Strangeface brings mask and puppet theatre to audiences in Kent, regionally, nationally and internationally. We aim to make our work as accessible as possible by offering work that appeals across generations and travelling to venues across the UK from grand old theatres to tiny village halls.
Strangeface is a theatre company committed to producing an intimate fusion of mask, puppetry and live music. Its style arises from twin observations: that it is not in the interests of consumer culture to encourage imagination in its participants and that we live in an age where the individual is championed above the group.
In response to this Strangeface’s practice is to create theatre in a variety of spaces, which makes its audience aware of it’s own imaginative participation through various techniques and to elucidate the fact that identity is more transient than we would believe. In practice both of these aims can be deeply empowering. At the end of our performances we add time for audiences to come up on stage, to try on masks and play with puppets. In the case of mask and puppet theatre, showing how the magic is created makes the magic stronger.
Strangeface’s influences are diverse and growing. They include the mask cultures of Japan and Italy, the plays of Shakespeare and Brecht, the animation of Jan Svankmajer, Jirí Barta, Tim Burton and Nick Park, and contemporary companies such as Trestle, Faulty Optic, and Complicite. Our practice is also influenced by research into the application of Chaos Theory to semiotics and cognitive theory.
The company is also committed to outreach work. Schools, colleges and universities use our mask and puppet workshops (both making and using) not only to develop specific drama skills but also to address and encourage so called ‘soft skills’. Our workshops and residencies are ideal for building confidence within groups and individuals, encouraging team work, developing problem solving skills, imaginative engagement and extending emotional vocabulary. Strangeface is constantly developing its workshops and residencies to fit with changing educational requirements.