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

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.

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 Brave Face is suitable for audiences aged 12 years and upwards, and is accessible to hearing and d/Deaf audiences alike.

Co-commissioners: London International Mime Festival
Co-producers: Mercury Theatre, Colchester
Production sponsors: Arts Council England, Worcestershire County Council, The Elmley Foundation, Worcestershire Arts Partnership.

CAST

João Ricardo Aguiar - Jimmy
Adeel Ali - Ravi
Tessa Gaukroger - Jane (Ryan’s Mum), Alex (Troop Sergeant)
James Greaves - Ryan
Sophia Knox-Miller - Katie (Ryan’s sister), Khatera

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: tbc
Script Consultant: Janie Armour
Technician: tbc
Stage Manager (rehearsals): tbc
Print Design: alienpen
Set Builders: The Mercury Theatre, Colchester
Costume Supervisor/maker: Hannah Marshall
Wig Dresser: Alison Barlow
Photography: Graeme Braidwood, Kate Holt
 

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

 

This is a powerful, imaginative and at times laugh out loud funny piece of theatre that demands an audience.
See the full review at here. 

Bryan Mason, Stage Talk Magazine

 

Its wordless story of a young man...resonates all the deeper for its lack of spoken dialogue.

Seven Days, What's On

 

A Brave Face is one of the most unique shows doing the rounds on the British theatre circuit at present, and you’d be a fool to miss out on the experience it offers.
Read the full review here.

Daryl Holden, The Reviews Hub

 

...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

 

There are only five actors: James Greaves, Joanna Holden, Sean Kemp, Angela Laverick and Rayo Patel, and they are all amazing...Go find A Brave Face if you can.
See the full review here

Janet Jepson, The Reviews Hub

 

...this has authenticity and the true stories of veterans, writ large. It vibrates with truth and makes you shudder with realisation because of it.
Read the full review

Donald Stewart, Fringe Review Scotland

Chilled Performances

If you'd like to see one of our shows in a more relaxed theatre environment, try a Chilled Performance. You can come and go freely during the show (low level houselights will be on so that you can see your way out), noise and movement in the audience are no problem, there are small adjustments to the lighting and sound to try to limit shocks or stresses, and venue staff are on hand to help and support your visit. So if you're put off going to the theatre because you need a more flexible and easy-going environment when you're there, a Chilled Performance could be what you need.

If you're coming to a Chilled Performance and would like to know the story in advance, you can download the show’s Visual Story, which explains what happens using pictures and accessible text. Download it here.

Veterans

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 Chilled Performances, 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.

If you are a Veteran or serving soldier and are concerned about the possibility of triggers, you can read our Trigger and Safety Sheet (TSS) in advance of seeing the show. Created with the help of Veterans, the TSS goes through each scene in detail, so please be aware that it contains plot spoilers. You can request a TSS to be sent to you via email from the box office, collect one on arrival at the theatre or you can download it here.

What Veterans can expect at a Chilled Performance:
•    Members of the cast will be in the foyer before the show to welcome audiences
•    Lighting and sound have been adjusted to try to avoid triggers
•    You can leave the auditorium at any time if you find any scene too distressing
•    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 before coming to a performance:
•    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.

