Review: Lesley Sharp and Kate O'Flynn in A Taste of Honey at the National Theatre
Review: Tracy Letts' Superior Donuts at the Southwark Playhouse

Review: Symphony at The Vaults

43d3867b-6bc9-482d-8206-3896e11adc12The Old Vic Tunnels are reborn as the The Vault and like the former incarnation it is a multi-space, labyrinthine venue with the rumble of trains overhead adding to the atmosphere.

A favourite venue of mine OVT always felt like I'd been admitted to some secret club hidden beneath Waterloo Station. There were some interesting and imaginative productions and as The Vault, Symphony proved to be a cute little appetiser to what looks like a promising schedule.

It is only an hour long and is three plays, all with music. Yes music. And yes I know I don't like musicals but I'm not adverse to a bit of music in theatre (see my review of Orpheus if you don't believe me).

But back to Symphony. It's written by Tom Wells, Ella Hickson and Nick Payne and performed by four actor/musicians: Remy Beasley, Jack Brown, Iddon Jones and Adam Sopp.

As you enter the studio-sized space an overall wearing band is playing. During the three plays the performers peel off the overalls to reveal costumes before going back to overalls if playing backing musicians and vocalists.

Using a mixture of music, song and spoken word the actors take it in turns to tell the three quick and amusing stories of ambition and love: an asthmatic schoolboy wants to pass his PE GCSE, a London commuter is trying to find love and a man is trying to win back his girlfriend after a brief infidelity.

It is clever, silly, fun and loud (perhaps the acoustics in the cavernous space aren't the very best for such a performance) and a pleasant interlude to most of what is on in London at the moment.

Symphony is part of The Vaults festival and runs until March 1.


Jack Brown was in A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Noel Coward last year which was directed by Michael Grandage who directed Mr W in Peter and Alice. To cement that connection my friend Henry was also in MSND and Peter and Alice as was Stefano Braschi.