The Artful Badger's Wild Worlds


Written by Flo Layer
27 Monday 27th January 2014

Artful BadgerWild Worlds at Vault

At this year’s VAULT festival, held in the labyrinthine passages and tunnels under Waterloo, Artful Badger’s new show ‘Wild Worlds’ opens the six week extravaganza of live performance and entertainment. Promising to wow the audience with ‘wild Voodoo ceremonial sex dances, monsters in a jealous rage, animalistic aerial acts, and interactive mischief’, ‘Wild Worlds’ is set to open the festival with a bang. During an incredibly busy rehearsal schedule we managed to catch a few minutes with Aiofe Van Linden Tol, the managing director of Artful Badger, to discover a bit more about the company and the show.


From humble, yet quirky, beginnings of dressing up as badgers at Secret Garden Party, the Artful Badger concept has grown “bit by bit”, moving from full blown outdoors festivals, to the festival party scene in London and finally transformed into an increasingly popular and highly acclaimed performance and visual arts company. Alongside the Founding Director, Freddy Drabble, and Co-Director, Zoe Cobb, Artful Badger has grabbed hold of its status as a fine arts performance troupe with a glowing reputation: “people love this, this is great”.

The strategic move into a full-blown performance and visual-arts company was a realisation of the multidisciplinary talents of the founding professionals – Zoe Cobb’s talent as a movement director and choreographer, Freddy Drabble’s specialism in theatre and performance as an actor and Aiofe Van Linden Tol’s artistic acclaim as a fine artist come together to form an professional artistic core at the heart of the company with years of creative experience in production and direction.

Follow The Faun

Aiofa has made a name for herself as a fine artist experimenting with art and explosives – and I was told that we can expect some of that dynamism in the performance; one of the short meditative pieces entitled Carbon is based around her spectacular installation of ‘a crackling, spitting burning fuse’ which ‘traverses the stage in a suspended installation which is constructed before your eyes’.

It’s definitely sounds like it’s going to be a visual feast. There is no fixed set apart from the clever use of projections so, as Aoife suggested, it’s “all about the space”. The Vaults consist of labyrinthine underground passages; with brick arches and tunnels, exposed pipes and gas canisters. It has an industrial yet “cosy” and intimate feel, a fantastically intriguing space for an immersive and wild performance. Whilst it’s essentially a sit-down show, audience members should be ready for a truly “overwhelming” experience – you might get involved, touched by the performers, physically led on a “mythical journey” in ‘Follow the Faun’, absorbed in the ‘cacophony of beauty’ of the sound piece in ‘Lush Howling’ or captivated by the physical puppetry performed by Aoife and Zoe Cobb themselves in the ghoulish ‘Spellbound’.


With an ever expanding troupe showcasing the best raw talent of performers and artists, after 10 new performers joined the company after an “amazing” turnout at the recent auditions, the future is looking exciting for Artful Badger. Not only will they also be performing in one of the ‘Lates’ slots on Valentine’s Day during the VAULT festival with ‘The Art of Hearts’ Valentine’s Ball, a ‘romantically rampant party’, but you will also see them again at their acclaimed spot at Secret Garden Party. With bigger and “more immersive” experiences in the pipe-line, now is best time to join in the hype and experience the “meditative, mischief and adventure” of Artful Badger’s Wild Worlds at the VAULT festival.

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