• Soldier and afghan child together
  • Soldier holds a rag doll
  • Soldiers sitting in a Chinook helicopter
A Brave Face
#abraveface

About the show

CLICK HERE FOR TOUR DATES!

Dear mum, things are a bit tough right now. But don’t worry – I’m ok. I’ll tell you about it when I get back.”

Afghanistan: 2009. Under bright blue skies, a small girl stands and watches the soldier. She smiles, just like his sister…
Ryan is there to see the world, learn a trade, get a life. Training is complete, combat is a buzz; he’s part of a team, and knows his job. But on one particular hot and desperate tour of duty, Ryan sees things he can’t talk about, to anyone. And then, when he returns home, the trouble really begins.

Created from two years of research with ex and serving soldiers, families and health professionals, A Brave Face explores Post-Traumatic Stress, an unseen and often unrecognised injury of war, and the impact it can have on even the closest of families. With compassion and fearlessness, Vamos brings its trademark, wordless, full mask style to a story that needs to be told.

A co-production with Mercury Theatre Colchester and a co-commission with London International Mime Festival, A Brave Face is suitable for audiences aged 12 years and upwards, and is accessible to hearing and d/Deaf audiences alike.

Production sponsors: Arts Council England, Worcestershire County Council, The Elmley Foundation, Worcestershire Arts Partnership.

Sponsor logos

CAST

James Greaves - Ryan
Joanna Holden - Katie (Ryan’s sister), Khatera, Company Sergeant Major
Sean Kempton - Jimmy
Angela Laverick - Jane (Ryan’s Mum), Alex (Troop Sergeant)
Rayo Patel - Ravi

All other parts played by members of the cast

PRODUCTION TEAM

Writer/Director: Rachael Savage
Composer/Sound Editor: Janie Armour
Advisors: Ray Anderton, Rhys Jenkins-Hayhow, Mark Lucas, Matthew Green, Diane Palmer, The Ripple Pond
Set/Costume Designer: Carl Davies
Mask Maker: Russell Dean
Associate Director: Alan Riley
Lighting Designer: Matt Clutterham
Choreographer: Rachael Alexander
Projection Designer: Mark Parry
Script Consultant: Janie Armour
Technician: Laura Sprake
Stage Manager (rehearsals): Dan Hill
Print Design: alienpen
Set Builders: The Mercury Theatre, Colchester
Costume Supervisor/maker: Hannah Marshall
Wig Dresser: Alison Barlow
Photography: Graeme Braidwood, Kate Holt
Student Apprentices: Natalie Hind, Charlotte Durber

OTHER INFO

RUNNING TIME: c. 75 mins (no interval)

FUNDERS: Arts Council England, Worcestershire County Council, The Elmley Foundation

CO-PRODUCERS: Mercury Theatre Colchester

CO-COMMISSIONERS: London International Mime Festival

SUITABILITY: Over 12 years

Reviews

 

This production pulls punch after punch after punch. It’s essential theatre … and it makes a difference. It’s not to be missed, under any circumstances.
Read the full review here.

BBC Radio Shropshire,

 

A tender, powerful piece about Post Traumatic Stress...perfect in its sensitivity.,,not to be missed.
Read the full review here.

Paul T Davies, British Theatre.com

 

...a five-handed masterclass of this rare and beautiful art.
See the full review here.

Chris Eldon Lee, What's On Live

 

It is a strength of Savage’s meticulously researched production that we feel we know the person behind the mask more completely than the performer.
Read the full review here.

Anne Morley-Priestman, Anneatthetheatre.com

 

...this production was both moving and absorbing – an incredible piece of writing and performing that made the story and the emotion behind it completely accessible to the audience whatever their age and background.
Read the full review here.

Suzanne Hawkes, Felixstowespy.com

 

A Brave Face is a compelling story, beautifully told with Vamos’ signature mask style.
Read the full review here

Kate Lovell, Disability Arts Online

 

A Brave Face takes us inside an issue which both the military and society generally has struggled to fully comprehend. And in doing so, it also gives us a story touched with humour and humanity and a cast of memorable characters.
Read the full review here

Diane Parkes, Weekend Notes

Veterans' Events

A Brave Face was researched with the help of both serving and ex-soldiers, to create a powerful portrayal of the symptoms of PTS and the impact it has on the lives of returning soldiers and their families. As a result, the show contains scenes that some audiences may find distressing. All our performances welcome both civvies and Veterans. This includes our Veterans’ Events, which have slight adjustments made to the production to reduce the possibility of triggers and to provide additional support for those who could be affected by some of the scenes in the show.

