J'AIME MARCH 2019

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FEATURE

Behind the mask

WITH ENGAGING STORYTELLING AND PHYSICAL DEXTERITY, VAMOS THEATRE BRINGS ITS

WORDLESS FULL MASK STYLE TO A STORY WHICH NEEDS TO BE TOLD, WITH SEVERAL MIDLANDS

DATES INCLUDING A SHOW AT THE LICHFIELD GARRICK THIS MONTH. AMY NORBURY CHATS

TO DIRECTOR RACHAEL SAVAGE AHEAD OF THE TOUR

VAMOS THEATRE

TACKLES MILITARY PTS

IN ITS LATEST SHOW

In 2012, more British soldiers and veterans took

their own lives that were lost on the battlefield in

Afghanistan. And since then, suicide rates have

continued to rise.

It’s a damning indictment about the strains of

military life - and particularly the difficulties faced

by ex-military as they adjust to being a civilian once

again.

“And I don’t think the true statistics are really

known,” says Rachael Savage, founder and director

of Vamos Theatre. “When you’re a veteran and

you leave the military, you often don’t want to

be associated with it and so you often don’t give

information that you’re a veteran.

“You’ve also been trained never to surrender, never

to ask for help, to constantly fight and not flight,

and when you leave the military that’s still utterly

engrained.

“Not all soldiers come back mentally scarred. Many

say their military years were the best years of their

lives and enjoy a smooth transition back to civilian

life. I’ve also heard stories of how exciting life in

the military can be. Stories telling of the adventure,

adrenalin rush, optimism, thrill. And yet thousands

have suffered mentally - as so did their forebears

from earlier wars - and continue to battle when they

return back home. They may return physically whole

but often emotionally shattered.

“The military give you the most gruelling training to

become a soldier but they don’t give you any training

to become a civilian again. That’s where I think the

statistics are warped, with the amount of people

coming back with mental health problems which

need support. The true story is probably much more

bleak.”

And it is this issue of Post-Traumatic Stress in

6

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