Tag Archives: Louise Beresford




VAULT Festival 2023

THIRSTY at the VAULT Festival



“There is joy and hilarity in the horrors of the heteronormativity it explores”


Stephanie Martin’s play, ‘Thirsty’ is a heart-breaking and manic deep dive into the truth of going through a breakup in your late twenties as a queer woman.

We meet Sara, fresh out of a relationship, looking for a way to cope with the pain of being dumped by the woman she loves. She turns to the people around her for support, including her Bridget Jones-esque friendship group full of larger-than-life characters, who, despite having good intentions, don’t completely understand the intricacies of queer relationships or their fallout.

Louise Beresford as Sara immediately breaks the fourth wall and forms allyship with the audience, creating a Fleabag-style breakaway narrative that gives audiences an insight into the truth of Sara’s thoughts throughout the whole play. This, and other choices of form and dialogue, contribute to the beautiful and subtle nod to neurodivergence in the character, and create a sense of intimacy and trust between the players and the audience.

We meet a large array of side characters, multi-rolled by a talented cast made up of women and non-binary actors. A particular mention to Anna Spearpoint, who presents a showcase of comedic characters, one of which is the best friend of Sara. Her earnest and hilarious choices make for a memorable performance, and bring diversity through her accent and acting style. She is definitely one to watch.

This is a show made by queer people, for queer people. It also offers an indifferent truth to the reality of heartbreak which anyone can relate to, and displays how these experiences can be altered massively by the people around you. There is joy and hilarity in the horrors of the heteronormativity it explores, and it offers an insight into the queer world; its kinks, its language, and the marginalisation still present within it.

“Are you going to go back to dating men? Do I have to?”

It engages in a lively pace to keep the audiences invested and by the end, slightly exhausted by the moments and memories we explore – again, a realistic insight into the mind of the character taking us through the story. Scott Le Crass’ impeccable direction utilises tools such as flashback, dance and play with the space to create a contemporary and exciting performative world.

Stephanie Martin’s ability to create honest yet hilarious conversations drives this piece, and an audience finds itself settled into the tone of the piece within minutes. This is a show that knows exactly what it is. Jokes, puns, and punchlines are sprinkled throughout the entire script, catching an audience by surprise. Within a minute the show takes you from laughter to wiping a tear. It is a piece that is so real, those who can identify with it might find it slightly painful.

The joy that has come from Scott Le Crass’ play with the space, beams through the actors. It is one of the best intimate scenes I’ve seen played out on stage, and the actors didn’t even touch.

Thirsty is a queer heartbreak story, that teaches us about the lives of the characters we meet, and if you lean into it, will teach you something about yourself. It is also a reminder that even if something looks perfect from the outside, the reality can be far from it.

A perfect show for VAULT Festival, with a guaranteed life after this run.


Reviewed on 2nd February 2023

by Estelle Homerstone

Photography by Flavia Fraser-Cannon


Vault Festival 2023


More VAULT Festival reviews:


Caceroleo | ★★★★ | January 2023
Cybil Service | ★★★★ | January 2023
Butchered | ★★★★ | January 2023
Intruder | ★★★★ | January 2023


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A Fairytale Revolution



A Fairytale Revolution

A Fairytale Revolution: Wendy’s Awfully Big Adventure


Reviewed – 7th December 2019



“wholesomely joyous and bitingly witty”


We all know how a fairy-tale goes: Baddies and goodies each play their part, the goodies prevail and, of course, they all live happily ever after. But how would you feel playing the same part forever and ever? Wendy (Anais Lone) has spent her forever and ever looking after The Lost Boys, cooking, cleaning, and being the nice little lady she was written to be. But she feels certain she could do something different; she wants a true adventure! Meanwhile on the other side of Neverland, Hook (Louise Beresford) has grown tired of the pirate’s life, and secretly pores over his poetry. No more swashbuckling and kidnapping for him, instead he dreams of perfecting the haiku. The two misfits decide to team up and rewrite their parts. But can they change their stories without suffering the wrath of the narrator?

The idea of the narrator as a fearsome tyrant is brilliant, represented by an omniscient overhead voice and a pink glow. The dulcet, soporific tone we all know as fairy-tale storyteller finally faces the modern world, where women can be any number of things, and men needn’t express themselves through violence, and of course that puts rather a spanner in most classic fairy-tales.

As you can imagine, the land of Happily Ever After is filled with tens and tens of your favourite heroes and villains, so with a cast of only four, they have to get rather imaginative. Aside from each performer playing a bunch of characters, there’s some great use of puppetry and props (as designed by Daisy Blower). I particularly enjoyed the two hats on a stick for Helena Morais to present Hansel and Gretel, swapping between the two as she follows a trail of imaginary biscuits across the stage.

The evening is of course jam packed with big musical numbers (written by Hannah Benson) aping some all-time classics. The musical highlight is most definitely the ode to Rocky Horror with “Let’s do the pirate again” (It’s just a slash to the left, an eye patch to the riiiiight) – hard not to join in with that one I must say. There’s a slight problem with pitch across the whole cast, but it doesn’t really matter when they’re all belting their hearts out and clearly having a whale of a time.

Writers Louise Beresford and Anna Spearpoint have created some absolutely brilliant characters – Baker Swife, for example, as played by Spearpoint has been banished for near on 200 years and has consequently engaged in a romantic relationship with her oven, Ken Wood. She has also created a ‘pick-me-up’ pie which basically induces a mind-altering revelatory orgasm in whomever takes a bite.

Normally a panto is written with kids in mind first and grown-ups second, but The Fairytale Revolution (directed by Carla Kingham), both wholesomely joyous and bitingly witty, is genuinely for the whole family. You don’t even need to take a kid as an excuse.


Reviewed by Miriam Sallon

Photography by Helen Murray


A Fairytale Revolution: Wendy’s Awfully Big Adventure

Theatre503 until 31st December


Previously reviewed at this venue:
The Art of Gaman | ★★★★ | October 2018
Hypocrisy | ★★★½ | November 2018
Cinderella and the Beanstalk | ★★★★ | December 2018
Cuzco | ★★★ | January 2019
Wolfie | ★★★★★ | March 2019
The Amber Trap | ★★★ | April 2019
J’Ouvert | ★★★★ | June 2019
A Partnership | ★★★ | October 2019
Out Of Sorts | ★★★★ | October 2019
Spiderfly | ★★★★★ | November 2019


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