What to expect at a Veterans’ Event performance:
•    Members of the cast will be available before the show to welcome audiences.
•    Trigger and Safety Sheets are available from our cast and the box office. They can also be downloaded here.
•    Lighting and sound have been designed to try to avoid triggers.
•    You can leave the performance at any time if you find any scenes too distressing.
•    The cast will finish the show by talking to the audience about help available through the NHS for PTS.
•    There will be a post-show discussion open to the audience to ask questions raised by the show.
•    Support will be available from either a military mental health charity or the NHS after the show in the foyer.
•    There will be leaflets available from the NHS on our merchandising table.
What you can do:
•    Request a Trigger and Safety Sheet from the box office or download it here
•    Where possible try to be seated near the aisles so you can easily leave during the performance should you wish to.
•    Network and share your experience of the show with fellow Veterans and families in the audience.
•    Tell us what you think on our feedback cards after the show.
Where to find Veterans’ Events:
•    Salisbury Arts Centre, 2nd March 2018
•    Hereford College of Arts, 26th March 2018
•    Theatre Severn, 25th April 2018 Book tickets online
•    Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre, 9th May 2018 Book tickets online
•    Cast Doncaster, 16th May 2018 Book tickets online

Veterans’ Events are not exclusively for ex-military personnel and general performances are not exclusively for civvies. We welcome you to attend all performances. For the full listings, please see the tour list.

Trigger and Safety Sheet

A Brave Face has been researched with the guidance of Veterans and serving soldiers, so we’re keen to ensure these audiences are supported at all our performances as much as possible. A Trigger and Safety Sheet (TSS) has been created to be available to anyone who attends our shows who may feel anxious about the content ahead of the performance.

The Trigger and Safety Sheet goes through each scene in detail, so please be aware that it contains plot spoilers from the show. You can request a TSS to be sent to you via email from the box office, or you can download a Trigger and Safety Sheet here

Relaxed Performances

Relaxed Performances are open to all, but specifically designed to welcome those who benefit, for whatever reason, from a more relaxed environment, such as people with sensory and communication disorders, a learning disability or autism spectrum condition. They’re a great way for family and friends to experience live performances together in an adapted environment. If you're coming to a Relaxed Performance, you can download the A Brave Face Visual Story in advance, which explains the story of A Brave Face using pictures and accessible text. 

RELAXED PERFORMANCES: Mercury Theatre, Colchester (9th Feb), Salisbury Arts Centre (2nd March), Hertford Theatre (1st May), Merlin Theatre Frome (8th May) - see tour list for full details.

