"It was more than an honour to perform on Remembrance Sunday"

On Remembrance Sunday a unique collaboration of wounded, injured and sick Service personnel, veterans and their families united to stage a one-off Remembrance performance as part of The Legion’s recovery through the arts initiative, Bravo 22 Company. We spoke to some of the cast to find out more.

Bravo 22 Company is The Royal British Legion's recovery through the arts programme, organising regional art and theatre projects for the Armed Forces community across the UK.

This year Bravo 22 worked in collaboration with Newcastle Theatre Royal to produce ‘Unspoken’, a production based on the memories and experiences of those from the forces community.

I grew in confidence

Mick Carroll served 37 years in the RAF and retired in 2008. Married with three children and two grandchildren, he first found out about Bravo 22 through Twitter and appeared in their 2016 production ‘Wor Stories’.

Mick Carroll on stage 

"In ‘Unspoken’ the theme focused on the fact that things happen to you in your life that don't have a profound effect but aren't normally talked about - hence ‘Unspoken'" said Mick.

"It said to the audience - yes you know about people in the military, but you don't know about what happens personally with how things affect them - and it was very powerful because of that."

"I just grew more in confidence," he added.

"The minute I stepped on stage there were no nerves whatsoever, it was such an uplifting experience and I think everyone else got that same buzz. The whole process from the day we first met, the whole process was fantastic.

"It just left us wanting more, it was a shame it was only one night because you come off stage and want to do it again."

I felt a lot of pride

Simon Graham previously worked in bomb disposal in the RAF, leaving the forces in 1996. He got involved with Bravo 22 after hearing about it whilst on an intensive treatment course for PTSD.

Based in Manchester, he attended a sculpture workshop in June 2017 where he met the writer of ‘Unspoken’ who encouraged him to audition for the play.

Simon Graham

"I went to the auditions and found that I really enjoyed this acting lark," said Simon.

"I found that it was a bit strange at first, doing the acting exercises, but then we started learning the lines and working in theatre, and I found it really enjoyable.

"My confidence went through the roof and I didn't even feel nervous going on stage. When we did the performance we just blew it out of the water and it's something i'd really like to do again.

"I avoid people a lot, but this opened my eyes and has encouraged me to interact with people again.

"It was more than an honour to perform on Remembrance Sunday," he added.

"I felt a lot of pride. The honour of being chosen to do this - it meant we had to do our best - and we certainly did that."

Bravo 22 Company

Bravo 22 helps wounded, injured and sick Service personnel along with veterans and family members on their path of recovery through theatre or art.

Find out more

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