Trailer

You can view a BSL version of this trailer here

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Thu 14 Feb 2019 7:30PM
The Swan Theatre
The Moors, Worcester, WR1 3ED
Book Tickets: 01905 611427
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Thu 21 Feb 2019 7:30PM
Unity Theatre
1 Hope Street, Liverpool, L1 9BG
Book Tickets: 0151 709 4988
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Fri 22 Feb 2019 7:30PM
Unity Theatre
1 Hope Street, Liverpool, L1 9BG
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Mon 25 Feb 2019 7:30PM
Chilled Performance The Courtyard, Herefordshire's Centre for the Arts
Edgar Street, Hereford, HR4 9JR
Book Tickets: 01432 340555
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Tue 26 Feb 2019 8:00PM
Theatre Severn
Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury, SY3 8FT
Book Tickets: 01743 281281
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Wed 27 Feb 2019 8:00PM
Theatre Severn
Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury, SY3 8FT
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Thu 28 Feb 2019 7:45PM
Clwyd Theatr Cymru
Mold, CH7 1YA
Book Tickets: 01352 701521
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Fri 01 Mar 2019 7:45PM
Clwyd Theatr Cymru
Mold, CH7 1YA
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Thu 07 Mar 2019 8:00PM
Schlosstheater Fulda
Schlossstrasse 5, 36037 Fulda, Germany,
Book Tickets: +49 661 102 1111
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Fri 08 Mar 2019 8:00PM
STADTHALLE Erding
Alois-Schießl-Platz 1, Erding, 85435
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Wed 13 Mar 2019 7:30PM
The Borough Theatre
Cross Street, Abergavenny, NP7 5HD
Book Tickets: 01873 850805
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Thu 14 Mar 2019 7:30PM
Torch Theatre
St Peter's Road, Milford Haven, SA73 2BU
Book Tickets: 01646 695297
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Fri 15 Mar 2019 7:30PM
Taliesin Arts Centre
Swansea University, Singleton Park, Swansea, SA2 8PZ
Book Tickets: 01792 602060
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Tue 26 Mar 2019 7:30PM
Everyman Theatre
Regent Street, Cheltenham, GL50 1HQ
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Wed 27 Mar 2019 7:45PM
The Corn Exchange
Market Place, Newbury, RG14 5BD
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Thu 28 Mar 2019 7:45PM
The Corn Exchange
Market Place, Newbury, RG14 5BD
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Fri 29 Mar 2019 7:30PM
Arena Theatre
Wulfruna Street, Wolverhampton, WV1 1SE
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Sat 30 Mar 2019 7:30PM
Lichfield Garrick
Castle Dyke, Lichfield, WS13 6HR
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Mon 01 Apr 2019 8:00PM
Jacksons Lane
269a Archway Road, London, N6 5AA
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Tue 02 Apr 2019 8:00PM
Jacksons Lane
269a Archway Road, London, N6 5AA
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Wed 03 Apr 2019 8:00PM
Jacksons Lane
269a Archway Road, London, N6 5AA
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Thu 04 Apr 2019 7:30PM
Chilled Performance New Theatre Royal
20-24 Guildhall Walk, Portsmouth, PO1 2DD
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Wed 10 Apr 2019 7:30PM
Artrix
School Drive, Bromsgrove, B60 1PQ
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Thu 11 Apr 2019 7:30PM
Gladstone Theatre
Greendale Road, Port Sunlight Village, Wirral , CH62 4XB
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Fri 12 Apr 2019 2:30PM
Gladstone Theatre
Greendale Road, Port Sunlight Village, Wirral , CH62 4XB
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Sat 13 Apr 2019 7:30PM
Queens Hall Arts Centre
Beaumont Street, Hexham, NE46 3LS
Book Tickets: 01434 652477
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Tue 23 Apr 2019 7:30PM
Theatre Royal
21-23 Jewry Street, Winchester, SO23 8SB
Book Tickets: 01962 840 440
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Wed 24 Apr 2019 7:30PM
Lincoln Drill Hall
Free School Lane, Lincoln, LN2 1EY
Book Tickets: 01522 873894
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Thu 25 Apr 2019 8:00PM
The Lowry - Studio
The Lowry, Pier 8 , Salford Quays, M50 3AZ
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Fri 26 Apr 2019 7:30PM
Carriageworks
The Electric Press, 3 Millennium Square, Leeds, LS2 3AD
Book Tickets: 0113 376 0318
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Sat 27 Apr 2019 7:30PM
Carriageworks
The Electric Press, 3 Millennium Square, Leeds, LS2 3AD
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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