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Put on by Pink Sky, a queer theatre company, Rapture makes its grand return to the stage for two nights only at the Vault Festival. This is my second time seeing the show (the first being at The Pleasance back in July). I was so excited to see it listed at the Vault Festival – a well-deserved feat.

Simply put, Rapture is a snapshot of the lives of three friends – Tommy, Kit, and Rosy. Yet it is about so much more – it’s about connection, community, discovery, queerness, and life in London. On the stage are three benches, and props (a coke bottle, microphone, spray and roll) hang in the back for easy access (not they are needed as the script is so strong). A projector displays a few definitions for ‘rapture,’ a concept that is difficult to define using only words and is instead shown throughout the play in different ways – through sex, drugs, alcohol, dance, love, nature, cycling, and poetry.

If ‘rapture’ had a sound, it’d be the one designed by Ellie Isherwood. Her sound design combined with Ros Chase’s lighting design takes the show to the next level. Sophie Leydon’s script has enough queer quips to keep you on your toes, sometimes getting a slightly delayed laugh from the audience as the joke sunk in. It’s also full of London inside jokes, making any Londoner feel at home. The script is the perfect balance of realistic yet still romantic and beautiful.

It was a joy watching the actors on stage; it was like watching three friends who clearly love each other interact, with all their quick banter and inside jokes. They have their own stories and vices, yet they know best how to help each other, and always end up coming together. All three actors switch between characters with ease, changing their posture, pitch, tone, accent, or even walking off stage, through a curtain, and back on. Bryan Moriarty as Tommy definitely gives the strongest, most confident performance, and this is probably due to him reprising his role as Tommy from Rapture’s last run. He is full of one-liners, and he speaks of London with a glimmer in his eye. (I would love to be able to read a play text of his spell-binding opening monologue.)

As much as it is about queerness, Rapture is about London. It asks the question everyone who lives in London has asked themselves at one point: “Why do I live here?” With all there is to complain about in London – the smog, the weather, the constant tube strikes, the low wages, the sky-rocketing cost of living – what is it all for? Why do we stay here, spending hours on the tube, going out and then going to work hungover to get paid unlivable wages in one of the most expensive cities in the world? Rapture answers: for community, for chosen family, for freedom, to discover ourselves, others, and art, and to have new experiences. We stay for the chance of ecstasy. After all, as it is so eloquently put in the show, “When a bitch is tired of London, she should lay down and die.”

Rapture is an ode to London, the queer experience, and chosen family. You can catch it for one more night at the Vault Festival (though hopefully we’ll see it in another theatre very soon.)

Rating: 5 out of 5.


VAULT Festival has been left without a venue for 2024’s festival and beyond
• VAULT Festival have launched a #SaveVAULT campaign
• The campaign aims are to raise £150,000 by 19th March to support the festival’s survival AND to secure a new home for the festival to continue.
• You can help by donating, helping access funding networks, and helping then find a venue.
• You are officially implored to make the most of 2023’s Festival while it lasts!

{🎟 AD – PR invite – Tickets were gifted in exchange for an honest review}

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