We are delighted to announce the recipients of the Summerhall and Pleasance ‘Pick of VAULT’ 2023 Awards. Created in collaboration between VAULT and the two partner organisations who share a vision to create platforms where artists can launch new ideas, be bold and brave, and have a support network beneath them.

The awards exist to offer supported runs at Edinburgh Fringe, with a guaranteed programming slot at Pleasance or Summerhall with a favourable box office split, a cash award and investment from VAULT Creative Arts, and in-kind, technical and marketing support from the partner organisations. The reciprocal ‘VAULT Pick of Summerhall & Pleasance’ Awards offer supported slots at VAULT Festival, chosen from the partners’ Edinburgh programmes.

The Summerhall Pick of VAULT 2023 Award has been awarded to HIGH STEAKS by ELOINA Productions.

HIGH STEAKS seamlessly combines performance art with comedy clowning to discuss the rising demands in young people for labiaplasty – plastic surgery to make the labia smaller and/or more symmetrical. With two beef steaks hanging from her labia, ELONIA butchers them up, fries them on a grill, and serves them up.

Through live conversations with ELOINA’s Mum, and recorded interviews with labia-owners (including cis women, trans men, non-binary and gender queer people), HIGH STEAKS calls for increased visibility and education surrounding vulvas,
criticising labia-shaming and joyous celebration of body lovin’.

ELOINA is a queer, multidisciplinary artist who makes work that dismantles taboos around the female body. She mixes epic, body-based performance art and quick, comedy clowning. This makes her work accessibly impactful at both extremes and the in-betweens of the art world. Since graduating from the innovative Drama degree at Queen Mary University of London in 2018, her solo practice has spread across London, opening conversations about menstruation, body hair, labiaplasty, vaginoplasty, female masturbation and ejaculation, motherhood and breast feeding. HIGH STEAKS was developed in residency at PARL (Performance Art Research, Ljubljana) in August 2021.

Praise for HIGH STEAKS

“Eloina’s HIGH STEAKS is labialicious, a must-see, taboo-busting, funny exploration of issues around, well, the labia”

★★★★★ – To Do List

“Raucous comedic moments balanced by poignant verbatim stories”

★★★★★ – Fringe Biscuit

“An atmosphere of real inclusiveness in which to potentially create a whole new way of seeing one’s own body, whether you have labia or no”

– Ought to be Clowns

  • SELL OUT SHOW at VAULT Festival
  • WINNER – VAULT Show of the week
  • WINNER – VAULT / Summerhall award
  • AWARD NOMINATION – OffWestEnd Award
  • Included in Time Out’s TOP 5 SHOWS at VAULT Festival

Show Information

Dates: 2 – 13 Aug (not 7, 8), 16:30
Summerhall, Anatomy Lecture Theatre
First review date: 3 August
Tickets: https://tickets.summerhall.co.uk/event/26:5638/26:85109/

Creative Team

  • Birthed, Created, Performed & Produced by ELOINA
  • Directed by Louise Orwin
  • STAR OF THE SHOW – Mama (Annie Haines)
  • Developed with PARL (Performance Art Research, Ljubljana), Queen Mary University of London, Jackson’s Lane, Camden People’s Theatre
  • Outside Eye Frankie Thompson
  • Sound Design by Sammy Metcalfe & Louise Orwin
  • Sound Design Consultancy by Liv Lynch
  • Technical Stage Management by Roshan Conn
  • Safeguarding Management by Joe Iredale
  • Set Design by ELOINA & Joe Iredale
  • Lighting Design by Lily Woodford-Lewis
  • Producers ELOINA, Beth Sitek and Millie Wood-Downie

The Pleasance Pick of VAULT 2023 Award has been awarded to A Manchester Anthem by Lyle Productions.

Developed by an emerging team of creatives, A Manchester Anthem is a heartwarming and hilarious ode to music. Solo actor Tom Claxton delivers a high-energy performance as working-class Mancunian Tommy, bidding a final farewell to his hometown before moving down south to study at a prestigious university. It is produced by Lyle Productions and ramblemill in association with Pleasance and VAULT, written by Nick Dawkins and directed by Charlie Norburn.

Lyle Productions is a new London based theatre company specialising in creating work for emerging artists through new plays. ramblemill was set up by Claxton, Dawkins and Norburn in 2021 with the core value of creating heartfelt, riotous regional storytelling. After a multi award-winning, sell-out success at VAULT Festival, they are presenting ‘A Manchester Anthem’ at Edinburgh Festival Fringe throughout August at Pleasance Courtyard.

Taking place over 24 hours to a backing track of classic house music, ‘A Manchester Anthem’ begins with Tommy in his underwear dancing to N-Joi’s ‘Anthem’. Working as a barista to save for his future and living with his mum, a nurse, Tommy embarks on a roller coaster of unforgettable encounters and events throughout Manchester before heading off to uni.

Praise for A Manchester Anthem

A breath of theatrical fresh air’ ★★★★★ BroadwayBaby.com

‘This is new writing that’s impossible to resist’ ★★★★★ TheatreWeekly.com

★★★★★ BingeFringe.com

‘This is a truly masterful one-person performance’ ★★★★★ Lost in Theatreland

‘We’ll hear of this creative team for years to come’ ★★★★ Broadway World

‘Often hilarious and periodically gut-wrenching’ ★★★★ All That Dazzles

Show Information

Previews: 2 – 3 August, 19:50 (£9)
Performances: 4 – 27 August (not 7th & 16th), 19:50
Venue: Pleasance Courtyard (33), The Green, 60 Pleasance, Edinburgh, EH8 9TJ
Tickets: https://www.pleasance.co.uk/event/manchester-anthem