Two World of Charlie F comes to Manchester Opera House, 9 June
Service men and women perform in a new play by Owen Sheers, giving a soldier's perspective on life.
The Two Worlds of Charlie F was the branchild of executive producer Alice Driver, who wanted to provide the first theatre recovery project and unique work placement for serving wounded, injured and sick (WIS) military personnel within a theatre company.
It was the first time the Ministry of Defence had allowed a theatre company access to their wounded soldiers. It led to workshops and interviews with the WIS service personnel from the war in Afghanistan, which, in turn, led to a play being created through the partnership of The Theatre Royal Haymarket Masterclass Trust, The Royal British Legion and Defence Recovery Capability, written by the award-winning poet and playwright Owen Sheers.
The Two Worlds of Charlie F was rehearsed and performed on stage to great acclaim at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in London's West End for two sold-out performances before going on a short UK tour that won the Amnesty International Award for Freedom of Expression 2012.
This new tour, which is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, is supporting The Royal British Legion's Poppy Appeal at each performance and this will fund The Royal British Legion's theatre welfare programme.
The cast includes serving and veteran servicemen and women - Bombardier (Rtd) Gareth Crabbe, Rifleman (Rtd) Daniel Shaw, Darren Swift, Marine Cassidy Little, Lieutenant Colonel (Rtd) Stewart Hill, Lance Corporal (Rtd) Maurillia Simpson, Corporal (Rtd) Steve Shaw and Lance Corporal Ashleigh Young.
They will be joined by professional actors Lily Phillips, Miriam Cooper, Owen Oldroyd, Terri Ann Bob-Baxter, Tom Colley, Tomos Eames and Venetia Maitland.
Marine Cassidy Little, who plays the title role of Marine Charlie Fowler, was born in Canada and studied performance art in the United States. He then did stand-up comedy in Britain before joining the Marines (as the result of a bet). Cassidy lost a leg in his second tour of Afghanistan.
The play is directed by Stephen Rayne, with music by Jason Carr, design by Anthony Lamble, lighting and projection design by Will Reynolds, sound by Colin Pink and choreography by Lily Phillips.
The Two Worlds of Charlie F is at the Manchester Opera House from 9 - 14 June.