Stage is set for ex-forces actors

What happens when a company of ex-soldiers becomes a company of actors? Although worlds apart, they begin to realise there are more similarities between military life and the theatre than they bargained for, building a powerful new world of their own.

The Soldiers’ Arts Academy CIC is a platform for serving and ex service personnel who have been injured mentally and/or physically during their time in service to access the arts.

As part of a suite of recent dramatic productions, the SAA’s performing company star in drama ‘Soldier On’ (written by Jonathan Lewis) which received its first rehearsed readings in Bloomsbury to the packed audiences this summer.

Taking part in the productions has been ‘life changing’ for some individuals who are facing their own personal battles with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety and a variety of physical injuries sustained in combat.

The play opens at the Northcott Theatre in Essex on February 22, before moving to the Woodville in Gravesend, the Playground Theatre, London, York’s Theatre Royal and the North Wall Arts Centre, Oxford. More information is available from the Soldiers' Arts Academy.

The Soldiers’ Arts Academy runs inspirational programmes in all areas of the arts including theatre, poetry, dance, music, and creative writing to teach new skills, and to develop confidence and self-esteem. This in turn provides a path into the local community and into work.

Sessions are run weekly by trained industry professionals and teams of soldiers are invited to take their new skills into schools and to run workshops in Shakespeare, poetry and drama alongside inspirational talks.