Legendary American writer Hunter S Thompson’s cult 1971 novel ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’ followed a drug addled journalist and his similarly mucked up ‘lawyer’ as they stagger around Las Vegas and expose the true horror, fakery and insanity of the American Dream. It spawned a whole new style of writing – Gonzo journalism – and a classic film featuring mind-bending turns from Johnny Depp and Benicio del Toro. So wouldn’t it be fun to experience it live? Step up Vault Festival, which returns to the underground tunnels at Waterloo after its inaugural run in 2012. Run by Heritage Arts, it’s a funky six-week festival of theatre, comedy, music and club nights. This time, though, it’s longer, bigger and has ‘Fear and Loathing’ at its heart.
Director Lou Stein – who knew Thompson and adapted the book into a stage version before the writer committed suicide and had his ashes blown out of a canon at his funeral – explores the text afresh in this new, immersive production, complete with designs by hip Gonzo artist Ralph Steadman.
Elsewhere in the festival there’s a production of Ian McEwan’s ‘Cement Garden’ and a series of lates, where the tunnels will be open every Thursday, Friday and Saturday throughout the festival for late-night, hip-as-hip-can-be shenanigans. Companies such as nabokov, Airrealism, The Ticket Theatre and Changing Spaces and music from Kansas Smitty, SolTek and DJ trio Daffadam, Nick Duffy and Lizzie will all keep you up til 3am.
Find out more about Vault Festival 2014.