It’s back and bolder than ever – VAULT Festival 2018, running until 18 March 2018. Theatre editor Daniel Perks catches up with writer, director and performer Katie Arnstein, bringing Bicycles And Fish to this year’s festival:

VAULT Festival 2018 – it was one of my Theatre Picks to kick off the year. It’s London’s biggest arts festival, taking place in a series of subterranean tunnels beneath Waterloo station, as well as expanding into the nearby Waterloo East Theatre and Network Theatre. Now in its sixth year, it promises to be an eight-week cultural nerve centre, inviting audiences to over 300 shows.

Here at Miro Magazine, we are incredibly excited by the biggest offering that The Vaults has ever seen – we have already picked our top shows that should not be missed! Throughout the festival, we will be profiling some of the shows playing this year – getting to know the theatre companies and performers that are bringing work to London’s version of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

First up in our Spotlight feature is Bicycles And Fish, which plays VAULT Festival from 7 – 11 February 2018. I caught up with writer, director and performer Katie Arnstein:

Describe Bicycles And Fish in three words.

Funny, honest, feminist.

Is this your first VAULT Festival performance experience?

Yes. I have been coming to Vault Festival as an audience member for years and I’m over the moon to be a part of such a varied and exciting programme. Bicycles And Fish has been performed previously at King’s Head Theatre and Redbridge Drama Centre and I am really excited to share it with Vault audiences.

Who else are you most looking forward to seeing while at the VAULT Festival?

Revelations by James Rowland, Good Girl by Naomi Sheldon and Things That Do Not C(o)unt performed by Nastazja Domaradzka (Nastazja is the producer of Herstory, which is an amazing feminist theatre festival).

Who or what are your inspirations?

I have been inspired by many people. There were lots of contributing factors that led me to create Bicycles And Fish. I would like to give particular reference to Phoebe Waller-Bridge because Fleabag was a fantastic and an incredibly inspiring piece. Another is Laura Bate’s Everyday Sexism. I read it a couple of years ago and have been unable to get it out of my head. It is a brilliant book that is horrifying and inspiring all at once. I wrote Bicycles and Fish in order to tell my story on this subject matter. The work of James Rowland, whose one man shows Team Viking and A Hundred Different Words for Love have made me both laugh and cry every time I have seen them. Victoria Wood has been inspirational for many years. Her musical comedy is exceptional and the songs I have written in the show would not be there without her.

What are the future plans for Bicycles And Fish?

I hope to take the show to the Edinburgh Festival in the summer and would love to tour it at the end of this year. Ideally it will go to small theatres and rural touring venues so I can meet as many audiences as possible. I hope that Bicycles And Fish is an unexpected and funny look at sexism which is a subject I believe we need to tackle head on and with as many people as possible.

What is the best production you have seen in the last 12 months?

Angels in America at the National Theatre was magnificent. I was totally amazed by the production and the performances. Also James Rowland’s Team Viking, which I was lucky enough to see on tour, was gorgeous storytelling at it’s best.

Is there anything else you want to highlight about Bicycles And Fish?

Bicycles And Fish is a storytelling comedy with songs. I am over the moon to be presenting it at this year’s VAULT Festival with the help of Daniel Goldman, who has been an incredible mentor. Thanks also to Redbridge Drama Centre who first had the show
early in 2017. Bicycles And Fish is dedicated to Laura Higgs, my oldest friend and a remarkable woman.

 

Writer, Director and Performer: Katie Arnstein

Producer: Tangram Theatre

Dramatrug: Daniel Goldman

Bicycles And Fish plays as part of VAULT Festival 2018 from 7 – 11 February 2018. For more information or to book tickets, please visit the website.

Bicycles And Fish is one of our top picks for the VAULT Festival 2018. To read what else are our must-sees, click here.