People online always say ‘we need more new British musicals’. But how often do we look outside of the bright lights of the West End and really look for new, upcoming work by British creators?
The only way we are going to see more British musicals in big theatres is by looking to the fringe, buying tickets to see new work and supporting new writing.
So if you are one of those people who say you are fed up with so many Broadway transfers coming to London and that we need more British musicals – put your money where your mouth is and check out these upcoming new British musicals playing at the Vault Festival over the next two weeks.
ASIAN PIRATE MUSICAL (29 Feb-1 Mar)
ASIAN PIRATE MUSICAL is a devised musical featuring five seafaring Asian characters across four time periods, intertwining the lives of 14th century Muslim diplomat Zheng He, 19th century pirate queen Shih Yang, a 21st century survivor and 24th century queer space revolutionaries.
When an unnatural mist rolls across time, five pirates are displaced across time and must navigate the high seas as one. Together they contest and complicate the idea of ‘Asia’ and its diasporas with their individual and collective histories and traditions, and reimagine the future of mixed-race identities and cultures.
Through an experimental blend of traditional indigenous sounds, 21st century Asian pop, and musical influence from diasporas, ASIAN PIRATE MUSICAL explores freedom, found families, and finding fun in the face of our future.
STAGES – a video game musical (3-8 March)
Player 1, Aiden, is sixteen, autistic, and loves video games. They can be repeated, mastered and controlled. But what happens if the game starts to glitch? In this interactive video game musical the audience take control and help Aiden navigate STAGES.
Playable characters include: Ellie, Aiden’s sibling, who’s stuck deciding on which avatar to select. Owen, Aiden’s dad, who hovers over the restart button. Alice, Aiden’s mum, who faces her greatest challenge, the final boss.
Featuring an original electronic 8-bit soundtrack and arcade style graphics, STAGES by Christian Czornyj examines what happens when the code of our lives is rewritten and the way the digital world interacts with our own. With a cast including WhatsOnStage Award nominee Anna-Jane Casey, Olivier Award nominee Andrew Langtree and newcomers Max Alexander-Taylor and Aitch Wylie, this is a bold new British musical that has to be played to be experienced.
Ride (3-8 March)
One woman. One bicycle. One hell of a story.
It’s 1895 and 24 year old Annie Londonderry has returned victorious to America, hailed as the first woman ever to cycle around the world.
She’s pioneering, she’s plucky, and she’s pitching her story to the New York World. But as she shares her adventures, the cracks begin to show, and she’s forced to confront a past she’d rather leave unexplored.