Vamos full mask style
Why mask theatre?
Full mask is a powerful and emotive theatre genre. Because there are no spoken words, we find that the audience engages more fully with the action and forms a stronger, deeper, emotional attachment to what is happening on the stage. It's a perfect form in which to explore the social history that inspires Vamos's work.
It comes from a combination of things: current issues, historical events, and personal stories. We do a lot of researching, and often find that the best theatre can be found in the stories of 'ordinary' people: almost everyone has an experience that can inspire good theatre making. We have also been approached by venues who are interested in particular themes, and if we think the subject is fruitful, we enter into a co-production.
How we approach shows
The first stage is research. This involves spending a lot of time with either the person the story is based on, or historians, or professional specialists depending on the issues that we tackle. We watch films, read novels, and follow news articles. From this material, we create a 'script' (including characters, scenes and detail), which is then constantly developed during the rehearsal process.
How the masks are created
Our mask maker is called Russell Dean, who’s the founder of Strangeface, a half-mask company based in Kent. Once our show’s characters have been developed, Russell makes clay models of each mask, first in maquette (a scale model), then at full size. Once these are approved they are cast in plastic using a vacuum-former machine, painted, varnished, and wigged.