Essex on Stage

Prepare for bold, ambitious performances that celebrate and champion Essex and Outer East London artists, including the London premiere of new work by Kenny Emson and the debut solo show by Kristin Mcilquham. Supported by Queens Theatre Hornchurch and Matthew Schmolle Productions.

The VAULT Festival takeovers showcase ambitious new work from artists based outside of London and performance makers new to the industry. By working closely with leading cultural organisations around the UK, our takeovers support them to enter and thrive in the creative sector, contributing to a more sustainable, accessible, and representative industry for all.

Princess Essex

Anne Odeke
22nd – 23rd February


Based on the little-known, true story of Princess Dinubolu, ‘Princess Essex’ is the funny and dynamic tale of the first black woman to ever enter a beauty pageant in the UK. It is a story which asks us question why so much of black Essex history has been hidden, and what it means to be a ‘black Essex girl’.


Nicola and Stacey Bland and Post it Productions
24th – 25th February


Two Sisters. One Restaurant. Smile, it might never happen!

DAISY is a comedy drama that follows the story of two East End Sisters as they attempt to navigate their way through their part time job in a local Pub/ Restaurant. Poppy and Daisy Monk are as opposite as two sisters can be but are the best of friends that have eachothers back no matter what. Nobody messes with the Monk Family!

Through the sisters eyes we see the comings and goings of regulars, drifters and lively locals and how these brief encounters of this everyday job affects the day to day lives of the girls, their family, and ultimately their future.

I am Gavrilo Princip

Oli Yelop and Further Theatre
26th February


I am Gavrilo Princip is a solo show with live musical accompaniment that explores the life and legacy of one of history’s greatest unknowns.

History has not been kind to Gavrilo Princip, not good enough for Heaven, not bad enough for Hell; he has either been overlooked, misrepresented or misunderstood. This is not a story about the colossal impact of his actions or the greatness of an individual and the terrible majesty of war. His story is about the complications of wanting to change the world, of having the best intentions and getting the worst possible results.

To Have & To Hold

Michelle Payne
26th – 27th February


It’s the day of her best friend’s wedding and as Maid of Honor she needs to make a speech. But where does she start, and how does she end it?

Over the span of two years we follow Him & Her and the decisions that led them to where they are today, at separate weddings. With an Essex team, To Have & To Hold is a story of weddings, modern romance & missed opportunities.


Blue Gravy Productions
1st – 6th March


Actor and writer Kristin Mcilquham can’t seem to finish a list.

Get an agent – tick
Get a therapist – tick
Smear test – tick
Tax Return
Write a play
Have a threesome
Call my dad

As Kristin approaches the big 40 she is forced to confront, kicking and screaming, some of the unfinished business in her life & why she just can’t seem to tie up any of her loose ends. A funny & moving, true story about the aftermath of her father’s brain injury and the impact that’s had on their relationship.

Part of Essex On Stage, supported by Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch and Matthew Schmolle Productions.

The Sh*t

The Working Party Theatre Company
8th – 13th March


A play about youth work.

In one of the thousands of forgotten youth centres across our country, Eric works for a single hour each week to break Daniel out of his spiral towards jail or the grave. But what happens when the work itself becomes a matter of life and death?

The Shit by Kenny Emson is an honest, unflinching examination of the relationship between those on the margins of society and the people employed to help them. It is The Working Party’s first fully commissioned production.

The Working Party Theatre Company make theatre to make change. Created in response to research and consultation with youth workers and young people in London and Leeds, join Eric and Daniel for a glimpse of their weekly support sessions in the London premier of this dynamic new play.

Supported by Leeds Playhouse.

Part of Essex On Stage, supported by Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch and Matthew Schmolle Productions.


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