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 have a chat with Stephanie Jacob about her reasons for writing The Strongbox.
I’m an actor who started writing plays about 15 years ago. One reason I began writing was to create really good parts for women (I’ve played a lot of maids, nurses and slightly quirky neighbours in my time). I want my women characters to be centre stage, making the big things in the play happen and to be more like the women we all know in real life.
Our play at Vault 2018 is for three women, one old, one middle-aged and one young. (Yes, one solution is not to write any parts for men at all!) The Strongbox is about a mother and daughter who keep a homeless teenager as their domestic slave. So these characters are doing unwomanly things – like being violent and parenting very badly and struggling for power over one another. Despite the high stakes, the play’s funny as well as dark and it’s also genuinely hopeful.
We thought Vault 18 would be a fantastic, atmospheric place to try out the play – when Lucy, the director, and I saw The Pit on an Open Day we laughed – it had rained the night before, so one dark wall was running with water, the trains rumbled overhead and we realised we wouldn’t need to do much acting, the space would do it for us.
We’re really excited about bringing The Strongbox to Week 6 of VAULT – we think there’s a young Vault audience who will relish an hour in the company of Ma, Kat and Maudie – even if it’s quite challenging – or maybe because it is! So see you there!
Stephanie Jacob, writer and Lucy Richardson, director of The Strongbox
The Strongbox is running at the VAULT festival from the 28th of Feb to the 4th of March at 18:15. Tickets and more information can be found here.