Durban theatre company hopes Shrek, Snoopy and Phantom of the Opera masks will lift Covid-19 gloom

Durban theatre company Kickstart has created a fun line of masks depicting well-loved musical characters to lighten moods during the Covid-19 crisis.
Durban theatre company Kickstart has created a fun line of masks depicting well-loved musical characters to lighten moods during the Covid-19 crisis.
Image: via Facebook

At a time when masks have become standard attire for every South African, one Durban theatre company has decided to lift the gloom by creating a collection of musical masks ranging from Shrek and Snoopy to The Phantom of the Opera.

The collection is not for sale yet, but Kickstart has already been inundated with requests for the masks after posting the creations on social media.

The post reads: "Frankly, we've been disappointed with the lack of creativity in the masks we've seen around the shops. Masks are supposed to be theatrical, for heaven's sake! So, herewith, is Kickstart's #musicalmasks collection inspired by everyone's favourite musicals."

The range also includes Grease masks, Cats, Annie, Les Miserables, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, The Rocky Horror Show and The Wizard of Oz.

Artistic director Greg King told TimesLIVE: "Having produced many musicals and pantomimes over the years, our theatre company has a large store of colourful fabric scraps and off-cuts from countless costumes, puppets and props. 

"When I tried to make a few practical masks out of these, each fabric immediately reminded me of the character it originally belonged to. I joked about this to my partner, Steven Stead, so we started imagining which popular shows and characters could be represented with a few iconic colours or features."

One of the masks in the Kickstart collection.
One of the masks in the Kickstart collection.
Image: via Facebook

King said they have not ventured out in the masks yet, although many friends have dared them and requested photographic evidence.

"I think the Phantom of the Opera would be the best candidate for this because he’s a natural social-distancer. I can imagine him caught  paparazzi style, in slops and track pants, queuing to pay for his pineapples and loo rolls," King joked. 

"It wasn’t our idea to sell them, though we’ve had many suggestions and requests. Perhaps an auction to raise funds for one of the wonderful theatre-related charities out there is the way to go.

"It’s been such fun to create some humour in these gloomy times. If our masks can generate a little financial relief as well, that would be a marvelous thing.

"You can breathe in them, but not for long enough to remain standing in a socially distanced queue.

"I resisted putting mouths on the masks because it seemed witty to have a scrap of fabric and a few accessories tell a story. 

"In this controversial time, this line-up of well-loved characters who are now silenced seem to be making a pertinent political comment about our theatre community, who are desperately wrangling with our arts ministry for some transparency, guidance and salvation," he said.

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