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Underground (Vault Festival, London): #FreshOffTheStalls


Isla van Tricht’s train of thought might be slow, but Underground is still a blistering zeitgeist on modern malaise and loneliness.

Claire and James live in the same area, travelling to work on the same tube to the same part of the city. But they have never met. Two fateful swipe rights later, and they’re on an awkward first “date”. Then, they get stuck underground on the night tube home. But what can they discover from this, especially with strange messages coming over the tannoy system?

The Vault Festival has always been an exciting fringe festival that has an infamy for showcasing the bold and the experimental. Kicking off its first batch of shows, Underground is perhaps the most “normal” of offerings, but is one that also demonstrates that there’s certainly a hallmark of quality among the more out-there pieces.

When not digging into the depths of modern love, Isla van Tricht‘s first two plays, billed under the title The Remnants, were performed at Above the Arts Theatre and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival last year. Underground is a site-specific new piece for this year’s Vault Festival. Producing the show it Shrapnel Theatre who have recently garnered acclaim with the transfer of Get Your S**t Together to the Landor last year, as well as having produced van Tricht’s The Remnants in Edinburgh.

Directing Underground is Katie Tiernan who has worked with the Tate, V&A, and British Museum, as well as writing their own plays such as Freight and Consider This; the latter a verbatim play about cognitive empathy and catharsis that was performed at Above the Arts Theatre, RADA, and Hornsey Town Hall.

Leading the cast of Underground is Michael Jinks who has stared in the popular daytime soap opera Doctors as well as working at the Royal Court and in Van Tricht’s The Remnants, and Bebe Sanders who has worked at the National Theatre after graduating from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

Underground plays at the Vault Festival, London, SE1 7NN, until 31 January. Tickets are £12. To book, visit