Blogs

Full mask theatre from the inside

Ars Saltandi vs. The Grand Middle Age

Ever wondered what a clown has to say about death? Now's your chance, as performer Aron De Casmaker shares audience reactions to Finding Joy, and muses on the bigger themes of living, caring and dying that lie behind this year's Vamos projects.

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Tour thoughts

Touring actors do a lot of travelling. Some read, some listen to music...Finding Joy actor Rayo Patel shares what occupies him on the long road between venues.

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To boot or not to boot…

Finding Joy performer Bidi Iredale takes us on a guided walk through the emotions and impact of the tour so far

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Inspiring Joy: celebrating Nana Flo

Is there an older person who inspires or inspired you? We've asked the Finding Joy cast to share who their inspirational elders are, and why. This week, Louise Mellor tells us about her nan, Flo.

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Kindness, loss, growth and Joy

Hazel Ratcliffe, our Strategic Touring Manager, reflects on Sharing Joy, and a summer of twists and turns.

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Vamos va va voom!

Verity the Van's replacement has been a while coming, but thanks to Top Dog Bobby, and our wonderful supporters and funders, here she is! Rachael tells us about buying the best van in Somerset...

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Any experience is good experience

Vamos was lucky enough to have Year 10 student Rebecca Cartwright on work experience recently. If you're a young person wondering what it might be like, read how Rebecca got on...

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Nuns, clowns and ballerinas

Artistic Director Rachael has taken her family to Perigueux Festival for years, so it's particularly special that Vamos is part of this anarchic, wonderful festival this year. Rachael looks back at some top moments...

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Taking on challenges

Kathryn Green who runs our Young People's Theatre, reflects on the group's most challenging performance to date - a show about mental health

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That Unshakable Formality

Cirque de Soleil clown Aron De Casmaker has travelled the world as a performer. So what's the appeal of being part of Sharing Joy, our show for people living with dementia? Aron tells us more...

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The news from Bergen

In the last of our blogs from the Finding Joy international tour, Nicky Fearn tells us about the slightly soggy side of Bergen in Norway

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An epic hop, skip and drive

The British Airways shutdown last week meant the Finding Joy cast had make on an epic dash across four countries to get to Germany in time. Actor James Greaves tells us about it...

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Variations on a sausage

So who says actors only think about food? Finding Joy cast member Sarah Hawkins gives us the low down on European touring from the beautiful city of Prague

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Enthusiastic audiences (and great beer)

The story so far as Finding Joy actor Alan Riley steps up as our European Correspondent from Germany

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Rejuvenated, inspired and challenged

It's not that often that a 6'8" Australian clown gets in touch, but having Clint Bolster as Artist in Residence has been a joy - here's his side of the story.

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Travelodge vs Premiere Inn: the ultimate challenge of touring

For a touring actor, where you'll sleep tonight is way up there on the list of priorities. For the Best Thing actor Marco Nanetti, there are only two choices...

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Seeing a different picture

As a CND card-carrying teenager, Artistic Director Rachael reflects on how meeting soldiers during her research for A Brave Face has changed her outlook on the military.

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Louder than Words

In our latest blog from the road, actor Louise Mellor considers the power of mask to connect us across barriers and boundaries

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Creating characters, creating stories

What do masks have to do with reading and literature? As it turns out, quite a lot! Kathryn Green takes us on a trip to Shrewsbury Children's Bookfest.

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Being accessible, being inspiring

Stephen Collins is one of the group of Deaf practitioners who have recently become Vamos mask workshop leaders. In this guest blog, Stephen tells us a little about why full mask works for Deaf audiences.

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A passion for mask

Sometimes you experience something and it changes your life forever. In our latest blog, The Best Thing cast member Hannah Kimpton shares her ongoing passion for full mask theatre...

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The Best Thing About Me #4

With classic Canadian punk bands and a childhood fear of jewellery in the mix, the last of our Best Thing About Me series is a cracker.

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Getting enthusiastic

We're delighted that Emily Howlett, Stephen Collins and Mary-Jayne Russell De Clifford have joined the Vamos team as d/Deaf workshop leaders. In this guest blog, Emily fills us in on what it's like to take on the role.

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The Best Thing About Me #3

Who wore floral denim wedges? Who loved Elvis Costello? Here's the latest The Best Thing About Me from the team.

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The Best Thing About Me #2

In the second of our series revealing The Best Thing secrets of our cast and crew, meet Laura Sprake and Hannah Kimpton, who share a love of tree climbing...

