The Two Worlds of Charlie F
The original cast of ‘The Two Worlds of Charlie F’ at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in London.
What was the production?
In October 2010 Alice Driver decided to set up the first ever theatre recovery programme for wounded, injured and sick service personnel. The mission statement was to use it to improve self-awareness, confidence, self-esteem and motivation in order to move the personnel along their recovery pathway and give the service personnel a voice. The Theatre Royal Haymarket Masterclass Trust, Royal British Legion and the MOD partnered together to deliver this programme.
The idea was to bring together 30 service personnel and under the guidance of a professional team to write a new play based on their experiences, then design, rehearse and perform this show on stage at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. Following the success of both the recovery element of the programme, the play and an overwhelming demand and appetite to see the show among the public the play was taken on a UK tour.
Who did it benefit?
‘The Two Worlds of Charlie F’ was The Drive Project’s first arts recovery programme, creating the now well-known Bravo 22 Company for The Royal British Legion. Bravo 22 Company now run projects all over the U.K. For more information, please visit their Facebook page.
The Drive Project’s founder Alice has since seen the project’s success go international as she has visited both Australia and the U.S.A to work with their defence departments on using the arts as a tool for recovery.
What has it achieved?
The production gained a 5 star review from The Telegraph and a 4 star from The Independent. The production toured the U.K and Canada in following years and has been seen by over 40,000 people. It gained patrons Ray Winstone, Trevor Nunn and Sir David Richards, Chief of Defence Staff, Alan Yentob as well as a host of celebrity supporters.
Making of the production was made into a documentary called Theatre of War. It opened Alan Yentob’s BBC1 Imagine show and has been viewed by over 2 million people. Both the play and the documentary are available to buy on Amazon.
The production won the Amnesty Award for Freedom of Expression 2012 as well as nomimated for 2014 Finalist Sun Military Award, 2014 Finalist Best Touring Production, UK Theatre Award, 2012 Finalist Third Sector Award for Charity Partnerships.
Most importantly it helped to change the lives of the solders taking part and moving them from their “dark place” to restoring their pride, confidence and the motivation to do what they really want to do.
‘The Two Worlds of Charlie F’ has been evaluated as being an exemplary model for using the arts as a tool for recovery.