Throughout VAULT Festival, we’ll be sharing nominations for our Festival Awards, which recognise exceptional shows and the outstanding contributions of our artists each and every festival. We’ve been presenting and developing the awards since 2015, and they’re assessed by an independent panel of judges. Hear from our team about the nominees for week six:

Bec: After a really difficult week for Queer Artists, I’m handing over to two of our incredible staff members, K (Box Office Manager) and Lorn (Press and Media Officer) to talk about their experience of VAULT Festival and what it means to them.

“Week 6 at VAULT Festival has a lot to be proud of.

Where else can I find 234 performances over 6 days in a space where queerness is assumed and gender is not.

Where else can I sit in a dark theatre next to a queer colleague and chuckle and then weep with relief at a play about a young transgender man who already loves himself more generously than I knew how to love myself six months ago.

Where else can I be embraced into a bustling, buzzing, DIY bar still stunned from such a moving performance and drink a cool pint while I furiously text every trans WhatsApp group I’m a member of that they have to get down to VAULT Festival ASAP because art heals.

Seeing trans bodies on stage celebrated in all of their verve and beauty is both inspiring and affirming. Queer audiences are made to feel like more than spectators, a part of a community that feels seen, included and represented in all of its wonder and variety. Trans and non-binary artists who go beyond not just the binary of gender, but the boundaries of performance, are paving the way for an inclusive industry vivid in its audacity and unapologetically bursting with joy.

This week we had shows that grappled with and delighted in our box-breaking identities, shows that made it clear with all the artistic and dramaturgical tools available to them — including animal kingdom drag, duets with archives of former selves, tenderly researched resurrections of almost-lost queer ancestors, and at least two smashed watermelons! — that it is not queer bodies and queer lives that are the problem, but rather the people and systems who still refuse to see us as whole and thriving.

We are here. We have always been here. We are full of joy, wisdom, and wonder. So come love and live and enjoy excellent theatre with us. You should be so lucky.”

Without further ado, our Week 6 nominees:


Awarded to exceptional productions from the Theatre & Performance programme.

Earth to Kurt – Volume Club

Five Years With the White Man – Unleash the Llama

The Long Run – Katie Arnstein and Bec Martin

No I.D. – Tatenda Shamiso


Awarded for outstanding new work from the Theatre & Performance programme. Shows must have not been performed more than twice prior to their run at VAULT Festival to be eligible.

Batman (aka Naomi’s Death Show) – Little But Fierce

Caligula and the Sea – Yuxuan Liu

Hummingbird – Bruised Sky Productions & Fledgling Theatre Company

Queer Planet – Bi-Curious George