Ray Winstone Lends Support to Bravo 22 Company Today

Today, January 17 2015, actor Ray Winstone will be in Buckinghamshire at the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre to meet the new company for Bravo 22 and also introduce them to some of the original cast.

Ray Winstone says, "Bravo 22 Company is a project I have been involved with it began in 2011 and seen the success of its original production, The Two Worlds of Charlie F. I am delighted that due to this success the theatre model is being rolled out regionally and Buckinghamshire will be the first region to benefit from it. I look forward to meet old and new company members on the 17th January".

Bravo 22 Company was created by Alice Driver for the Theatre Royal Haymarket Masterclass Trust and launched in partnership with The Royal British Legion and the Defence Recovery Capability in 2011. Alice's initial idea was to provide the first ever theatre recovery project for serving wounded, injured and sick (WIS) military personnel within a theatre company. This was the first time that the MOD had allowed a theatre company access to their wounded soldiers and led to workshops and interviews with the WIS service personnel from the war in Afghanistan, which in turn led to a play, The Two Worlds of Charlie F, being created through the partnership of the Theatre Royal Haymarket Masterclass Trust, The Royal British Legion and Defence Recovery Capability. The play was written by the award-winning poet and playwright, Owen Sheers. As well as giving a voice to this sometimes forgotten or misunderstood community group, it helped to boost confidence, self-esteem and created a new military family for this dispersed group.

One of first people to see the immense benefit and importance of the project was actor, Ray Winstone. Ray was instrumental in recruiting the original company members (all WIS) to participate, and for many of the men and women who took part in it was a life-changing decision and they talk with great passion about the hugely positive impact the project has made on their lives.

The Two Worlds of Charlie F received rave reviews when it was performed on stage at the Theatre Royal Haymarket for two sold-out performances and received huge critical acclaim on a UK Tour, with one of the dates being at the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre. Due to the impact and audience reaction when the play was performed in Aylesbury, Bravo 22 Company, in association with The Royal British Legion and Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, recently launched a regional pilot programme with performances to take place at the Waterside in March 2015, ahead of a national roll-out in 2015. The project is an opportunity for the Armed Forces community based in Buckinghamshire to share its voice and, in a difference from the original project, is open to veterans, Reservists and their families (over 18's). For civilians this unique play will promote understanding and awareness and ultimately aims to bring together the civilian and Armed Forces community.

Members of the company will be brought together to participate directly in the creation, production and performance of a play giving them direct insight into the theatre industry and helping to improve self-awareness, confidence and motivation to support their individual recovery and in particular help those who are transitioning into civilian life. It will give them an opportunity to experience a wide range of different employment opportunities and allow the local community group to tell their stories. The play will be directed by The Two Worlds of Charlie F Director, Stephen Rayne, and Ros Wylie will write the play.

A key partner is LAMDA who provide technical support and training for members of the Armed Forces community who have an interest in pursuing a career within sound, lighting or stage management and the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre will provide work placements.

There are a wide range of opportunities available for individuals who want to give their story, act, take a role back stage or look after our audiences. To find out more how you can get involved in the Bravo 22 Company Legacy Project visit www.atgtickets.com/aylesbury.

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