Vamos wins BBC Culture in Quarantine commission

Published: 18 June 2020
Reporter: Steve Orme

Vamos Theatre’s How Hard Is Waving?

Vamos Theatre, “the UK’s leading full mask theatre company”, has beaten off competition from more than 1,600 applicants to win a BBC Culture in Quarantine commission.

Twenty-five projects have been selected from across England for broadcast slots across BBC TV, BBC Radio 3 and BBC Sounds and through the BBC Arts web site.

The submission by Worcester-based Vamos Theatre was based around the Ryan in Isolation shorts it has posted on social media. The commission means it is able to expand the artistic concept to create 21 film shorts.

Performed without words, How Hard is Waving? is the story of Ryan, alone in lockdown and doing his best to support his quirky, extended family through a video link as well as keeping his own mental health on track.

The cast comprises director and performer Rachael Savage, full mask actors Alan Riley and James Greaves, and Rosa Savage who makes her professional debut.

Guided remotely by film-maker and editor Dan Hill, the cast have been performing at home and filming their own footage. All episodes will feature an original score by composer Janie Armour.

Rachael Savage commented, “we’re delighted and amazed to have receive this commission. It’s an incredibly exciting opportunity for us, allowing us to try out full mask in a completely different medium and to keep making work while theatres are closed and touring impossible.

“The challenges are many but we intend to make the most of this chance to show the very best of full mask theatre to a wider audience.”

Vamos Theatre’s Culture in Quarantine project is being made with support from digital agency and production company The Space and Battersea Arts Centre. A date for broadcast will be confirmed soon.