Vault Festival – INTERVIEW – Charlie Vero-Martin: Picnic (Work In Progress)

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 Charlie Vero-Martin about her debut show at the Vault.

Charlie Vero-Martin: Picnic (Work In Progress)

Dates: 21st February
Time: 20:15
Venue: The Spacement At The Glitch

Hello! Tell us about you? 

Hiya, I’m Charlie. A scottish comedian, writer, improviser, puppeteer and all-round silly person.

How did you come up with the name of your show that you’re taking to the Vault?

About a year and a half ago I started playing around with a new character called Mr Basketcase, which is a puppet I made out of a picnic basket who answers the audience’s questions. People really love him and it became clear that he was going to be a central part of the show. The whole set up of the show is therefore that I’m trying to have a nice relaxed picnic to counteract all the panic in the world. We’ll occasionally spin out and meet sketch characters elsewhere but always come back to this very normal summer (hehem) ritual… It’s absolutely just a nice normal picnic. Nothing to worry about. It will all be fine. Just don’t bring your kids.

Tell us a little bit about your style of show?

One part stand-up comedy, two parts character sketch comedy and another part… well you’ll see. It’s silly, joyful, surreal with a bit of a dark twist.

What will your set be about?

I’ve always been a worrier since childhood and suffered from panic attacks and sleep walking but that meant that when the pandemic came I thought, “cool, I’m ready for this”.  Now I’m in my 30s and the world is melting, it feels like I have a lot more to actually be worrying about. A lot of the characters are inspired by these problems and the solutions I’m often advertised. How far will the audience follow me to help feel in control again? 

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

There are so many and I doubt I’ll have a chance to catch half of them but I recommend: Ruby Carr, Sharlin Jahan, Thick n Fast, Lorna Rose Treen, Posey Mehata, Chazz Redhead, Lachlan Werner (saw at Soho and was great), Ben Target (also performing the same day as me at Leicester Comedy Fest!), Stevie Martin, Isabelle Farah, Katie Pritchard, Sara Barron, Yuriko Kotani and maybe some improv!

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

I have not! I loved seeing Chazz Redhead’s “Bespectacle”. They’re so talented and it really inspired me to lean into dark comedy more. Richard Soames’s “Let’s make a movie” was also crazy fun and I can’t believe he pulled it off. I also really enjoyed seeing the FA’s The Nearly News Show a few years ago.

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

Don’t lose heart if you don’t get in. I only got in on my fourth application. Applying for anything in the arts and comedy right now is really hard so give yourself plenty of time and have someone look over it. Go see as much as you can this year and look at how shows are advertising themselves. It helps to have a really clear idea of what your show wants to achieve.

What is the best thing about performing at the Vault Festival?

I’ve been really grateful for a lot of the advice the VAULT team has offered from marketing tools to online workshops. It’s been really helpful to have templates to work from and passionate people to talk to. 

What are your three favourite things about London?

I moved to London from Edinburgh nine (omg I can’t believe that) years ago and while I often think about getting away from this overpriced mouldy concrete jungle I love:

– The sheer amount of incredible opportunities to learn and see new things. Last year I did clown courses, horror writing workshops, broadway style tap classes. I can see west end musicals, new theatre, international comedians any night of the week.

– The opportunities to perform and share your expertise. I love teaching improv and whilst it was great doing stuff online during covid, nothing beats being in the room with people. I gig regularly and it’s always easy to find a room to put on a show.

– The incredible, talented people you meet while doing all of the above from all over the world.

Favourite one liner you have done in a show and why?

“Non.” I used to do a Napoleon character for years that would just point at things and say “non” and for some reason it was always funny. I also did an Amelia Earhart character that used to shout “FLY PLANES!” I still get people shouting that at me. It’s the little things that tickle me.

Who would be your ultimate dream audience member?

Ooh… Someone with a very silly and slightly dark sense of humour. This isn’t a mainstream stand-up show. I don’t have any material about “being on the apps” but I do have a talking picnic basket, a passive-aggressive pinecone and a story about the time I thought I was having a stroke and it turned out I was having an orgasm. 

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

TikTok @CharlieVeroMartin

Instagram: @CharlieVMartin

Twitter: @CharlieVMartin

Facebook: @CharlieVeroMartinComedy

Youtube: @CharlieVeroMartin

And I also have a monthly newsletter! You can sign up to that and find links to everything else via my linktree:

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

You’ll have fun. 

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