Award winning Worcester-based Vamos Theatre, in co-production with Mercury Theatre Colchester and a co-commission with London International Mime Festival, presents ‘A Brave Face’ – a wordless and full masked play. 

Vamos’ work is rooted in true stories and social and historical research.  After two years of research with ex and serving soldiers, their families and mental health practitioners Rachael Savage has written a compelling story about Ryan.  A thought-provoking and emotionally charged production that examines Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) in the military; PTS is an invisible wound of war, not just for the soldiers, but their families, too. 

In 2009, Ryan and Ravi, two teenage friends from Middlesborough, enlist in the British Army. After being posted to Afghanistan, only Ryan returns. However, he continues to relive his traumatic military combat through nightmares and vivid flashbacks whilst experiencing depression, anxiety, anger and erratic behaviour.  

The cast are faultless.  James Greaves, Joanna Holden, Sean Kempton, Angela Laverick and Rayo Patel portray their characters beautifully through physical communication, whilst complemented by strong visual design and an original soundtrack. They balance just the right amount of sensitivity, humour and respect. You genuinely connect with their characters, feeling the intensity of emotions from pain, fear, rage, love, joy and despair.  

Talking about what is special about ‘full mask theatre’ Honor Hoskins (Engagement Manager at Vamos) explains, “Working without words creates a personal and immediate kind of communication in which difficult issues can be more easily approached and more powerfully experienced. Because there are no words, the audience has to work hard to interpret and in doing so they engage more deeply, connecting usually with emotional empathy. People living with PTS often don’t talk about it which is even more reason to tell this story without words - it can be done… ‘A Brave Face’ attempts to deal with a difficult, universal story. It doesn’t attempt to preach or convert, just to give, through mask theatre, words to those who’ve been robbed of words, who’ve lost their mates in the conflict, but they’ve also lost themselves.”

‘A Brave Face’ is touring from February 2018 -  If you missed it at The Capitol in Horsham, on 10th February, it is showing again locally at The Brighton Fringe Festival on 18th and 19th May at The Hat.  BOOK NOW!