Soldier On, Jonathan Lewis’ extraordinary piece based on and involving real servicemen and women, returns to London next month mark the centenary of the end of the First World War. The full 16-strong company of actors and veterans is now announced, including ex 42 Commando and Peoples’ Strictly winner Cassidy Little. Time to get booking!
Full casting is announced for the new five-week London season of Jonathan Lewis‘ Soldier On, which runs at The Other Palace from 24 October to 24 November 2018, with a post-show Q&A chaired by MyTheatreMates co-founder Terri Paddock on 29 October and a press night on 30 October. The new run, which comes after a sell-out national tour and stint earlier this year at London’s Playground Theatre, coincides with the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One.
A passionate cast, many of them army veterans, bring their own experiences to life through a mix of storytelling, music, dance and mixed media that is hard-hitting, poignant and close to their own hearts.
With a company of 16 including injured veterans, the show explores what really happens when military personnel leave the army – through the journey of a group of soldiers who take up acting to help them recover from PTSD. It’s their words that do the talking in what one veteran, filmmaker Neil Davies, has named” The Full Military Monty”.
With humour, warmth and searing honesty, Soldier On lays bare both the shocking and sometimes heart-warming truths about the impact of PTSD – and the very real and often disturbing facts of life faced by some 60,000 veterans in Britain in 2018.
In a bold initiative, and putting the play’s premise into action, the cast includes serving and ex-service personnel working alongside other actors, in Amanda Faber’s award-winning theatre company The Soldiers’ Arts Academy cic.
The professional actors in the cast for the new dates at The Other Palace are: Bertie Portal (as Col Tom), David Soloman (Harry), Ellie Nunn (Sophie), Lizzie Mounter (Beth), Ex-Gladiator Mark Griffin (Rickshaw), Nicholas Clarke (Jacko/Donny), Rekha John-Cheriyan (Maggie), Tom Craig (Len) and Zoe Zak (Sal/Paula).
The veterans in the cast, many also returning, are: Cassidy Little (ex 42 Commando, Afghanistan and Peoples’ Strictly winner) who plays Woody; Hayley Thompson (ex Royal Army Medical Corps) is Trees; Max Hamilton-Mackenzie (ex Royal Green Jackets) is TC; Mike Prior (Army) is James/Cameron; Sarah Davis (Ex Army) is Tanya; Shaun Johnson (Royal Artillery, Northern Ireland) is Flaps; Steve Morgan (Army reserves) is Hoarse; and Drew Johnson (Army Air Corps) is the understudy.
Soldier On has design by Richard Hornsby, costume design by Sophie Savage, lighting design by Mark Dymock, sound design by Adam Gerber, video design by Harry Parker, AV technician Simon Nicholas, musical direction by Oli Rew, and Lily Howkins is choreographer and assistant director.
Writer and director Jonathan Lewis was an Army Scholar who was invalided out of the forces in 1986. He went on to drama school and subsequently played Sgt Chris McCleod in two series of ITV’s Soldier, Soldier in the 1990s. His multi-award winning hit first play Our Boys, drawing on his experiences in a military hospital, was revived in the West End in 2012 and has just completed an award-winning run at the 2018 Edinburgh Fringe.
Note: There is strong language and adult references throughout. Loud bangs and the sound of gunfire.
Soldier On runs from 25 October to 24 November 2018 at The Other Palace, 12 Palace Street, London SW1E 5JA. Performances run Mondays to Saturdays at 7.30pm, with Thursday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm. Tickets are priced £24.50-£49.50. Veterans, serving personnel and emergency services can receive a £10 discount on all tickets using ‘SOLDIERONFAM’. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!
Production photography by Harry Burton.