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VAULT Festival 2023

THE NET KILL at the VAULT Festival


The Net Kill

“kills with a witty script that manages to avoid clichés in unexpected and humorous ways”


The Incognito Theatre Company describe The Net Kill as a play about badminton — “the most pointless garden sport ever invented”. But it’s about much more than that, of course. It is a delightful caper about five friends who go on a “quest” to rid the West Country of a fearsome creature who has been slaughtering aristos and yokels alike. They are also hoping to rescue their beloved local pub from permanent closure. These two utterly unrelated events are linked by a lot of rushing about on stage, with badminton racquets. Oh, and shuttlecocks. And a net. Sound like a lot to cram into sixty minutes? Absolutely, but it’s sixty fun filled minutes of impeccably choreographed physical action. The Net Kill also kills with a witty script that manages to avoid clichés in unexpected and humorous ways.

The plot is a comfortable mash up of elements stolen from Sherlock Holmes novels and the Boys Own magazines. Whatever else transpires in this tale, you know the chaps will triumph in the end. They begin by taking on local badminton tournaments with aplomb. Their talent for winning does not go unnoticed by shadowy figures lurking in Queen Victoria’s police force. Soon the team is on its way to Gloucestershire to face a ravenous beastie armed with nothing other than the aforementioned badminton racquets. Are they true blue, upstanding and heroic figures? Like all heroes, they have a few flaws. They cheat a little, it is true; one of their number has a King Arthur complex; another has lycanthropic tendencies as a result of being raised by wolves in Wales. At least one has a megalomaniac desire for aristocratic titles. Yet it is these flaws that allow them to confront the beast without and within.

What sets the script of The Net Kill apart is that each role is clearly defined even though much of the action revolves around ways in which the characters act as a pack. Armed with a script that needs impeccable comic timing, some props and an ironic choice of music ranging from Vivaldi to Led Zeppelin, the company makes the time zip by. In addition, actors Angus Castle-Doughty, Charlie MacVicar, George John, Alex Maxwell and Daniel Whitlam display athletic skills that would put most athletes to shame. If they can keep up this pace without burning out, Incognito Theatre is going places.

Enthusiastically recommended. Even if the heroes of The Net Kill do employ dodgy tactics for winning badminton tournaments.


Reviewed on 7th March 2023

by Dominica Plummer

Vault Festival 2023


More VAULT Festival reviews:


Caceroleo | ★★★★ | January 2023
Cybil Service | ★★★★ | January 2023
Butchered | ★★★★ | January 2023
Intruder | ★★★★ | January 2023
Thirsty | ★★★★★ | February 2023
Kings of the Clubs | ★★★ | February 2023
Gay Witch Sex Cult | ★★★★★ | February 2023
Love In | ★★★★ | February 2023
666 Hell Lane | ★★★ | February 2023
Police Cops: Badass Be Thy Name | ★★★★ | February 2023
Patient 4620 | ★★★ | February 2023
It’s A Motherf**king Pleasure | ★★★★ | February 2023
Naked Chats | ★★★★ | February 2023
Caligula And The Sea | ★★½ | March 2023
Fruits | ★★★★★ | March 2023

Click here to read all our latest reviews


Gay Witch Sex Cult



VAULT Festival 2023



Gay Witch Sex Cult

“Plot, comedy, character – Doherty has successfully achieved them all”


Gay Witch Sex Cult, the latest work by queer comedy writer and performer Andrew Doherty, does not begin how you might expect. Opening at the gender reveal party for the child of Kaelan Trough (Doherty) and his partner Jeremy, it is difficult at this moment to imagine how any of the title’s four words will be covered adequately. However, when Kaelan unwittingly reveals a file on his computer entitled ‘Gay Witch Sex Cult’, he is forced to explain his recent experience with sinister forces.

Kaelan describes his journey to an island between England and France where the cult has settled. En route, he learns that young women have been travelling to the island for decades though none ever return, and he soon uncovers large maternity wards within the island’s three abandoned hospitals. A confusing prophecy fuels further investigation and the terrifying truth begins to unravel.

Doherty makes excellent use of PowerPoint slides to accompany his bizarre tale. From informative slides on the island’s buildings to Shrek screenshots, it is always a joy to see what comes next. There is also some great use of video and animation as the plot thickens.

Apart from the presentation, there is little in the way of set dressing. When the audience enters, there is a large box stage left that is intended for gender reveal balloons as well as two chairs facing one another. On a small table stage right rests Doherty’s laptop and a few other props such as his novel – Call Me By Your Name from the perspective of the peach – and a suspicious set of keys.

Doherty does an excellent job of moving between the absolutely absurd to darker and more touching moments. The silly tone is established immediately with a PowerPoint slide that says ‘Applaud as you see fit’ but our star does not shy away from the macabre nor the dramatic. The energy is always high, and no beat is missed – jokes are so frequent that it is impossible to lose focus. This is a comedy masterclass.

The sound design is incredibly atmospheric – the scraping of the demon’s sickle against rock the most notable. Doherty doesn’t shy away from accents either – his impression of and back-and-forth with the mysterious ferrymen who takes him to the island highly enjoyable.

Audience participation is minimal beyond the initial five minutes, but Doherty does a great job of making all feel involved throughout. His style of presenting is as if talking to an old friend – he is familiar and warm but remains in control even when the audience gets raucous with laughter.

Gay Witch Sex Cult is a fantastic show which embraces its ridiculousness with open arms whilst also telling a completely coherent and captivating story. Plot, comedy, character – Doherty has successfully achieved them all. He is certainly one to watch.


Reviewed on 3rd February 2023

by Flora Doble

Vault Festival 2023


Recently reviewed by Flora:


Lautrec | ★★★½ | Hen & Chickens Theatre | August 2022
The Witches of Oz | ★★★★ | The Vaults | September 2022
Diana: The Untold And Untrue Story | ★★★★ | Pleasance Theatre | November 2022
Who’s Holiday! | ★★★ | Southwark Playhouse Borough | December 2022
Le Gateau Chocolat: A Night at the Musicals | ★★★★ | Soho Theatre | January 2023


Click here to read all our latest reviews