Shell Shock – the play

Shell Shock is presented by Smokescreen Productions and supported by the Sussex Armed Forces Network, Anglia Ruskin University, Help For Heroes, Combat Stress and PTSD Resolution.

In the autumn of 2016 the Chancellor awarded this project a grant from the LIBOR fund to enable us to develop the production and embark on a number of venues in late spring / early summer 2017.

Shell Shock is one soldier’s story of coping with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  After serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, Tommy Atkins’ observations on life on civvy street are poignant, frequently comic and always moving. His over-emotional responses to post office queues, a trip to Ikea, his relationships and family lead to alienation and anger.

tom_page2Trauma does not have to mean PTSD in the most severe cases imagined. At any level it can cause flashbacks, nightmares, anger and depression – often leading to violence, alcohol and substance abuse, job loss, family breakdown and even suicide. All these topics are covered in the production with the hope sufferers or those close to can connect and identify with the performance and seek help which is available from service charities for all the military community.

Drawn from personal experience, Neil Watkin’s writing is affecting, vernacular and direct, Tom Page’s performance is deeply engaging and haunting. The story, adapted from the original novel Shell Shock: The Diary of Tommy Atkins, written under the pen name Neil Blower highlights the work of forces charities such as Combat Stress and Help For Heroes.

Shell Shock is adapted from the acclaimed novel available from Amazon here.

This had me back there. It had me in stitches. It had me remembering phrases that civvies would think gobbledygook. It had me angry. It had me in tears. If you do nothing else after reading this book, point it in the direction of friend who’s showing one or more of the behaviours described therein. Give them the chance to continue living to tell their tale.

Serving military mental health nurse.

For more information about the tour, follow this link.

Follow this link to a flyer about Shell Shock.


MAY 2017

Fri 5 – Sun 7 // Brighton – Fringe Festival

Mon 15 – Tue 16 // Havant – The Spring

Sun 28 // Exeter – The Northcott Theatre

Wed 31 //  Winchester – Chesil Theatre


JUNE 2017

Thur 1 – Sat 3 June //  Winchester – Chesil Theatre

Thur 8 – Sat 10 // Horsham – Capitol Theatre

11 June // Canterbury – The Gulbenkian

Tue 20 – Thu 22 / Brighton – The Old Market

Thur 29 // Aldershot – West End Centre

Fri 30 // Cambridge – Mumford Theatre


JULY 2017

Fri 28  // Folkestone – Tower Theatre

Please note we may be filming the performance on one or more dates for promotional use. There will also be requests for audience feedback to develop the production further and in line with our evaluation to encouraging the use of performing arts to address stigma and barriers to care, and to develop further research relevant to this area.

Our Executive Members

By @Cobseo 54 years ago

Afghanistan support

In light of recent events in Afghanistan, please find information and support resources here