It’s back and bolder than ever – VAULT Festival 2018, running until 18 March 2018. Theatre editor Daniel Perks catches up with cabaret duo Witt ‘n Camp and doesn’t realise what he’s let himself in for:
Charlie Howitt and Holly Campbell are the acclaimed double act Witt ’n Camp. They are witty and they are also camp, but as they put it,
“It’s just our surnames shmushed together, babe”.
Editor Daniel Perks caught up with the pair about their upcoming show, with absolutely no idea what he let himself in for:
So ladies – what made you want take part in VAULT 2018?
Witt: VAULT Festival called to us like a homing beacon. It’s a dark, sexy hole in the ground where everybody’s your new best friend. The whole festival is an amazing place for artists to come together and support exciting, creatively diverse work.
Camp: Plus the bar is cheap and The Stage told us the festival founders are ‘influential’ now..?
You’re referring to Mat Burt, Andy George and Tim Wilson (the festival founders) being included on the The Stage Top 100?
Camp: Yeah, that’s exciting for them, right?
Witt: You know, I’ve never said their names all together like that… Have you noticed none of them have surnames?
…Burt, George and Wilson?
Witt: Those are first names.
Camp: Plus Mat’s missing a T.
Witt: I thought that was a typo?
Camp: No, he spells Matt with one T.
Witt: OK, these guys are getting sexier by the second.
What can you tell us about your show?
Camp: Saturday 17 February, 10pm, is when the debauchery begins. Are you coming Dan?
I am looking forward to it!
Camp: We’ll save you a seat in the front row.
Witt: And bring a poncho…No, that was a joke. You shouldn’t need any waterproofing. Just come as you are.
So what can people expect with Witt ’n Camp? Can you describe your show in three words?
Witt: I can’t do that.
Camp: Has it got to be three words?
Ideally, yes. They say the rule of three works wonders.
Camp: Oh, OK. Ask us again.
Describe your show in three words.
Rules. Are. For. Books.
I see what you did there.
Camp: That’s why you’re the editor, baby.
Thanks. But I think it might entice people to buy a ticket if you told us a bit more about the show itself?
Camp: The show is sixty minutes of gaudy, glitzy, beautiful, hideous joy. There’s music, dancing, stand up, burlesque – it’s a mad circus of characters throwing the rule book out the window. Fun for the whole family. No wait. Scrap that. Over 18s. It’s fun for everyone over the age of 18.
To be clear: leave your kids at home
What drives you in making the work you do?
Witt: It’s a very strange time to be alive. There’s a lot to be losing one’s shit about, in a socio-political sense, and it takes a lot of energy to be consistently worried. I mean we were exhausted, but then more crazy, bat shit things continued to happen and our exhaustion went nuclear.
When you reach critical mass, you know what happens?
You laugh. Hysterically. And that’s what led us to make the work we make. It’s not about escapism or shutting down, but – quite simply – the world needs a bit more joy right now. It needs love and laughter and if we can bring audience together to do that, then that’s what we’re gunna do.
And who are you most looking forward to seeing while at the VAULT Festival?
Witt: We’ve seen Cat Loud and she’s awesome. Also Police Cops in Space and Madonna or Whore. We love You Having Olaf but it’s done now, so if you missed it too bad. We can’t wait to catch Jordan Brookes, The Twins Macabre: Slay, Lazy Susan, Mae Martin, Notflix, Out of Spite, Joyous Gard, Subtle Paws, The Fat Rascals, Alex Lynch, Wooden Overcoats.
To be honest, there’s too much to see to warrant travelling to and from the Vaults so we’ve started camping out. Our advice? Just hide in the storeroom by the bathrooms until security goes home then sleep in the opium den.*
*DO NOT ATTEMPT TO BREAK INTO THE VAULTS AT NIGHT. YOU WILL BE ARRESTED FOR TRESSPASSING
Camp: It’s not an opium den.
Witt: Then why does it look exactly like an opium den?
So what are your plans after Vaults?
Witt: Existential crisis.
Camp: A perpetual hangover. Although, we are going to be at the Brighton Fringe though, so we have to get over all that by May.
Witt: We have other plans before May…
Camp: We’re not allowed to talk about that yet.
Witt: Oh, yeah. We’re not allowed of talk about it.
Ooh, will you tell me off the record?
Camp: Daniel Perks. You naughty devil.
Witt: Buy the next round and we’ll see.
Witt ‘n Camp plays as part of VAULT Festival 2018 on 17 February 2018. For more information or to book tickets, please visit the website.