The winners of this year’s Vault Festival Awards have been announced, after the London performing arts event was forced to close a week early.
Over 2,700 artists staged 519 productions across the seven weeks, to an audience of more than 73,000 people.
In a video introducing the awards, founders Mat Burtcher and Andy George and Head of Theatre and Performance Bec Martin-Williams said: “It’s a very difficult and scary time for everyone, but we wanted to take a moment to celebrate and acknowledge some of the hard work and great shows that have been a part of Vault Festival 2020.
“Because even though we are so heartbroken to a place the festival early, we still think that the incredible artists and companies who presented work and brought people together for seven of our eight weeks, deserve some recognition and to be celebrated for their incredible achievements.
The trio went on to add that the festival is about “creating a space to allow artists to take risks, to succeed and to try stuff out”.
“We don’t yet know what the future will hold for us and if we’ll be able to continue. We want to be able to keep offering that space and that opportunity for more and more artists, and you can find ways you can help make that possible on our website.”
The organisers then thanked those involved in running the festival, including charity partners, staff, artists and the audiences.
They also revealed that other victories at this year’s event included more work led by female artists, people of colour, LGBTQIA+ people, disabled people and working class people “than ever before”.
Six awards were up for grabs this year, including gongs for Festival Spirit, Innovation and Show of the Week.
Plaster Cast Theatre took home the award for Festival Spirit, with their production of Sound Cistem. Meanwhile the People’s Choice Award, voted for by the public, went to STAGES – a musical about an autistic teenager with a love for video games.
The Innovation Award went to The Grim by Quietly Fighting Theatre, while the After Dark Award – given to a production from the festival’s late-night programme – was given to Séayoncé’s Comedy Vault by Daniel Wye.
The awards event comes after festival was forced to cancel its final week of performances, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson advising people to stay away from pubs and theatres as the coronavirus outbreak continued.
In a previous statement published on their website, Mat and Andy said such a decision has “put our Festival, and the companies presenting their work here, in a precarious financial position”.
“As of the 16th March, we don’t know what the future holds. By making a donation to VAULT Festival, you can help support us and our work in emerging artist development, such as the New Writers Programme, the Emerging Critics Programme and the CULTIVATE Bursary, amongst much more,” they said.
More information about Vault Festival, including how to donate, can be found vaultfestival.com.
Full list of winners:
Festival Spirit Award: Sound Cistem, Plaster Cast Theatre
People’s Choice Award: STAGES: A Video Game Musical, Adam Lenson Productions
Innovation Award: The Grim, Quietly Fighting Theatre
After Dark Award: Séayoncé’s Comedy Vault, Daniel Wye.
- Week One: Santi and Naz, The Thelmas
- Week Two: In My Lungs The Ocean Swells, No More Superheroes
- Week Three: [the cobbled streets of geneva], Ellandar Productions & 45 North
- Week Four: Paper Straws, PearShaped
- Week Five: Dumbledore is So Gay, Robert Halton & Tom Wright
- Week Six: V&V, Sprezzatura Productions
- Week Seven: The Brief Life and Mysterious Death of Boris III, King of Bulgaria, Part The First, Out Of The Forest Theatre
Show of the Week Awards:
- Week One: SOLD, Kuumba Nia Arts and Unlock the Chain Collective
- Week Two: Pat Gets Ready, Martha Watson Allpress
- Week Three: Splintered, Lagahoo Productions
- Week Four: DUAL دوگانه, Peyvand Sadeghian
- Week Five: Wigs Snatched Perceptions Destroyed, Erinn Dhesi
- Week Six: RIDE, Bottle Cap Theatre
- Week Seven:FREEDOM HI 自由閪, Papergang Theatre
Featured Image: Vault Festival.