“‘Twas a big day for business, han’t slept all last night,
All the vultures were circling, with eyes sharp and bright,
The stocks they were hanging, a good price for a share,
I hoped that my plan would steady them there;”
BAFTA award winner Juliet Stevenson makes her first appearance at the Vault Festival, bringing to life this supernatural tale of witchcraft, fizzy pop and Santa Claus. This is a rehearsed reading of a story that will be told with a combination of theatre, poetry, livestreaming, and magic tricks. One woman, Jo, steals the magical powers of a dead saint. Nikolaos, who works in her building and can do magic with cans of soda, plays the part perfectly for the cameras. Together they recreate ancient miracles for a modern audience. All washed down with the sweet zingy taste of Kombackie. KB: Keep Believing.
Most of us have only every truly believed – experienced complete doubtless faith – in one supernatural entity: Santa Claus. So is keeping his myth alive and bang up to date a precious gift, or will the truth set us free?
Written by one of The Stage’s Top Talents to watch from Vault ’18, David Aula, and performed with Juliet Stevenson (Film: Truly, Madly, Deeply; Bend it Like Beckham; Being Julia. Theatre: Mary Stuart; Hamlet; Happy Days) this is a rehearsed reading of a play that will continue shake up the live theatre genre, the role of the audience, and how to create real magic in your heads.
David Aula is a longtime contributor to The VAULT Festival. Previously winning the Origins Ward and Pick of the Week Awards. In 2018, he directed THE RAIN GOD by Jack Monaghan and created and performed in VANISHING MANKIND with Simon Evans. This was reworked and relaunched as THE EXTINCTION EVENT and along with his other show with Simon, THE VANISHING MAN (created at VAULT 16) played to great critical success in Edinburgh this year and at the Hightide festival. At VAULT 17 he performed in Jimmy Osborne's one man show MAISIE SAYS SHE LOVES ME, and worked with Jimmy to co-write the stage adaptation of Ian McEwan's THE CEMENT GARDEN which headlined VAULT 14. He has also directed at the Park Theatre (HAMLET), the White Bear (MUMMIES AND DADDIES by Torben Betts) and Theater59E59 New York City (PERSONAL ENEMY by John Osborne).
His pals on this project include magical consultant, Simon Evans (dir. KILLER JOE, THE BEST MAN, THE RESISTIBLE RISE OF ARTURO UI); chief elf, Holly Ellis (SM, EXTINCTION EVENT, VANISHING MAN. ALD, SPARKS); Videographical sorcerer Rich Williams (CAOILFHIONN ROSE; WAR WITH THE NEWTS) and coven of branding and design NB Studio (ALMEIDA THEATRE); Voiceover Maestro Danny Kirrane (PETERLOO, JERUSALEM); Sound mixer wizard Robert Moutrey (THE RAIN GOD, HAMLET) and of course Juliet Stevenson.
Theatre includes: Mary Stuart; The Odyssey; Duet For One; Hamlet. (Almeida and West End) Beckett Shorts (RSC Stratford / Europe); Les Liaisons Dangereuses; As You Like It; Troilus and Cressida; Measure For Measure; A Midsummer Night’s Dream; The Witch of Edmonton; Money (RSC Stratford / Barbican); Henry IV Parts I & II (RSC Stratford Tour); Once In A Lifetime; The White Guard (RSC Aldwych); Hippolytus; Anthony and Cleopatra; The Churchill Play; The Taming Of The Shrew; The Tempest (RSC Stratford); Alice Trilogy; The Country; Other Worlds (Royal Court); The Seagull; Private Lives; Hedda Gabler; Yerma (National Theatre); We Happy Few (Gielgud Theatre); Caucasian Chalk Circle (National Theatre / Tour); The Duchess Of Malfi (Greenwich / West End); Scenes From An Execution (Mark Taper Forum, LA); Death and the Maiden (Royal Court / West End); Burn This (Hampstead / West End); On The Verge (Sadler’s Wells); The Trackers of Exyrhynchtus (National Theatre Studio).
Television includes: Dustbin Baby; Place of Execution; Hear The Silence; The Pact; Trial By Fire; Cider With Rosie; Stone Scissors Paper; The Politician’s Wife; Out Of Love; Stanley; A Doll’s House; Life Story; Antigone; Freud; Bazaar and Rummage; The Mallens; Maybury; Great Journeys: Isabella Eberhardt; Oedipus At Colonus.
Film includes: Desert Flower; The Secret of Moonacre; And When Did You Last See Your Father; Breaking And Entering; Pierrepoint; The Snow Queen; A Previous Engagement; Every Word Is True; Red Mercury Rising; Being Julia; Mona Lisa Smile; Nicholas Nickleby; Food For Love; Bend It Like Beckham; The Search For John Gissing; The Road From Coorain; Play (Samuel Beckett); Emma; A Secret Rapture; Who Dealt; The Trial; Truly Madly Deeply; Drowning By Numbers.
Performer, Writer: The Extinction Event, The Vanishing Man, Vanishing Mankind (VAULT and Edinburgh Festival)
Director: The Rain God (VAULT), Hamlet (The Park), MEAT (Theatre503), The Cement Garden (VAULT), Personal Ene
Praise for Previous Work:
For THE EXTINCTION EVENT
"A brilliantly bewildering hour of magic and mischief" **** The Stage
"Phenomenal storytelling, mind-blowing tricks" ***** A Younger Theatre
"As beautiful and entertaining as it is smart" ***** World Magic Review
"Genre-altering" ***** Backstage on the Fringe
"Brilliantly bamboozling... Abracadabra, baby" **** The Fest
For THE VANISHING MAN
"Astoundingly intelligent storytelling and incredible heart" ***** World Magic Review
"Complex, Multi-layered, immensely entertaining" ***** Backstage on the Fringe
"Cheeky... unexpectedly moving... theatrical magic" **** The Guardian
"Taut, smart and satisfying" **** The Stage
"A masterclass in audience participation, storytelling and performance" **** Broadway Baby
For THE RAIN GOD
"Aula, a director with a penchant for theatrical magic, crafts several moments of genuine joy." **** The Stage
FOR THE CEMENT GARDEN
"As sharp as can be... rancid, beguiling and playful" **** The Sunday Times
"Leaves you effectively shaken" **** The Metro
"Adventurous and Youthfully energetic" The Times