Under The Mask

by Shaan Sahota. Directed by Sita Thomas

A Tamasha and Oxford Playhouse co-production. Supported by Sennheiser

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.

– How do I live with myself if someone gets hurt because of my mistake?

– How do you live with yourself if you walk away?

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 unconscious intubated patients, the rhythmic hiss of ventilators, the screech of alarms indicating abnormal vital signs, the constant rolling of paralysed bodies to prevent bed sores, the pain and blisters of wearing full PPE for 12 hour shifts, and the crying relatives saying goodbye via Skype….

This burden was carried alone by a generation of young doctors and nurses, who couldn’t even get a hug from their parents, in case they passed the virus on.

New writer Shaan Sahota is a junior doctor who lived this experience. She is also a member of the 2020 Tamasha Playwrights group. UNDER THE MASK is Shaan’s extraordinary debut, recorded on location in real Covid wards.

This installation brings you, the audience, onto the OP stage. Seated in your own chair, lit by your own lighting state, listening through headphones to this fully immersive, 360-degree binaural experience you will be at the heart of this remarkable story of fortitude and hope.

Followed by a 45 minutue Q&A session after every performance.


We’re to announce that UNDER THE MASK will be postponed until further notice. But we look forward to sharing this incredible new work with you soon (look out for new dates!).

Creative

Written by Shaan Sahota

Directed by Sita Thomas

Sound Designer Farokh Soltani

Dramaturgy Fin Kennedy

Cast

Aysha Kala

Stacy Abalogun

Neil D’Souza

Amerjit Deu

Lourdes Faberes

Balvinder Sopal