Vault Festival – INTERVIEW – Part Of The Main Shows

This week the Vault Festival in London kicked off and runs all the way through until the 19th March 2023. Over the next month, we have interviews with acts that are performing at the event. Today we speak to the company Part of The Main who have three shows at the festival and today we find out all about them.

Bloody Mary: LIVE!

Dates: 27th -29th January
Time: 18:45, 20:30, 18:15
Venue: The Flair Ground

All By Myself

Dates: 7th – 12th Feb
Time: 19:50, 19:10, 16:10
Venue: Studio

The Tinker

Dates: 14th – 19th Feb
Time: 19:00, 18:30, 14:45
Venue: Crescent

Hello! Tell us about Part of the Main’s shows! 

 We are delighted to be sharing three live London premieres at VAULT Festival 2023- Bloody Mary: LIVE!, All By Myself, and The Tinker.

Bloody Mary: LIVE!, written and performed by American artist Olivia Miller,sees a teenaged Mary Tudor doing stand-up. It’s a 5-star, award-nominated show that was chosen as one of the Guardian’s top shows to see at last year’s EdFringe. Both comedy and theatre fans will love it – think Six meets Fleabag. 

All By Myself is an innovative show devised by Part of the Main Associate Artist Jessica Bickel-Barlow. It’s the end of the world and everyone has left the internet. With disaster around the corner, one female vlogger must use every DIY solution, home-made avocado-based beauty hack and mindfulness technique she knows to live her best life before it hits.

The Tinker by Olivia Foan is an award-nominated new play that will be receiving its world premiere at VAULT Festival. Inspired by a 1912 true crime story from the American South transposed to Edwardian England, The Tinker is a twisting, unsettling tale that asks what we are willing to believe about the strangers at our door.

How did you come up with the name of your shows that you are taking to Vault?

Bloody Mary: LIVE! plays on Queen Mary Tudor’s enduring nickname of ‘Bloody Mary’ due to her execution of Protestants at the stake. Much like saying this nickname three times in the mirror, Mary is back before your very eyes to deliver a stand-up set that seeks to address her ‘bloody’ legacy. 

All By Myself interrogates the pressures women face from society and the internet, even when we are alone. How do these standards and expectations infiltrate our lives even when we’re alone and the apocalypse looms? And what are the limits of what we can do all by ourselves, no matter how capable, independent, or do-it-yourself we think we are in the face of a world disaster? The title is meant to work both ways – feeling alone but still very much feeling the pressure of the world and in the individualistic sense if wanting to be able to stand all by yourself.

The Tinker comes from one of the monickers given to travelling salesmen around the turn of the 20th century. In this play, one tinker seeks shelter from a wealthy couple during a snowstorm. He offers to fix whatever is broken, which ends up being much more than just an untuned piano.

Tells us a little bit about your style of the shows?

Bloody Mary: LIVE! is in the style of a stand-up special. It’s just Mary, the mic, and her subjects – oops, the audience. This performance blends the formats of a one-woman show and comedy, and has lots of audience interaction and improvisation.

All By Myself was devised with performer Charlotte Blandford, and was actually originally live-streamed from Applecart Arts in Newham during October 2020. Now a live performance, it is a one-person show with no words.

The Tinker is the most ‘traditional’ of the three shows in that it is a three-person play that is entirely text based. It will have set and costume design by Nikki Charlesworth, lighting design by Rachel Sampley and sound design by Murong Li to evoke the living room of a wealthy couple in Edwardian England as a snowstorm swirls around their new home.

What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at the festival?

In Clay is a new one-woman musical about a Parisian ceramicist in Week 1 that sounds fantastic. I love drag kings so JOHN TRAVULVA AND JODIE MITCHELL: CIS MALE COMEDIAN by Jodie Mitchell is a must-see. Alex Critoph’s Women Writes short plays are always excellently written and directed. I’m a big fan of Lizzie Benbow and Antonia Georgieva so will definitely be checking out their play How We Begin. I’ll also be checking out Maygan Forbes’ new play CHERRY! and JASON by the Goat Exchange.

Have you done the Vault Festival before? What have been some of your favourite shows to date and why?

This is Part of the Main’s first time presenting work at VAULT Festival! I actually produced a show for VAULT Festival in 2019, when I was working for the brilliant Outside Edge Theatre Company. They make work with people who are in recovery from substance misuse, and their company of long-time performers created a verbatim piece called ‘Check-in/Check-out’ directed by AD/CEO Matt Steinberg.

In 2020 I was fortunate to see the original performances of ‘RIDE,’ a new musical that was originally produced by longtime friend Naomi Chapman. Just this past August I actually was Associate Director to Sarah Meadows on the Charing Cross run of the musical, which has been nominated for numerous awards. It just goes to show how much variety there is at the Festival and that things do get picked up for a future life. I’m so excited to finally present my own directed pieces underground.

What advice would you give to others who want to perform at Vault next year?

Plan early and often! We were initially supposed to present Bloody Mary: LIVE! and The Tinker at VAULT Festival 2022, which was sadly cancelled due to a COVID-19 wave, and I still wish we had more time to prepare! Even for a seemingly simple one person show, the logistics, fundraising, and marketing alone can be a full-time job. I am so lucky to be working with amazing collaborators and artists to deliver the shows – it really takes a village, even in fringe theatre. Don’t be afraid to say no to the festival one year if you think you’ll be in a better position the year after. Really put a lot of time into the applications – I’ve been rejected plenty of times for the festival when I was just starting out, which is very normal. Be persistent and don’t be afraid to take things slowly.

What is the best thing about performing at Vault Festival?

Being in a community of artists is an amazing atmosphere. Like at the Edinburgh Fringe, you are given an Artist Pass which allows you to see fellow shows as long as they aren’t sold out. This means you can see as many performances as you have time to experience. And unlike the Fringe, shows are only a week long, meaning you don’t have to sustain 3 weeks of marketing in competition against thousands of other performances. VAULT Festival is also very centrally located and easy to get to, making it a great destination for audiences and artists alike.

What are your three favourite things about London?

I’m a native of New York City, which has a lot of excellent culture but lacks the same amount of green space as London. I have a dog and I’m so grateful for all of the excellent parks we can go to.Going off of that – how dog friendly it is! It’s so rare to be in a pub without a couple of pups there, and I love being able to easily bring my corgi on buses, tubes, and restaurants with my friends. I also love the variety of culture on offer – you can see everything from a scratch night above a pub, to a comedy night in a bar, to a West End show for free if you know the right seat filler lists!

Who would be your ultimate dream audience member?

It’s going to be very cliché, but I’m a woman of a certain age – at the Fringe this past year, writer and performer of Bloody Mary: LIVE! ran into none other than Phoebe Waller-Bridge and gave her a flyer to the show. I think we’d all melt if she actually came one day.

If people want to find out more about you, where can they follow you on social media?

You can find us on Twitter @potmtheatre. We’re on Instagram and Facebook @partofthemain, and you can find Bloody Mary: LIVE!’s TikTok account @thatoliviamiller.

And Finally in three words – Why should people come and see the shows?

Political, provocative & prescient.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s