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The Best Thing About Me #1

The Best Thing About Me feature we ran for The Best Thing's last tour was a real hit: so why not a new batch!? Introducing cast member Marco, and Marketing Manager, Justine.

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Taking the first steps

Artistic Director Rachael Savage shares her experience of spending time with the Army in Colchester, as part of researching our next new production.

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Theatre for everyone

So what does it really mean to be 'accessible'?. During a year dedicated to finding that out, Vamos's General Manager Charlotte, shares some of what we've learned so far.

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Being genuinely inclusive

Development Manager Honor Hoskins celebrates our recent ACE funding to further the accessibility of our work

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Passing the baton

VYPT 9-13 leader Kathryn Green celebrates the group's first ever mask performance

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Fringe benefits?

Why perform at Edinburgh fringe when it’s known as such a financial risk? Artistic Director Rachael Savage takes us through the tricky decision making for a company like Vamos.

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Vamos’s dream drive

Verity was the big, shiny Mercedes Sprinter she'd always yearned after...Rachael's celebration of the Vamos van and life on the road

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Powerful Connections

In a hard-hitting blog, Artistic Director Rachael Savage describes the emotional subject matter connecting The Best Thing with her recent trip to South Africa

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The Cape Town experience

For those of you who missed Rachael’s blog from Cape Town, here’s a recap of her posting from the start of her visit to South Africa.

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Vamos in South Africa

Rachael and Janie report back from Hillbrow, Johannesburg.

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Wordless visual theatre for deaf and hearing alike

We have learned so much during our recent consultancy with the Deaf community: Vamos's Honor Hoskins tells us more...

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The Best Thing About Me #5

With the show nearly ready to head out on tour, we get to the final lucky few sharing their childhood secrets. This week, find out who wore patent shoes and frilly collars!

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The Best Thing About Me #4

Share in some of our cast and crew's childhood secrets as The Best Thing About Me continues...

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So, what do you do then?

As jobs go, mask acting must be one of the hardest to describe, as The Best Thing actor Sarah Hawkins explains...

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The Best Thing About Me #3

Who's scared of moths? The Best Thing About Me continues, so read on for some more childhood secrets!

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The Best Thing About Me #2

Next in line for sharing childhood secrets are Vamos actor, Richard J Fletcher, and our set designer Carl Davies. Most cringeworthy outfit? Read on!

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The Best Thing About Me #1

Want to see Rachael Savage with a potato gun? This is your chance to find out about The Best Thing team as they reveal their childhood secrets and The Best Thing about them.

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From mask to panto and back again

Actor Richard J Fletcher has a challenge on, fitting in a panto run at Oldham Coliseum between Vamos rehearsals.

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Having choices

The main theme of our upcoming show The Best Thing is choice. In her blog, Vamos actor Angela Laverick, contrasts her own life with that of the character she plays

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News from our own Fourth Monkey

We love it when one of our VYPT young people goes on to work in the arts - ex-VYPT member Laura Jackson is certainly making a success of her mask training...

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The perfect model

Emma Jane Benning, model for our recent The Best Thing photoshoot, had a very special reason for taking part - she tells us more in her guest blog

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Finding Joy in a field

Last weekend we took one of our full length shows to a festival for the first time. Did it work? Rachael Savage tells us all about it...

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Doing things better

Development Manager Honor Hoskins heads to Derby for the Positive About Deafness summer schools

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Feeling proud

In a guest blog, Belgrade Asian Youth Theatre member Miya Jarvis fills us in on learning to perform in mask

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Keeping it fresh

Making different versions of a show is a challenge for any actor: Sarah Hawkins tells us about the evolution of Finding Joy

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Expect the unexpected

It's Walkabout season again, and we've been hard at work creating new acts. Honor Hoskins tells us all about what it's been like...

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If only they knew…

With the Nursing Lives tour almost half way through, we get the latest from behind the scenes courtesy of actor Marissa Gunter

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Meet the cast and crew- Richard

In the last of our Meet the Cast feature, we present actor and tour manager Richard J Fletcher

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Meet the cast and crew-James

Our fourth Meet the Cast features James Greaves, ex-Trestle stalwart and one of the most experienced mask actors around

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Keeping things spotless

In this guest blog, Sue Roberts remembers her time as a trainee nurse, and the importance then, as now, of cleanliness in the battle with infection

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Running the race

Our valiant administrator Kathryn Green joined the production team during Nursing Lives - and found out it was more marathon than sprint!

