Edinburgh Fringe 2018 Hit ‘Zoo’ Heads To Vault Festival 2020

Following a hit run at Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2018 and then Theatre 503 in November 2018, Lily Bevan brings her critically acclaimed two-hander Zoo to Vault Festival 2020. This humorous yet touching tale of tragedy, courage, flamingoes and the need to escape, will run in the festival’s fifth week, from Tuesday 25th February to Sunday 1st March.

Until today the most dangerous event at the zoo was the Tapir’s caesarian section. But when a hurricane heads straight for Miami, zookeeper Bonnie rushes to keep her animals safe. Across the world in the Yorkshire dales – Carol feels the repercussions. And the danger turns out to be deeper and darker than the weather.

Bonnie is busy devoting her life to working at the ‘Cherokee Valley Zoo and Conservation Centre’, Carol (Bonnie’s best friend) lives in North Yorkshire, working with bats.  Bonnie loves animals, but she struggles with people and has got caught up in some difficult gender politics at the Zoo. Sometimes our loyalty and commitment make us who we are…  sometimes, like Bonnie we drink too many margaritas and go home with notorious zoo lothario, Ian Butterwick.

Carol has her own challenges, her angry ex-husband, her silent son Paul, meddling local caving groups and the South Yorkshire bat group. Bonnie gives Carol the confidence she requires to face a dark day when Paul goes missing in the winding underground caves. Their friendship helps them both surmount immense personal challenges.

What do you do when you’ve always liked animals more than people and suddenly those animals are under threat? How do the decisions we make in a crisis shape our destiny?

Zoo is a play about ‘climate change’ not only in the weather but also in the discussion of the female experience, our relationships to the natural world, and perceptions of a life well lived. This is a story of two complex, funny, awkward women; both in a mire of bosses, exes, hierarchies, both who prefer animals to people, both need to escape.

Featuring voice performances by Robert Mountford, Mike Wozniak and James Rastall. Sound design by Mike Winship, design by Erica Greenshields, and Lighting design by Tom Clutterbuck.

Performed by Lorna Beckett Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Northern Stage), Time and the Conways (National Theatre), Duet For One (Almeida), and Lily Bevan; writer of The French Welcome (for Globe Theatre 2019), co-writer of Talking to Strangers (BBC Radio 4 and Edinburgh Fringe w/ Sally Phillips 2016) “I doubt there will be anything as seriously funny for years.” – Gillian Reynolds (The Telegraph), and writer/performer of Pheasant Plucker (Edinburgh Fringe sellout 2015). Other performing credits include Dr Faustus (Globe Theatre, 2019), As You Like It (Globe Theatre 2019), Dr Who (BBC), A Voyage Round My Father (Donmar Warehouse), Kindertransport (Shared Experience).

Directed by Hamish MacDougall – Directing includes ‘Hammerhead’ (Pleasance comedy show of the year 2017) & ‘Soothing Sounds For Baby’ (4 Chortle Awards, nominated for Edinburgh Comedy Award, listed in The Guardian Top Ten shows of the year) by Joseph Morpurgo (Edinburgh/Soho Theatre/UK Tour), ‘The Narcissist’ performed by Graham Dickson (Underbelly) ‘Life and Rhymes’ by Abandoman (Udderbelly/Southbank/UK Tour) ’24 Hour Plays’ (Old Vic New Voices) ‘A Slight Ache’ starring Simon Munnery and ‘Below The Belt’ starring Mike Wozniak (Pleasance, Edinburgh).