Huey300Christel Bartelse recently joined the company of Faustwork Mask Theatre & premiered the hit show The Mask Messenger at the London Fringe Festival, June 2014. Faustwork is committed to exploring and celebrating the art of the Mask, to challenging and delighting audiences of all ages with a unique synthesis of theatre, physical comedy, music, dance and poetry. Since 1983, we have appeared worldwide at a variety of venues, including The Sydney Opera House in Australia, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., The Kentucky Center for the Arts, and The Maui Arts and Cultural Center. Faustwork’s shows tour annually to theatres, festivals, universities, corporate events, and schools throughout the United States and Canada. We offer performances suitable for a wide range of venues, from larger performing arts centers, to festival tents and school gymnasiums. We conduct arts residencies, workshops, and seek opportunities to collaborate with other artists and companies.

“Bartelse, confirms her status as one of the most talented performers to visit London, reeling off dozens of defined characters with every mask she dons.”

This is a fun, intriguing, fast-paced show that delivered lots of laughs as Bartelse taps the audience for volunteers to share the stage while unmasking truths about, well, masks.

Her changing physicality, combined with gestures and altered voices bring the masks to life.

This is a show that is just a perfect break from the ‘normal’ Fringe fare, physical comedy that not only enlightens but entertains.The London Free Press

The Mask Messenger is a mix of monologues, physical comedy and theatre- a tour-de-force solo performance that explores the artistic, cultural and psychological use of masks. Audiences laugh and learn.

This menagerie of nearly twenty characters cut to the heart of human matters and leaves audiences laughing and crying. In vignettes ranging from comic to poignant to bizarre, this performance expands the idea of mask to include body language, makeup, jewellery and the many faces we all wear daily.

There are oversized silent masks, half-masked characters who speak, and masks worn on top of the head creating the illusion of crawling creatures. There is quick change artistry and physical distortions that the New York Times says “tickles some sort of primary funny bone”

This show has received rave reviews, too numerous to count, at theatres, festivals, corporate events and schools throughout the United States, Canada and has played the Sydney Opera House, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC & Hawaii’s Maui Arts and Cultural Centre.

“Inventive, magical, never less than completely absorbing” The Toronto Star

“Sublimely tender, amazing, phenomenal” Oakland Tribune