After a sell-out London stint at the Playground Theatre and national tour earlier this year, Jonathan Lewis’ play SOLDIER ON transfers this autumn to The Other Palace Theatre for a limited five-week season to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One. The production runs 24 October to 24 November 2018, with a press night on 30 October.
Full casting for the new dates has yet to be announced. Open auditions will take place next week for active and retired service personnel and their families to be involved on- and offstage. The play is inspired by true stories which Lewis workshopped with British servicemen and women and their families over five years.
Soldier On explores what happens when a company of ex-soldiers becomes a company of actors: a theatrical band of brothers and sisters. Although it’s not a cure-all, the bonding, the humour, the theatre of war helps to put them back together again – as a company of veterans and actors rehearsing a play about a company of veterans and actors.
Worlds apart when they meet, all soon realise that there are more similarities between military life and the theatre than they had bargained for as they, through drama, construct a powerful new world of their own. Soldier On is a heart-warming, laugh out loud, cry out loud story about surviving the forces and PTSD and maps out what can happen when you leave the military family.
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. This is a Community Interest Company, providing a platform for the arts for serving and veteran members of the Armed Forces and their families to enable them to recover, to retrain and to find work in their chosen profession.
ATTENTION! Open audition/workshop for serving & veteran military personnel & their families for upcoming @SoldiersArtsA projects including returning sold out show #SoldierOnStage! Please retweet far and wide, we want to meet as many of you as possible! pic.twitter.com/hOCXnZSl8b
— SOLDIER ON (@SOLDIERONSTAGE) August 26, 2018
Faber said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be working with LW Theatres (owner of The Other Palace) and our generous sponsor EY on this next run of Soldier On. It is the first time that a production of this kind has had a run of this length, and it is a huge step forward in the groundswell of support and nurturing of significant new artistic talent from those leaving the Armed forces to look for new work outside the military family”.
The mixed cast brings veracity, and a genuine emotion seldom achieved in theatre. Audiences say they cannot tell who is an actor, or who might be telling his or her own true story, and that question has them gripped from start to finish.
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. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!