It’s back and bolder than ever – VAULT Festival 2018, running until 18 March 2018. Theatre editor Daniel Perks catches up with writer Catherine O’Shea, bringing Double Infemnity 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.

Next up in our Spotlight feature is Double Infemnity, which plays VAULT Festival from 31 January – 4 February 2018. I caught up with writer Catherine O’Shea:

Describe Double Infemnity in three words.

Fierce, Funny and Feminist.

Is this your first VAULT Festival performance experience?

Yes! I’ve enjoyed being in the audience before and had work performed and many other festivals but this is my first show at the VAULT Festival. One of my co-writers, Naomi Westerman, had two great plays here last year – Claustrophilia and Puppy.

I’ve been so impressed by how VAULT Festival is run. From meeting their team their ethos seems so welcoming and I’ve enjoyed getting to know some of the other shows in person and on social media. I had such a blast writing this script with Naomi and Jennifer Cerys. We watched crime noir together and had a lot of fun playing around with ideas for a modern feminist take. I am really looking forward to seeing the script at the VAULT Festival and getting to see the audience’s reaction.

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

I am really looking forward to seeing The Quantum Physics Of My Heart, Ad Libido and For a Black Girl. I’ve met these companies recently at events for those taking part this year and I’m excited to see their shows. Oh and Sh!t Theatre have a work in progress which I’m looking forward to and I’m excited about the lates too.

Who or what are your inspirations?

Working with other inspiring women is a really important part of what keeps me going. I enjoy meeting different creative people and learning from them. I also have a network of generous people who will read my playwriting and screenwriting and help develop work.

Finding new stories to tell is also a key part of what keeps me interested in making theatre. I am particularly interested in telling under represented female stories. That’s a great thing about being a member of Paperclip – we are all committed to telling these stories and also are supporting each other as artists.

What are the future plans for Double Infemnity?

I’d like us to take Double Infemnity to other festivals and to tour it. It’s a funny, original and challenging show so I’d like it to be seen as widely as possible. I’m also a screenwriter and I think it would be great as some sort of filmed version too.

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

1972: The Future of Sex by the Wardrobe Ensemble. The physical element of their performance was so impressive and they are subversive in a really original way.

Is there anything else you want to highlight about Double Infemnity?

This is the first co-production between two female-led theatre companies – Little but Fierce and Paperclip. For both companies, it’s really important to be making work that gives women creative opportunities and allows them to tell original and previously unheard stories.

By choosing to gender-flip a typical 1960s detective story, we’re challenging a well-known narrative by putting a woman in the centre. We have reversed the norm so we have a female detective and a ‘homme-fatale’. We’re also laughing at the way women are portrayed and how society treats women. There is a lot of power in laughing and getting our audience to laugh with us.


Writer:  Catherine O’Shea, Jennifer Cerys, Naomi Westerman

Director: Adriana Sanford

Producer: Tori Gretton; Little But Fierce; Paperclip

Cast: Katrina Foster

Double Infemnity plays as part of VAULT Festival 2018 from 31 January – 4 February 2018. For more information or to book tickets, please visit the website.