A group of injured veterans are preparing to take part in a series of epic outdoor performances this Summer to mark the centenary of the end of WWI…

The piece, entitled This Is Not For You is a Graeae Theatre Production, co-commissioned by military charity Blesma, The Limbless Veterans and 14-18 NOW, supported by Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK Branch), The Drive Project, National Centre for Circus Arts and Arts Council England.

This Is Not For You, part of 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, is an epic outdoor performance paying moving tribute to Britain’s wounded war veterans, men and women whose contributions to history often go unnoticed.

It chronicles veterans’ fight for respect and remembrance, told with heft, beauty and wry humour, both on the ground and off it, with audio description and sign language as integral parts of the production.

Through snapshots of three Armistice Days, audiences will be taken on a journey that spans 100 years of history; this is a story of past and present sacrifices and a continual fight for respect, rights and remembrance. Through song, movement and physical theatre, the production explores the reality of returning from war that often juxtaposes with the vibrant celebrations of peace.

The production, directed by Jenny Sealey, written by Mike Kenny and performed by Members of Blesma, The Limbless Veterans, will be premiering in Woolwich as part of the Greenwich+Docklands International Festival on Armed Forces Day (June 30th) and Sunday 1st July, alongside performances in Woolwich and Stockton on Thursday 2nd August and Friday 3rd August.

Among the Blesma cast performing are amputees, wheelchair users, and those who have visual impairments and brain injuries. Some have lost limbs to IED blasts, while others have been devastated by accidents. The injured veterans have been especially trained for the piece by Graeae, (pronounced grey eye), the UK’s flagship theatre company for D/deaf and disabled artists and the National Centre for Circus Arts.

Performer and Blesma Member Carole King, who had her leg amputated in 2006, says: “To be back in a troop of like-minded people, to grow and see where we started and to where we will end we will give me back the confidence that I have lacked over that last 2 years. I can’t sit back anymore and what a way to say, hey I’m back and raring to go.”

Greenwich+Docklands International Festival
Saturday 30 June & Sunday 1 July
3pm & 7.30pm (both days)
Artillery Square, Royal Arsenal Riverside, Woolwich, London SE18 4DX
Kindly supported by Berkeley Home

Stockton International Riverside Festival
Thursday 2 August 8.30pm &
Friday 3 August 2.30pm & 7.30pm
Stockton High Street, Stockton-on-Tees

All performances are free to attend and are fully accessible, with creative British Sign Language and audio description.

Running time 1 hour (approx.)
Suitable for all ages.

Find out more at www.tinfy.org