Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Mask

Mask

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1950 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Crockett, John, born 1918 - died 1986 (designer and maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Painted papier-mâché

  • Credit Line:

    Given by John Crockett

  • Museum number:

    S.477:20-1980

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Mask for a Devil designed and made by John Crockett, worn in Christopher Marlowe's play Doctor Faustus, Compass Players tour, 1950-1951.

John Crockett (1918-1986) was the artistic director of a post-war touring theatre company called the Compass Players, a small company which could have been described at the time as part of a commune. An estate and an old house on the edge of the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire provided accommodation, office and rehearsal space for an acting company of seven, as well as a home for the family of John Crockett, who was a fine artist and dancer, as well as an actor and director.

The company was dedicated to producing a repertoire of classics, and these included Doctor Faustus,Milton's masque Comus, plays by Shaw, Synge, Chekhov, Moliere and Christopher Fry, and versions of The Pardoner's Tale from The Canterbury Tales and of Jonah and the Whale - both adapted by John Crockett.

The Compass Players appeared in village halls, miners' institutes and schools across Britain, usually performing a school's matinee and an evening show each day. Cast and equipment travelled in a converted laundry van. The entire company acted, stage managed, lit the show, maintained the costumes and stage properties and put up the set.

John Crockett designed all the masks for Doctor Faustus, creating moulds based on the actors' faces. All available members of the company were recruited to make the papier-mâché and the finished masks were then painted by John Crockett.

Physical description

Full face mask of a devil. The mask is painted in shades of green and yellow and has twisted, exaggerated features. The forehead has large wrinkles and the mask has a pointy nose. The head is decorated with orange and green wire wrapped in string to suggest hair. A beige and navy fabric hood is sewn around the mask to conceal the back of the head and shoulders.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)

Date

1950 (made)

Artist/maker

Crockett, John, born 1918 - died 1986 (designer and maker)

Materials and Techniques

Painted papier-mâché

Descriptive line

Mask for a Devil designed and made by John Crockett, worn in Christopher Marlowe's play Doctor Faustus, Compass Players tour, 1950-1951

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Dellar, Pamela (ed). Plays Without Theatres: Recollections of The Compass Players Travelling Theatre 1944-1952. Beverley: Highgate Publications, 1989. 173p. ISBN 0-948929-27-8.

Materials

Papier-mâché; Paint; Metal thread

Techniques

Forming; Painting; Sewing

Categories

Entertainment & Leisure; Theatre

Collection

Theatre and Performance Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.