• Soldier crouches alongside small child
A Brave Face

About the show

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.

Vamos Theatre is the UK’s leading full mask theatre company. Praised by press and public alike for its consummate full mask skills, engaging storytelling, physical dexterity and emotional insight, the company continues to involve and engage audiences across borders and boundaries, taking on challenging themes with poignancy, humour and humanity.

Created from two years of research with ex and serving soldiers, families and health professionals, A Brave Face explores Post-Traumatic Stress in the military, an unseenand often unrecognised injury of war. With compassion andfearlessness, Vamos brings its trademark, wordless, full mask style to a story that needs to be told.

A Brave Face  tours the UK in Spring 2018, opening at Jackson's Lane as part of London International Mime Festival on February 1st

The making of A Brave Face

In June 2015, Johnny Mercer, Conservative MP for Plymouth Moor, addressed the House of Commons:

In 2012, we reached a very unwelcome threshold when, tragically, more soldiers and veterans killed themselves than were killed on operational service in defence of the realm.”

A Brave Face is a full mask theatre production born of real life stories, created from over two years of extensive research and development into Post-Traumatic Stress. During the research period we met, talked and worked with ex- and serving soldiers and their families, as well as a breadth of mental health practitioners, journalists, and staff from Help for Heroes, Veterans First and the pioneering Recovery Centre, Chavasse VC House. A Brave Face brings together all that we learned to create a poignant, playful and fearless production in Vamos’s trademark full mask style.

Throughout the production’s creation, we have renowned photojournalist Kate Holt, a regular contributor to The Guardian, as Photojournalist in Residence.

Promotional trailer

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