The VAULT Festival is coming to town! From January 24th to March 18th, over three hundred new shows explode across a festival of festivals in their Waterloo home. With new venues, new bars, new food and plenty of surprises, VAULT 2018 is the biggest, fairest platform in London for artists to present innovative, daring work. Here we catch up with Ian Bonar to chat about Be Prepared and steamed puddings.
‘And then I listened down the phone and he wasn’t laughing. He’s crying. They’re so similar.’
I’ve realised it’s quite hard to pitch a show that is ultimately about someone losing their Dad and someone losing their memory. People don’t seem to believe me when I say ‘it’s funny’. But it is. And sad. Obviously sad. But also funny.
So, I’ve made this photo comparison of one of my Granny’s steamed puddings and E.T. dying in a river to try and explain the show. I don’t know if Spielberg modelled E.T. on this actual ‘clooty dumpling’ but you’d be forgiven for believing that he had.
They look so alike, but one of them is a dying alien, and the other is a delicious sweet treat. And my Granny genuinely broke my Dad’s heart when the very real grief he went through every Christmas at the plight of E.T. was interrupted by her shouting out ‘HE LOOKS LIKE A STEAMED PUDDING!’ and absolutely wetting herself with laughter.
And I didn’t know what to do. I was crying for E.T. But I was also laughing at him looking like a steamed pudding.
Performing Be Prepared to an audience is a bit like that – you never quite know what things people are going to find funny, or uncomfortable, or upsetting or uplifting, and, I guess, that’s what it felt like when my Dad died. And we can’t wait to bring it to VAULT Festival to carry on that journey.
Be Prepared is a show about how we remember the people and events that make us who we are, and I hope it might allow people to access some of their own memories that have been hiding in the depths of their brains like it did for me when I was writing it…
Be Prepared is running from the 7th-1th of February at 21:30 at the VAULT Theatre in Waterloo. Tickets and more information can be found here.