'A fabulous distraction' – dramatherapy as a tool for recovery

Working with theatre company Bravo 22 on a West End stage production and subsequent national tour helped Veteran Cassidy Little to regain his confidence and sense of self-belief.

Cassidy Little is a stand-up comedian, actor and Royal Marine serving with 42 Commando in Plymouth. He’s also an amputee. Cassidy was seriously injured by an IED (improvised explosive device) blast in Afghanistan in 2011 – an explosion that killed two of his comrades. It took his right leg, shattered the other, detached one of his retinas and fractured his pelvis. Unsurprisingly, his road to recovery has been a long one.

"I was the closest person to the blast to survive." Cassidy Little

Cassidy's story

Legion-funded theatre project

During his time at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (DMRC) at Headley Court, Cassidy benefited from a cinema and entertainment centre built by MediCinema and funded by The Royal British Legion.

He participated in the Bravo 22 Company theatre project run jointly by the Legion and The Theatre Royal Haymarket Masterclass Trust, playing the lead role in the 'Two Worlds of Charlie F', an original play created through the project. It was shown on the West End stage, and a subsequent UK tour, to wide acclaim. The project saw 30 wounded, injured and sick Service personnel create and perform a new play, The Two Worlds of Charlie F, based on the lives of the actors taking part. The aim was to help participants with their recovery by giving them the opportunity to develop new goals, and a chance to learn new skills alongside fellow soldiers.

Theatre poster for production of 'The Two Worlds of Charlie F'

“When you're injured, a lot is taken from you. You strive to get back to normality. This has shown me how to be proud of myself again.” Cassidy Little

Moving on

After learning to walk with his new prosthetic leg, in 2012 he carried the Olympic Torch through Peterborough – at some points breaking into a slow jog. But what’s helped him the most has been the chance to get back on the stage.

"The phenomenal cinema facility at Headley Court provides a fabulous distraction for all the patients that choose to use it." Cassidy Little

Veteran Cassidy Little speaking to British film, television and theatre director Trevor Nunn on stage at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, November 2011

Cassidy (left) speaking with British director Trevor Nunn (right) on stage at the Theatre Royal Haymarket

Support The Royal British Legion

Cassidy appeared across the UK in newspapers and magazines as well as on posters and billboards as an Ambassador in our 2013 Poppy Appeal campaign. Share his and our other stories to show people how The Royal British Legion's poppy is both a symbol of Remembrance and one of hope for our recent veterans and serving men, women and their families.

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