween Raveyard is a Halloween party with music and dance set all around the disused tunnels of Waterloo station. In the late nineteenth century, these tunnels were used as a morgue facility to pile up corpses from overcrowded graveyards. The night includes bands, DJs, artists and – of course – the scariest costumes!
The Christmas season is introduced by The Dance Before Christmas– an immersive theatrical experience based on fairy tales and dances. There’s also A Christmas Masquerade– an immense party in underground London to celebrate with your friends. Finally, A Happy Ending At New Year’s Eve closes the year with a crazy masquerade party full of art, music and dances.
However, if you’re more into a chill vibe, The Hidden Jazz Club is the perfect option for you and is on now! A secret underground performance of London’s best jazz. The unique part about the night is in the way it’s run. The environment is spontaneous, relaxed and full of artists always up for a chat with the guests.
If all this is still not enough for you, The Vaults has got more! Cocktails In The City offers you a taste of London’s secret bars and drinking experiences. A cocktail journey through immersive theatre experiences all around the underground venue. Monday evenings are dedicated to (not your average) pub quizzes (A Very Vaultsy Pub Quiz) and Tuesdays and Saturdays to daytime drop in drawing salons (Secret Sketches).
The Play Pie Pint Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays are an alternative way to spend your lunch break. Pay 10 quid for a tasty pie, a pint of beer and a ticket for a new piece of performance in which artists are encouraged to experiment (you won’t know what you’re getting – and that’s the best part of it!).
That’s it! You’ve got no more excuses. The Vaults is the place to be! To recap:
- Great Alternative Experiences
- Wacky Events
- Student-friendly: Most events have very accessible prices and concessions for students and young people!
- Eco-friendly: The Vaults is working hard to promote sustainability as part of its business by greening-up its acts!
Now, this is awesome! C’mon, what are you waiting for? The Vaultsis the perfectplace to experience a series of great, alternative and new eventswith your family, friends, significant other, pet… whoever you want! The environment is just so richand dynamicthat – who knows? – you might even end up meeting new people!
By Chiara Scoglio