HEAD OF STATE
By Rob Thorman
The Studio @ The Vault Festival 4th - 6th February 6pm
Director: Rob Thorman; Lighting Designer: Simeon Miller; Set Designer: Matilda Ettedgui
Sound Designer: Bethany Duke; Consulting Director: Ella Jones; Consulting Producer: Molly O’Shea
The Studio @ The Vault Festival
Leake Street, London, SE1 7NN
This show has completed its current run
Interviews, reviews & audience feedback
Review: Theatre Weekly
"Head of State captures current affairs particularly well; climate change, gun laws and the Salisbury poisoning all feature, but without forcing any particular viewpoint"
Ohhhh Akshay Shah was just sublime in this. His dancing is worth the ticket price alone. I’d say go check it out BUT THE RUN IS SOLD OUT! #smuglyproudfriend
We just snuck in to see @HeadofStateShow @VAULTFestival. A total masterclass in multirolling. It’s sold out but fight for a return.
Set in the fictional country of Nechora, HEAD OF STATE follows newly elected Mo, as he accidentally becomes an over-the-phone therapist to the world’s most powerful leaders.
HEAD OF STATE is a brand new feel-good political satire for desperate times that explores the challenges faced by the global Left and the back catalogue of Ariana Grande.
Written by Rob Thorman, the show satirises different countries’ demons, explores how everyone in the world is still reeling from the same technological revolution and pushes audiences to see the climate emergency as an unprecedented opportunity for collaboration and a chance to bridge the global divide.
Akshay Shah plays the charismatic left-wing firebrand Mo – Nechora’s newly elected Head of State – while Lawrence Russell plays every other country. The show is powered by an intense duel, as Mo’s chief of staff Joe – a centrist, sceptical of Mo’s grand ideas for change – throws everything and every character he can at Mo, to prove that Mo’s belief in a greater world is dangerously naïve. Rather than parody living world leaders, every country is personified as a recognisable personality disorder that Mo has to befriend, psychoanalyse and cure, all over the phone, in just a few minutes.
If the reality of the world feels too much to bear this February, retreat into a new fantastic fantastical political satire and treat yourself to HEAD OF STATE @ The Vault Festival.
Akshay Shah is signed with IAG. In 2019 he was one of the finalist prize winners of the TCN Monologue Slam. He has been training with Identity School of Acting for nearly three years where he has played Bennett in Punk Rock and Moe in Pomona. His short film credits include Shattered (Tony McGee).
every other country
Lawrence Russell trained at East 15 Acting School. His theatre credits include: Comedy of Erics, Diamonds are for Eric, Eric of Doc Green (New Vic) Not: Lady Chatterley's Lover (UK Tour, Theatre 503), Importance of Being Earnest, Richard III, The Tempest (Red Rose Chain), Twelfth Night (Principle Theatre), The Muddy Choir (UK Tour), Rathmore’s Whippet (Theatre 503). His TV credits include: Breaking The Band: The Clash (ITV Studios) and his short film credits include: Contactless (Ch4, Random Acts), The Funny One (David Winstone, NFTS).
Rob Thorman is a writer/director with a background in screenwriting. Rob has been shortlisted for the BAFTA Rocliffe new writing award three times and has participated in the NFTS script development diploma two years running. His short film The Ugly Duckling won Festival Favourite at Palm Springs Gay and Lesbian Festival and his musical-comedy When in Rome enjoyed a sell-out run at the Edinburgh Fringe.
Grande Productions is a company writer-producer Rob Thorman set up for a laugh before realising its name would feature quite so prominently on his show’s publicity material and could result in him being sued by the legal team of his favourite musical icon, Ariana Grande.
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Photo credit @ Ella Jones