Tuesday, March 21

Dead Good – Unity Theatre

Vamos Theatre, in a co-production with Corn Exchange and a co-commission with London International Mime Festival present “Dead Good”, performed tonight at The Unity Theatre Liverpool.

Having never seen or heard of ‘Vamos Theatre’ before, I was very intrigued to find out what this masked performance had in store for the audience. A few hours later and it’s gone from being a theatre group I have never heard of, to one I will never forget for all the right reasons!

When you hear the basics, “it’s a masked performance, with no words”, I think it’s quite natural to be sceptical as you do wonder how that could ever be something to ‘wow’ but trust me, after watching this talented group, do their very talented thing, you’ll be left astonished. 

The first thing to credit is not only that the cast have on words, but they also cannot rely on facial expressions to convey their message. The story is simply delivered through body language with movement and gestures making up the entire script. In addition, they are wearing cumbersome masks that affect their vision and breathing. Adding extra complexity, there are no words meaning there are very few cues and audio signals to support the cast’s entrances and exits which are often relied on in typical theatre. It is not surprising that this is not something you see every day on stage as the level of skill and expertise needed to carry this off is truly extraordinary. It is clear however that Vamos have mastered this art with their slick performance going down a storm with the audience and their characterisation and personalities powerfully shining through the masks. A lot of theatre companies, both amateur and professional, could learn a lot by coming to see ‘Vamos Theatre’ in full flight, as it will really highlight the power of body language when it comes to expression and communication.

The storyline and topic choice must next be applauded. Vamos have proven they are not afraid to go headfirst into the unfamiliar, choosing end of life care and death as the focus within production. In saying that, we are brought on a journey where themes of love, loss, grief, friendship, trust and much more are brought to the fore.  This show really gives perspective on the difficult and astounding work that palliative care health professionals provide. The creators have managed to capture a difficult and challenging topic in a truly peaceful and lovely manner.  

This is a theatre company who really know what they are doing, and they have added in effective lighting, sound, video footage and text that compliments the performance in bucketsful. The set was fantastic with a highly professional sound and lighting team supporting the superb execution of this production.

There are so many take home messages within this production. One being that comedy is always needed in life no matter what else is going on and luckily, there was plenty of humour in ‘Dead Good’! The whole audience laughed and cried throughout with lots of giggles being heard as well as breathtaking silence moments within this moving production.

Having reviewed for many years now, I can honestly say this was one of the most unique and memorable shows I have seen to date. I would urge everyone to go see this inspirational piece of theatre while you can, and I know I will certainly be watching out for what ‘Vamos Theatre’ have in store in the future.

For more information, please visit https://www.vamostheatre.co.uk/shows/show/dead-good

Reviewer: Bláthíne Maguire

Reviewed: 3rd March 2022

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★★