Buckinghamshire Legacy Project 2015
After the success of the first Bravo 22 Company project 'The Two Worlds of Charlie F', the Legion has extended the concept to create a legacy project. Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, the Legion and Buckinghamshire Armed Forces Community Covenant began the first regional project in November 2014.
A new play 'Contact' was written by Roz Wyllie, based on the experiences of the 26 company members from Buckinghamshire's Armed Forces Community. As well as acting roles, there were opportunities for training in stage management, sound and lighting as well as on stage performing.
I gained confidence – people are in the same boat as you, people with problems here, so that gives you confidence, knowing that you’re not alone.
The project culminated in four performances at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre in March 2015 and received great press and TV coverage.
This is unique theatre. A truly powerful and moving production that brought me to tears. The cast, script and whole show was excellent.
The Two Worlds of Charlie F
In 2011/12, the Legion, Theatre Royal Haymarket Masterclass Trust and the Ministry of Defence brought together 30 wounded, injured and sick Service personnel to write, produce and perform their own play on the West End stage. It debuted in January 2012.
Members of the newly formed Bravo 22 Company, aged between 20 and 52, presented two performances of a new play based on their experiences in conflict and in recovery, entitled,'The Two Worlds of Charlie F' under the artistic auspices of Trevor Nunn CBE.
The company received standing ovations for their performances from packed houses. Members of the company were involved in creating, performing, producing, directing, designing, constructing and lighting the play.
The project aimed to improve confidence, self-awareness and motivation to support individual recovery, and in particular help those transitioning into civilian life. Some of the company have continued to work in the theatrical industry.
As a result of their success, Bravo 22 Company toured the UK with 'The Two Worlds of Charlie F' during 2012 including the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and won the prestigious Amnesty International Award for Freedom of Expression.
A documentary commissioned by Alan Yentob and made by UpperCut Films looked at the process of creating and staging 'The Two Worlds of Charlie F'. Called 'Theatre of War', it was first shown on BBC1's Imagine and was nominated for The Grierson Documentary Awards.
In 2014, an new production company, The Charlie F Project (UK) Ltd, took 'The Two Worlds of Charlie F' on tour again, with many of the original participants taking part. The tour, using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, also supported the Legion by raising funds at each performance. It was performed by medically discharged military personnel, as well as professional actors.
Aylesbury Waterside Theatre was one of the locations for this tour and due to its impact and reaction, the Bravo 22 concept has been extended to give this community group the opportunity to participate (see above).
A trailer video for the production can be viewed below or here on Youtube.
The video below is of the opening night of 'The Two Worlds of Charlie F' at Theatre Royal Haymarket in January 2012.