About the show
Under The Mask
A Tamasha and Oxford Playhouse co-production, supported by Sennheiser
Running time: approximately 60 minutes
In March 2020, hundreds of final year medical students finished their studies early, and started work on the frontline of the Coronavirus pandemic. This is the story of one of them, a newly qualified doctor, Jaskaran.
On her first day at work, Jaskaran is deployed to her hospital’s Covid Intensive Care Unit. Nothing prepares her for what she finds. Rows of intubated patients, the blisters of wearing full PPE for 12 hour shifts, and the crying relatives saying goodbye via Skype.
UNDER THE MASK is Shaan Sahota’s extraordinary debut, recorded on location using sound gathered in real Covid wards, using fully immersive, 360-degree binaural sound. Audiences listen through headphones, whilst seated on stage, giving a doctor’s perspective on the pandemic and putting you, the listener, into their shoes uncovering a remarkable story of fortitude, hope and strength.
Meet the Creatives
Shaan SahotaWriter: Shaan Sahota is a doctor and playwright living in London. Her first play, THE ESTATE, was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize in playwriting and earned her a place on the Tamasha Playwrights program. With Tamasha she has developed AMORTAL COIL, a stripped back sci-fi romance.
Sita ThomasDirector: Sita Thomas is Co-Artistic Director (maternity cover) for Common Wealth theatre. She is a multi-disciplinary artist working across television, film and theatre, and has a keen interest in increasing representation of marginalised communities.
Farokh SoltaniSound Designer:
Fin KennedyDramaturgy: Fin Kennedy is an award-winning playwright whose plays are produced in the UK and abroad. He has a particular specialism in devising participatory young people’s projects in London’s East End. Fin has written for Soho Theatre, Sheffield Crucible, Half Moon, The Red Room, Southwark Playhouse, Bristol Old Vic and has had 8 Afternoon Plays broadcast on BBC Radio 4. His 2007 play HOW TO DISAPPEAR COMPLETELY AND NEVER BE FOUND became the first unproduced play ever to win the John Whiting Award. Alongside writing, Fin also teaches, blogs, campaigns, fundraises and dramaturgs and mentors other writers. He has been Artistic Director of Tamasha since 2013.
Feedback from private listening event in December 2020
It was a deeply immersive experience that captured dimensions of sound, physical space and emotion that I have rarely been able to experience through sound alone. An excellent production.
It was immensely powerful, it was an emotional journey. It encouraged me to reflect on my own motivations to study Medicine and I think I’ll be a better doctor for having heard this. Thought-provoking and moving!
This is an insight that many, if not everyone, should hear. It is timeless and timely
It worked amazingly well as a listening. I also very much appreciated the possibility of asking questions to the writer and the director!
Great format, great medium for the play, and really moving and insightful piece of work that marks well the experience of front line workers
A powerful, immersive and moving experience
Excellent timely play.