Wounded servicemen to tell their stories on stage

Natalie Woolman

Wounded soldiers who have devised a show about their experiences of conflict and recovery are to present the production in the West End at the end of this month.

Thirty ill and injured service personnel from across the UK have created a new play – entitled The Two Worlds of Charlie F – based on their own experiences. The group, called the Bravo 22 Company, also includes four professional actors.

The project aims to help the soldiers’ recovery and introduce them to people working in the theatre industry, as well as building confidence and improving self-awareness. It is being run by the Theatre Royal Haymarket Masterclass Trust and the Royal British Legion in partnership with Army Recovery Capability and Royal Navy Recovery Pathway.

The Two Worlds of Charlie F is directed by Stephen Rayne and written by Owen Sheers, who scripted The Passion for Michael Sheen and National Theatre Wales last year. Sheers said he conducted interviews with the cast and other service personnel and used this material for the play.

Speaking to The Stage, Sheers said: “It has been a fascinating process for me because I am very much writing from the experience of others but have to find a way to render that theatrically within an hour and a half of theatre.

“It has been incredible to see the change in them as individuals and as a company. They have been very generous with their stories and their memories.”

Two performances of The Two Worlds of Charlie F will run at the Theatre Royal Haymarket on January 22.

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