Episodes

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2013042220191022 (BBC7)
20191023 (BBC7)

Ex-soldiers turn to Shakespeare to tackle the symptoms of post-traumatic stress. Chris Ledgard follows The Combat Veteran Players as they take Henry V from a community hall to a West End theatre. Support comes from the stage combat experts at the Royal Shakespeare Company - they come in to teach the soldiers how to act to be soldiers.

Members of the cast tell us their personal stories and one explains why, after a young adulthood spent abroad and in the army, "civvy street" is his new battleground.

Only a few of the group have acted before, and we hear them coached in the rhythms of Shakespearean verse. And we're backstage as they prepare to go on in front of a paying audience. "I'd rather take a patrol around Belfast" says the man playing the French herald, Montjoy.

Producer: Chris Ledgard

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in April 2013.

Former soldiers turn to Shakespeare to fight stress and take Henry V to the London stage.