VAMOS Theatre’s new show Dead Good tells the story of a friendship between two men who are staring death in the face.

Both Bob and Bernard have been told they are dying – but they are determined to live life to the full while they still can.

Vamos Theatre has a strong reputation for tackling difficult subjects in drama.

The Worcester-based company, which uses full masks to tell its stories without words, has turned the spotlight on dementia, the health service and post-traumatic stress in the past.

Artistic director Rachael Savage felt it was time to investigate our attitudes towards life and death.

Rachael said: “The main reason we are telling this story is to ask the question of how the dying teach us to live and how do we live fully? I never thought I’d do a show about death because I’m terrified by it. And in all of the research I’ve laughed more than I’ve cried.”

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The original inspiration for Dead Good came from an audience member who also happens to be a GP with a specialist interest in end of life care.

“She emailed me to say she had an idea for the next show and when I first met her I was thinking ‘death is the last thing I want to make a show about’,” added Rachael.

“But then I found out we were completely on the same page about encouraging people to talk about it, to plan for a good death, to ask if there is such a good thing as a ‘good death’ and getting families to find out each other’s wishes.”

Rachael is sure Dead Good will build on the success of previous productions including Finding Joy, A Brave Face, Nursing Lives and Much Ado About Wenlock.

“I think people expect to go away from one of our shows having laughed and cried and with something to think about,” she said.

“I give people a voice who often don’t have one, so our shows have to be about things that I want to make people think differently about and am passionate about.”

Rachael believes these messages reach the audience all the more effectively because the characters are masked.

She added: “Full mask theatre draws people in. The actors have detailed scripts, objectives, the same things as other actors, but when there’s the full mask on top there is a real clarity of thought.

“We pull the audience in to us so that we are connecting with them intellectually because they’re working out what is going on and through that we also have a really close connection down to their heart where we can make them feel.

“What I hope is that the feeling then bounces back to the brain so we can make them think.

“My belief is that Dead Good is an important story to tell. I hope audiences will take away that life is precious and that their family and friends are precious. Love and laughter are wonderful things and to get out there and live life and learn is what’s important.”

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Taking the part of Bob is Aron De Casmaker. The Canadian clown performer has honed his skills in Cirque du Soleil’s Alegría and Slava’s Snow Show as well as performing with Vamos in the past.

“Bob is one of the two men who go on this great adventure soon after they both find out they are terminally ill,” said Aron.

“Bob has had a very simple and joyful trip through life until being diagnosed with cancer of the prostate.

“That really put him into a position of questioning his existence so he moved from being with his wife and being a retired auto-mechanic to deciding he’s going to die and he will do it alone. Then he meets Bernard who doesn’t let him have that solitude and forces him to find joy.

“I’m really excited about this project.

“The idea of finding the lightness in dark material really attracts me to the theatre and in this show we are hitting a very realistic view of death head on and then finding the joy and the lightness that comes from that.

“We want the audience to come out with an extreme sense of elation and joy which will resonate far beyond the walls of the theatre.”

Dead Good will be at The Tacchi Morris Arts Centre in Taunton on Friday, February 28 at 7:30pm. To book visit

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