See our Relaxed Performances film

Trailer

You can view a BSL version of this trailer here

Rehearsal trailer

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    Click to reveal the full tour list for A Brave Face Click to close the full tour list for A Brave Face
Thu 01 Feb 2018 8:00PM
London International Mime Festival Jacksons Lane
269a Archway Road, London, N6 5AA
Book Tickets: 02083 414421
Book online Sold Out
Fri 02 Feb 2018 8:00PM
London International Mime Festival Jacksons Lane
269a Archway Road, London, N6 5AA
Book Tickets: 02083 414421
Book online Sold Out
Sat 03 Feb 2018 3:00PM
London International Mime Festival Jacksons Lane
269a Archway Road, London, N6 5AA
Book Tickets: 02083 414421
Book online Sold Out
Sat 03 Feb 2018 8:00PM
London International Mime Festival Jacksons Lane
269a Archway Road, London, N6 5AA
Book Tickets: 02083 414421
Book online Sold Out
Thu 08 Feb 2018 7:30PM
Veteran's Event Mercury Theatre
Balkerne Gate, Colchester, CO1 1PT
Book Tickets: 01206 573948
Book online
Fri 09 Feb 2018 2:30PM
Relaxed Performance Mercury Theatre
Balkerne Gate, Colchester, CO1 1PT
Book Tickets: 01206 573948
Book online
Fri 09 Feb 2018 7:30PM
Mercury Theatre
Balkerne Gate, Colchester, CO1 1PT
Book Tickets: 01206 573948
Book online
Sat 10 Feb 2018 7:30PM
The Capitol
North Street, Horsham, RH12 1RG
Book Tickets: 01403 750220
Book online
Wed 21 Feb 2018 7:30PM
Haymarket Theatre
Wote Street, Basingstoke, RG21 7NW
Book Tickets: 01256 844244
Book online
Thu 22 Feb 2018 7:45PM
The Goose Nest Warwick Arts Centre
University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL
Book Tickets: 02476 524524
Book online
Fri 23 Feb 2018 7:45PM
New Wolsey Theatre
New Wolsey Theatre, Civic Dr, Ipswich, IP1 2AS
Book Tickets: 01473 295900
Book online
Tue 27 Feb 2018 8:00PM
Jersey Arts Centre
Phillips Street, St Helier, JE2 4SW
Book Tickets: 01534 700444
Wed 28 Feb 2018 8:00PM
Jersey Arts Centre
Phillips Street, St Helier, JE2 4SW
Book Tickets: 01534 700444
Wed 07 Mar 2018 7:30PM
Torch Theatre
St Peter's Road, Milford Haven, SA73 2BU
Book Tickets: 01646 695267
Book online Sold Out
Fri 09 Mar 2018 7:30PM
Ludlow Assembly Rooms
1 Mill Street, Ludlow, SY8 1AZ
Book Tickets: 01584 878141
Mon 12 Mar 2018 7:30PM
New Vic Theatre
Etruria Road, Newcastle-under-Lyme, ST5 0JG
Book Tickets: 01782 717962
Book online
Tue 13 Mar 2018 7:30PM
Pomegranate Theatre
Corporation Street, Chesterfield, S41 7TX
Book Tickets: 01246 345222
Book online
Wed 14 Mar 2018 8:00PM
mac birmingham
Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham, B12 9QH
Book Tickets: 01214 463232
Book online Sold Out
Thu 15 Mar 2018 7:30PM
Veterans' Event Arena Theatre Wolverhampton
Arena Theatre Wolverhampton, Wulfruna Street, Wolverhampton , WV1 1SE
Book Tickets: 01902 321321
Fri 16 Mar 2018 7:30PM
Arena Theatre Wolverhampton
Arena Theatre Wolverhampton, Wulfruna Street, Wolverhampton , WV1 1SE
Book Tickets: 01902 321321
Book online
Tue 20 Mar 2018 2:30PM
Exeter Northcott Theatre
University of Exeter, Stocker Road, Exeter, EX4 4QB
Book Tickets: 01392 726363
Book online
Tue 20 Mar 2018 7:30PM
Exeter Northcott Theatre
University of Exeter, Stocker Road, Exeter, EX4 4QB
Book Tickets: 01392 726363
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Wed 21 Mar 2018 7:45PM
The Corn Exchange
Market Place, Newbury, RG14 5BD
Book Tickets: 08455 218218
Book online
Thu 22 Mar 2018 7:30PM
The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre
56 East Street, Havant, PO9 1BS
Book Tickets: 02392 472700
Book online Sold Out
Mon 26 Mar 2018 7:00PM
Veterans' Event Hereford College of Arts
Folly Lane, Hereford, HR1 1LT
Book Tickets:
Book online Last seats
Wed 28 Mar 2018 7:30PM
Cornerstone Arts Centre
25 Station Road, Didcot, OX11 7NE
Book Tickets: 01235 515144
Book online
Thu 29 Mar 2018 7:45PM
Malvern Theatres
Grange Road, Malvern, WR14 3HB
Book Tickets: 01684 892277
Book online
Fri 30 Mar 2018 7:45PM
Malvern Theatres
Grange Road, Malvern, WR14 3HB
Book Tickets: 01684 892277
Book online
Fri 06 Apr 2018 8:00PM
The Marlowe Studio
The Friars, Canterbury, CT1 2AS
Book Tickets: 01227 787787
Book online
Sat 07 Apr 2018 3:00PM
The Marlowe Studio
The Friars, Canterbury, CT1 2AS
Book Tickets: 01227 787787
Book online
Sat 07 Apr 2018 8:00PM
The Marlowe Studio
The Friars, Canterbury, CT1 2AS
Book Tickets: 01227 787787
Book online
Wed 11 Apr 2018 7:30PM
Stadttheater Schaffhausen
Herrenacker 22/23, 8200 Schaffhausen
Book Tickets: 0041/52/6250556
Book online
Fri 13 Apr 2018 8:00PM
Theater Wolfsburg
Theater der Stadt Wolfsburg GmbH , Klieverhagen 50, Wolfsburg, 38440
Book Tickets: +49536 1267338
Book online
Tue 17 Apr 2018 8:00PM
Unity Theatre
1 Hope Street, Liverpool, L1 9BG
Book Tickets: 0151 7094988
Book online
Thu 19 Apr 2018 7:30PM
