A unique collaboration of wounded, injured and sick Service personnel, veterans and their families from across the UK are uniting to stage a one-off Remembrance performance that they will create in less than five weeks.
The Royal British Legion’s recovery through the arts initiative, Bravo 22 Company, is delivered in partnership with The Drive Project and in collaboration with Newcastle Theatre Royal to put on a production on Remembrance Sunday.
Bravo 22 uses theatre and sculpture to help the Armed Force Community during recovery.
The production, ‘Unspoken’ will be based on the memories and experiences of those from the forces community. Writer Gary Kitching will begin workshops in mid-October so he can compose the script.
As a Freelance writer he’s used to the pressure of deadlines but Gary said “It’s their stories and if I can write something they are proud to perform then my job is done”.
The cast includes veterans who’ve suffered life-changing injures to family members who can use this show as a ‘voice’ to highlight their perspective of having a loved one in the forces. Gary went on to say “It is their ability to get on and deal with whatever is thrown at them, and their ability to find humour in the darkest places. I think they will surprise, entertain and move a lot of people.”
Directing the show will be Phil Hoffman with most of the cast having taken part in previous Bravo 22 Company projects over the last five years. One of the stars who will be on stage is former Royal Marine Tip Cullen. After 30 years as a commando he left in October 2015.
Tip’s first acting break came in the form of the Legion’s Bravo 22 production, ‘Boots at the Door’ in Plymouth in 2015. “It was my first performance on the stage and I loved it. I could not have been given a better opportunity at this time in my life and I will always be thankful to the Legion for that.”
Since his theatre debut in ‘Boots at the Door’ Tip has appeared in various Hollywood films including Spielberg’s ‘Ready Player One’ and Kingsmen 2. He’ll join this Bravo 22 cast fresh from filming in Canada.
Bravo 22 Company was created by Alice Driver in partnership with The Royal British Legion, the Ministry of Defence and the Theatre Royal Haymarket in 2011 to help improve self-awareness, confidence, self-esteem and motivation in order to aid personnel with individual paths to recovery. Following the success of the inaugural West End production of ‘The Two Worlds of Charlie F’, there have been several shows across the country including Plymouth, Aylesbury and Newcastle as well as two arts projects in Brighton and Manchester.
Alice Driver, Founder and Managing Director for The Drive Project, commented; “The Bravo 22 Company journey has been incredible to oversee. Six years on from our first performance around and 230 people have been through this process. Reuniting cast members from all over the country for this performance is really special for me. What makes this type of theatre unique is not only what the audience gets out of seeing a show based on real life experiences but also how the cast grow in confidence, form new friendships and use the stage as a platform for their voice”
After the success of the Bravo 22 project in Newcastle last year with the sell-out show ‘Wor Stories’, Newcastle Theatre Royal was once again the ideal option is hosting this latest project.
Tickets for ‘Unspoken’ are on sale now. To book, visit Newcastle Theatre Royal Box Office, call 08448 11 21 21 or visit http://www.theatreroyal.co.uk Tickets cost £10.
For more information on Bravo 22 Company visit www.britishlegion.org.uk/bravo22
Notes to Editors:
For more information, please contact Charlene Guy – Press Officer at The Royal British Legion:
CGuy@britishlegion.org.uk /0203 053 7184 /07458 124 853
Bravo 22 Company is The Royal British Legion’s recovery through the arts programme, successfully organising regional projects for the Armed Forces community. Unspoken is the latest project to come out of Bravo 22 Company, and is being delivered by The Royal British Legion, The Drive Project and Newcastle Theatre Royal.
The Royal British Legion’s work is encapsulated in its motto: Live On – to the memory of the fallen and the future of the living. The Legion is the nation’s biggest Armed Forces charity providing care and support to all members of the British Armed Forces past and present and their families. It is the national custodian of Remembrance and safeguards the Military Covenant between the nation and its Armed Forces. It is well known for the annual Poppy Appeal, and its emblem the red poppy. http://www.britishlegion.org.uk
The Drive Project designs and delivers award winning creative and immersive projects that inspire, motivate and empower individuals. www.thedriveproject.co.uk
‘Unspoken’ is one of the cultural theatre shows that’ll be on during Newcastle Freedom City 2017 which is a city-wide programme commemorating the 50th anniversary of Dr Martin Luther King being awarded an honorary degree by Newcastle University.
Newcastle Theatre Royal Box Office, call 08448 11 21 21 or visit http://www.theatreroyal.co.uk Tickets cost £10.