“Vanilla sex refers to conventional sex that conforms to the very basic expectations with a culture. Classically, in heterosexual sex, it refers to sex in the missionary position, and broadly speaking, it excludes fetishes such as S&M.”
Dan and Katie are your ordinary couple living in an ordinary one-bed flat. They’re in their twenties. They’re making advancements in their career. They used to drink at the local pub every Friday. Now they just play puzzles. Dan and Katie can’t remember when their sexual mojo disappeared. Or where to. All they know is, they have to get it back – and they have to get it back tonight. But how far do they go? And how vanilla is TOO vanilla?
A fresh, honest and awkwardly funny look into an isolated relationship and the repercussions of wanting too much – or not wanting enough.
Laura Mead and Keith Swainston have been collaborating on theatre since 2018 under the Title 'FlipSide' - a foundation for brand new work which aims to challenge perspectives. "Liberate" was first premiered at the White Bear Theatre in Kennington in 2018 before arriving at the Etcetera Theatre later that year. The Finborough Theatre hailed it as "A fresh, clear and honest female voice - front and centre". After being awarded a place with the National Theatre Playwright's Scheme, Laura started to write Vanilla, which premiered at the Seven Dials Playhouse in 2018. It has since been in the works for a screen adaptation, and now arrives in a brand new re-imagined version for VAULT 2023.
Cast & Creative Team Laura Mead: WRITER / PRODUCER / KATIE
Laura was recently accepted on to the Enhanced Summer Conservatory at Stella Adler in New York. Her theatre credits include, "It's A Wonderful Life - A Live Radio Play" (The Town & Gown, Cambridge); Carol in "The Date" (Market Theatre); Viola in "Shakespeare in Love" (The Living Theatre); Trish in "Days of Significance" (Arcola); "Romeo and Juliet" (The Minack); Hannah in "Liberate" (The White Bear / Etcetera Theatre) and "Tom's Midnight Garden" (Touring). Her writing credits include "Vanilla" (Seven Dials Playhouse) and "Liberate" (The White Bear / Etcetera Theatre). She also played the recurring role of Jenny Mulgrew in the BBC's "Holby City".
Ned Wakeley: DAN
Ned recently graduated from The Oxford School of Drama. His theatre credits include, Jamie in "Days of Significance" (Arcola); N-Trapz in "The Seven Ages of Patience" (Kiln); Dan in "Vanilla" (Seven Dials Playhouse) and Lady Macbeth in "Macbeth" (all-male cast for the Edinburgh Fringe). Film includes, "How to Build a Girl"; "Can You Feel It?" (BFI Future Film Festival) and "Young Young Men". Prior to Oxford, he trained on the Foundation course at Guildhall School of Music & Drama and with the National Youth Theatre.
Keith Swainston: DIRECTOR
Keith trained on a RADA short-course in Contemporary Theatre. He has directed numerous productions, including "Vanilla" for the Seven Dials Playhouse and "Liberate" for The White Bear & Etcetera Theatre. Further directing credits include, "Middle"; "The Wasp"; "Heisenberg - The Uncertainty Principle" and "Hang". As an Actor, his theatre credits include Ben in "Eisteddfod" (HighTide / Latitude Festival); the Title Role in "F. E. Young" (Market Theatre) and Johnny 'Rooster' Byron in "Jerusalem" (Queen Mother Theatre).