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The Combat Veteran Players, a theatre company comprised entirely of Veterans performing Shakespeare while overcoming mental trauma, announces today partnerships with The Old Vic Tunnels and Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) Open Stages.

The Combat Veteran Players is delighted to announce two partnerships today. Following a well-received closed performance of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' at London's Old Vic Tunnels in March, the Combat Veteran Players is now in residence at The Old Vic Tunnels for the next three years. Immediate plans include rolling out open performances of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' beginning in June, and the opening of Henry V in October, with future productions to be announced.

In addition, the Combat Veteran Players is now part of the RSC Open Stages programme and will benefit from world-class acting workshops and stage combat training. This partnership will run alongside the staging of 'Henry V'.

Ed Tytherleigh, Chief Executive of Stoll, which supports Combat Veteran Players, said: "I am delighted about these partnerships with two of the theatre world's prestigious organisations. It is testimony to the hard work and dedication of both the actors of the company and the staff who worked hard to support them from the beginning of the project to this point. When on the stage the actors become just that – actors – leaving behind their backgrounds and issues. The benefits of taking part in the group have been clear and I am delighted that the partnerships with The Old Vic Tunnels – giving the company a "home' – and the RSC Open Stage – giving them coaching – will help the actors to move onto the next level."

For The Old Vic Tunnels the partnership will enable them to support a company that would not otherwise have access to a public stage.

Hamish Jenkinson, Director of The Old Vic Tunnels, said: "I watched these guys perform and knew they were something special, that I wanted The Old Vic Tunnels to be part of their continuing development. I am delighted to be able to give the Combat Veteran Players a long-term venue for their performances. Their first performance to friends, families and supporters was exhilarating and moving and I have no doubt their second, to the general public, will be just the same."


The RSC Open Stages programme is focused on introducing new audiences to Shakespeare. Ian Wainwright, Producer of RSC Open Stages, said: "The actors in Combat Veteran Players had mostly not seen or read a play by Shakespeare and yet the performance they give demonstrates that his words are accessible and relevant to all. Their next production of Henry V will be extremely relevant to them because of their Forces background. I am looking forward to helping them to access the depth of meaning in Shakespeare so they can transfer that to their audiences.'

Jaclyn McLoughlin, Artistic Director of Combat Veteran Players, commented: "It has been a long journey to create a fully fledged theatre company. In the beginning it was an uphill struggle to capture the attention of the Veterans who came; now I have to slow them down and make sure they pace themselves! They are always looking for their next challenge, and the next step in their progress, and these partnerships will enable them to continue to reach for their goals and to hone their craft under the support and guidance of two incredible establishments."

Information about performances by the Combat Veteran Players will be available from www.oldvictunnels.com and tickets can be booked online or by calling 0844 871 7628. The Combat Veteran Players will be returning to the stage with another performance of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' on Tuesday, July 17th.

For more information about the Combat Veteran Players, contact Samantha Barber on Samantha.barber@stoll.org.uk or 020 7381 4788 or 07725 101209.

For more information about The Old Vic Tunnels, contact Lucy Faulks on lucy.faulks@oldvictheatre.com or 020 7993 7423.

For more information about RSC Open Stages, contactElsie King on elsie.king@rsc.org.uk or 01789 272417 or 07867802489.

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