This is the link to our film of the 2017 production. It was taken at all the venues we visited on tour and then linked together.
I hope you agree that to devise and then rehearse the play ready for performance within 3 weeks is an achievement for the Veterans and cast to be proud of.
May Project 2017
This project took place at Menzieshill Community Centre in Dundee between May 1st and May 26th.
The sessions were be led by Alan Cameron and our film-maker Sandie Jamieson. We also worked with 1 professional actor, Jade Anderson (who worked as a student volunteer on our pilot project), 3 drama students from the Dundee and Angus College: Sarah Scott-Keiller, Daniel Beaton and Erin Nicol. Billy Girdwood, one of the Veterans who participated in our 2016 ptoject worked with us as a volunteer mentor.
We started with a few days of relaxed drama games to help us all get to know each other and to make a start on acquiring the skills required. We then spent time acquiring the skills required to devise and perform a play. We devised the play (in other words we made it up as a team, and the Veterans said what they wanted to say), then we rehearsed and then performed it. This did not involve learning lines, and was as stress free as we could make it. We then performed it to a small audience at Menzieshill Community Centre.
The subject matter of the devised play was the experience of leaving the Forces and the challenges – both positive and negative, humorous and serious – of dealing with civilian life. Much of the material we used as starting points in our devising, came from interviews that Alan had with Veterans in Perth Prison. Huge thanks to these Veterans who were very articulate about their lives and the problems they had faced.
During this time Sandie led sessions in how to make a film, and this led to participants making short films when they interviewed the students.
In the fourth week we toured the play around Community Centres in Dundee. This tour was in response to requests for us to do so from the Veterans involved in the pilot project. The tour was a brilliant success. We had good audiences in all the community centres and the Veterans were available to speak to the audience afterwards. Some of the audience were emotionally affected by the play, some came out saying they had learnt so much about the issues involved. To be honest, the Veterans at the end would have been happy to carry on for another week!
Following the project, we have met together for a meal and had we also made a visit to the Edinburgh Festival.
OUR THANKS TO OUR FUNDERS: Help for Heroes, ABF The Soldiers Charity, Poppy Scotland, The Northwood Trust and Dundee Council