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Meet the Cast and Crew - Marissa

Find out about our newest (and tallest!) Nursing Lives cast member Marissa Gunter, in the third of our Meet the Cast and Crew series

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Meet the Cast and Crew - Sarah

In the second of our Meet the Cast and Crew series, meet Sarah Hawkins, whose been with Vamos almost since we began

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Meet the Cast and Crew

Our special questionnaire features touring technician, Chris Marsh-Hilfiker

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Show and tell

After week one of Nursing Lives rehearsals, director Rachael Savage tells us some of the dramas and joys so far

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Composing in a hard hat

Being a composer might sound rather glamorous, but our composer Janie Armour shares some of the more down-to-earth sides of the job

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A whirlwind of joy

Actor Sarah Hawkins looks back on the dancing, balloons and singing dogs of Sharing Joy

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Raring to go…

Marissa Gunter of the Sharing Joy cast describes the run up to the first performance of our special care home show

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Vamos mask making secrets revealed

From sets to masks, artist Kate Wragg has been proving an asset to the Vamos team. Here she tells us about the distinctive way in which Vamos's masks are made and painted

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Taking over the world

GM Charlotte Gregory looks back at her time so far as manager of the Vamos team and tells us about the company's plans and ambitions.

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Thoughtful, energetic and downright silly

Beth Greenwood of Vamos Young People’s Theatre sums up the mood in the lead up to the group’s performances of The Projectionist this week.

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Looking back down the road

Tim Montague, our intrepid and ever-cheerful ASM on the Finding Joy 2014 tour, looks back at six months on the road

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Bringing it all together

In the run up to the opening of their exhibition about theatre-making, Charlie Hammond from Vamos Young People's Theatre tells us all about how it's coming together...

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The delights of Brighton

As the Finding Joy company arrives in Brighton, actor James Greaves samples some of the delights of the Festival

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Joy goes rural - Richard’s blog

Our latest blog is from Richard J Fletcher, who talks Dad's Army, politics, and rural touring

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Celebrating differences: Marrisa’s blog

Marissa Gunter, Vamos workshop leader, describes the positive impact that care-focussed mask workshops can have, and how much one particular project taught her

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The Questionnaire #2

Our company questionnaire before Christmas proved so popular we decided on a second instalment. There are four more of our teams' replies right here, so enjoy!

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Tim’s excellent adventure

Sold out shows, busy get-ins, random Big Bands and, well...lots of rain. Life's never dull on the road with Finding Joy.

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The Questionnaire

We’ve created a little questionnaire for the Finding Joy team...the first four are featured here.

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Kathryn’s blog: taking a risk

Our Apprentice Administrator Kathryn Green tells us how working as an intern and taking all the chances she could helped her on the ladder to professional work.

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Sarah’s blog: living the Vamos life

Actor Sarah Hawkins has had an incredibly varied twelve months. Read more about Sarah's life with Vamos in her blog.

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Jack’s blog: go ahead pig make my day

Jack Stevenson of VYPT tells us about the inter-generational performance for care homes they've been devising.

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Sandra’s blog: Lunch with Lilly

We recently heard from Sandra Chivers about her work as a carer, and how seeing Finding Joy had made an impact on it.

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Penny’s blog: Making life work, making life good…

Our latest blog is by Penny Greenland, Artistic Director of JABADAO.

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Simone’s blog: on the road with Finding Joy

What's life on tour been like so far? Here are some highlights for Vamos performer Simone Lewis.

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Nicky’s blog: being a Vamos apprentice

Nicky Gardiner is one of our Vamos Theatre apprentices: read all about what he's been up to in the run up to the opening of Finding Joy

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Janie’s blog composing for Vamos

Janie Armour, Vamos's composer, tells us about writing the Finding Joy soundtrack

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Rachael’s blog Rehearsal week 1

Rachael Savage fills us in on the first week of rehearsals for Finding Joy

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Nanou’s research and development week blog

Finding Joy started its first week of research and development last week. Nanou Harry from the Finding Joy cast tells us a little about what it's been like....

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Honor moves into the office blog

Honor Hoskins has swapped life on the road for the Vamos office. Read how she's getting on so far...

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Drunk and disorderly

Alice Vellander steadily walks the white centre line at Vamos Young People's first session of the autumn

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Moving Home

Lock, stock and barrel; Vamos Theatre makes light work of moving home...

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