Greenwich Theatre
Crooms Hill, London, SE10 8ES
Book Tickets: 02088 587755
Book online
Fri 20 Apr 2018 7:30PM
Greenwich Theatre
Crooms Hill, London, SE10 8ES
Book Tickets: 02088 587755
Book online
Mon 23 Apr 2018 7:30PM
Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds
Westgate Street, Bury St Edmunds, IP33 1QR
Book Tickets: 01284 769505
Book online Last seats
Tue 24 Apr 2018 7:30PM
The Bridge House Theatre
Myton Road, Warwick, CV34 6PP
Book Tickets: 01926 776438
Wed 25 Apr 2018 8:00PM
Veterans' Event Theatre Severn
Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury, SY3 8FT
Book Tickets: 01743 281281
Book online
Thu 26 Apr 2018 8:00PM
Theatre Severn
Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury, SY3 8FT
Book Tickets: 01743 281281
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Fri 27 Apr 2018 7:30PM
Artrix
School Drive, Bromsgrove, B60 1PQ
Book Tickets: 01527 577330
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Sat 28 Apr 2018 7:30PM
Theatre Brycheiniog
Canal Wharf, Brecon, LD3 7EW
Book Tickets: 01874 611622
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Tue 01 May 2018 7:45PM
Relaxed Performance Hertford Theatre
The Wash , Hertford, SG14 1PS
Book Tickets: 01992 531500
Book online
Wed 02 May 2018 7:30PM
The Mumford Theatre
Anglia Ruskin University, East Road, Cambridge, CB1 1PT
Book Tickets: 01223 352932
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Thu 03 May 2018 8:00PM
South Street Arts Centre
21 South Street, Reading, RG1 4QU
Book Tickets: 0118 960 6060
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Fri 04 May 2018 8:00PM
South Street Arts Centre
21 South Street, Reading, RG1 4QU
Book Tickets: 0118 960 6060
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Sat 05 May 2018 8:00PM
Chelmsford City Theatres
Fairfield Road, Chelmsford , CM1 1JG
Book Tickets: 01245 606505
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Tue 08 May 2018 7:45PM
Relaxed Performance Merlin Theatre
Bath Road, Frome, BA11 2HG
Book Tickets: 01373 465949
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Wed 09 May 2018 7:30PM
Veterans' Event Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre
School Road , Taunton , TA2 8PD
Book Tickets: 01823 414141
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Thu 10 May 2018 7:30PM
The Roses Theatre
Sun Street, Tewkesbury, GL20 5NX
Book Tickets: 01684 295074
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Fri 11 May 2018 7:30PM
Stantonbury Theatre
Stantonbury, Milton Keynes, MK14 6BN
Book Tickets: 01908 324466
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Sat 12 May 2018 7:30PM
Rhodes Arts Complex
South Road , Bishop's Stortford , CM23 3JG
Book Tickets: 01279 710 200
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Tue 15 May 2018 7:30PM
Cast
Cast, Waterdale, Doncaster, DN1 3BU
Book Tickets: 01302 303 959
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Wed 16 May 2018 7:30PM
Veterans' Event Cast
Cast, Waterdale, Doncaster, DN1 3BU
Book Tickets: 01302 303959
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Thu 17 May 2018 7:30PM
Guildhall Arts Centre, Grantham
St Peter's Hill, Grantham, NG31 6PZ
Book Tickets: 01476 406158
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Fri 18 May 2018 6:00PM
The Hat The Warren, Brighton Fringe Festival
St Peters Church North, York Place, Brighton, BN1 4GU
Book Tickets: 01273 987 516
Book online
Sat 19 May 2018 6:00PM
The Hat The Warren, Brighton Fringe Festival
St Peters Church North, York Place, Brighton, BN1 4GU
Book Tickets: 01273 987 516
Tue 22 May 2018 8:00PM
Tobacco Factory Theatres
Raleigh Road, Southville, Bristol, BS3 1TF
Book Tickets: 01179 020344
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Wed 23 May 2018 8:00PM
Tobacco Factory Theatres
Raleigh Road, Southville, Bristol, BS3 1TF
Book Tickets: 01179 020344
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Thu 24 May 2018 7:30PM
The Swan Theatre
The Moors, Worcester, WR1 3ED
Book Tickets: 01905 611427
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Fri 25 May 2018 7:30PM
The Swan Theatre
The Moors, Worcester, WR1 3ED
Book Tickets: 01905 611427
Book online
Mon 28 May 2018 7:30PM
Eden Court
Bishops Road , Inverness , IV3 5SA
Book Tickets: 01463 234 234
Tue 29 May 2018 7:30PM
Dundee Repertory Theatre
Tay Square , Dundee , DD1 1PB
Book Tickets: 01382 223530
Book online
Wed 30 May 2018 7:30PM
Eastwood Park Theatre and Gallery Giffnock
Rouken Glen Road, Giffnock, G46 6UG
Book Tickets: 01415 774956
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Tour Map

KEY: Forthcoming Shows - Forthcoming shows Past Shows- Sorry if you missed it - these shows are in the past!

 one moment we were laughing the next we were moved to tears - and not a word spoken