Blesma Members

Jez Scarratt – Royal Marines, served 1975-1990
Favourite memory/achievement in the military?
Being presented with my coveted green beret after 9 months of gruelling training and my first tour of Northern Ireland in 1977.

David Ledger – Physical Training Instructor, served 1991 – 2002
Why did you decide to take part in This Is Not For You?
I like a challenge and being out of my comfort zone. Never say ‘no’ to anything new.

John Reeves -Parachute Regiment, served 1976 – 1987
Why did you decide to join the military?
Always a childhood ambition. At the age of eleven. I was allowed to join the army cadets even though the joining age was thirteen, and it just grew from there.

Kirk Barlow – 1st Battalion Mercian, served 1995 – 2010
One fact from your time served:
Look after your team and respect your enemy.

Luke Delahunty – Royal Air Force, served 1990-1998
Favourite memory/achievement in the military?
My posting to The Queen’s Colour Squadron was great. Guarding Buckingham Palace and The Royal Residences, being in The Edinburgh Tattoo, Royal Tournament and Festival of Remembrance. Amazing memories.

Carole King, Women’s Royal Army Corp & Royal Army Ordnance Corp, served 1983 – 1990
Why did you decide to take part in This Is Not For You?
Blesma put a shout out for females to join the programme. Loving a challenge, it had to be done. A school gymnast having a go at 54.

Nerys Pearce – Royal Army Medical Corps, served 2004 – 2012
Why did you decide to join the military?
I absolutely love the outdoors, different cultures and a varied day to day life. I had a huge interest in the medical profession and teaching. The Army was an amazing way to combine these together.

Martin Kettrick – Royal Marines, served 1974 – 1982
One fact from your time served:
‘Once a marine, always a marine’.

Billy Drinkwater – Corporal
Favourite memory/achievement in the military?
Leading my men into battle .

Paul Stoker – Royal Navy/Territorial Army, served 1987 – 1995 & 1998 – 2003
Why did you decide to take part in This Is Not For You?
I love acting and it helps with my PTSD.

Terry Brooks – 1 Royal Anglians, served 1975 – 1978
Why did you decide to join the military?
To have an active life and to better ones self.

Woody Woodward, 3rd Royal Tank Regiment (3 RTR), served 1979 – 1988
One fact from your time served:
I thoroughly enjoyed being honoured to wear black and be an MIB.

Stuart Pearson – Parachute Regiment, served 1993 – 2012
Favourite memory/achievement in the military?
Being awarded the Queens Gallantry Medal from the Queen in February 2007.

Tony Lloyd – Royal Court Transport (CORPS), served 1966 – 1976
Why did you decide to take part in This Is Not For You?
What the play was about really got to me, I’m typical old school and I’ve always been there for Remembrance. This is part of going through what happened to the service personnel and the Remembrance side of things.

Mick Foulds – Royal Engineers, served 1976 – 1986
Why did you decide to join the military?
I had always wanted to be a soldier since I was a little boy. My Dad was a soldier in WW2, as was most of his generation.

Troy Conner – Parachute Regiment, served 1997 – 2002 & 2004 – 2011
One fact from your time served:
I served in the Balkans which I think is a forgotten war, and should be appreciated for what it was.

Craig Howorth – Royal Navy, served 1988 – 1996
Favourite memory/achievement in the military?
Qualifying as a Nuclear Submariner.

David Etale – 3 Rifles, served 2007-2017
Why did you decide to take part in This Is Not For You?

I decided to take part because, for me, it’s a healing process for me mentally where I have met some amazing people from the veterans to the staff, who I feel have been so helpful in my recovery.

Mark Brown – Queens’ Lancashire Regiment, served 1978 – 1982
Why did you decide to join the military?
I was always active, never still. Concentration span was virtually zero. Outdoor activities were the only thing to keep me focused.

Alison Grant – Queen Alexandra Royal Army Nursing Corps, served 1991 -2006
One fact from your time served:
Being picked for the Army ski team.

Allan Long – Royal Navy, served 1969 – 1992
Favourite memory/achievement in the military?
There have been so many. Joining my first ship, HMS Triumph.

Susi Hartley – Rogers, Royal Navy, served 1998 – 2003
Why did you decide to take part in This Is Not For You?
I was asked…. Challenge accepted!

Stuart McLelland – Queens Royal Lancers, served 1987 – 1995
Why did you decide to join the military?
I joined up when I was 17.  All I’d known was the military – my Dad was in the RAF.  I was looking for a job that would be exciting and take me places.

Sean Gaffney – Fleet Air Arm, served 1989 – Present
One fact from your time served:
I was the first amputee to be retained in service by the royal navy since 1974.

Other Featured Performers
Stephen Bunce 
Laurie Chattington – Baritone
Joanna Gamble – Mezzo Soprano
Sean Gittins
Daryl Jackson 
Victoria Oruwari – Soprano/Angel
Anne Wafula-Strike

Director Jenny Sealey
Writer Mike Kenny
Designer Liz Ascroft
Composer — Oliver Vibrans
Aerial ChoreographerTina Carter
Choreographer Freddie Opoku-Addaie
Musical DirectorAndrea Brown
Sound DesignerHelen Skiera
Associate Artists – Jez Scarratt
BSL Translation  Daryl Jackson
Audio Description Consultant – Wayne ‘Pickles’ Norman
Voice Coach – Chris Holt 

Mike Kenny
Mike is one of the UK’s leading playwrights. He was included in the Independent on Sunday’s list of Top Ten Living UK Playwrights and his plays are performed regularly throughout the UK and all over the world.
For Graeae his work includes The Final Freak Show, Diary of an Action Man and Whiter than Snow.
His adaptation of The Railway Children won the 2011 Olivier Award for Best Entertainment. In 2012 he created a new version of The York Mysteries which involved 1800 people. He has since worked on the large scale community performances of Blood and Chocolate, and In Fog and Falling Snow, and most recently Calderland a community opera about the 2015 floods.

Liz Ascroft
Liz graduated with a BA Hons from Wimbledon School of Art. She has been awarded the Arts Council Trainee Design Bursary, the UNESCO award for Promotion of the Visual Arts (Prague Quadrennial), and TMA Best Designer.
Theatre credits include: TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA (RSC, National Tour) For The Royal Exchange Theatre BEAUTIFUL THING, MARY BARTON, THE RISE AND FALL OF LITTLE VOICE and ON THE SHORE OF THE WIDE WIDE WORLD for the National Theatre. HOTEL IN AMSTERDAM for Donmar Warehouse. PEGGY FOR YOU for The Comedy Theatre London.For the Gate Theatre, Dublin: ALL MY SONS, UNCLE VANYA, PYGMALION,DUBLIN CAROL, SEE YOU NEXT TUESDAY (Duke of York Theatre); THE BEAR, AFTERPLAY (The Spoleto Festival, South Carolina, The Gielgud Theatre); FAITH HEALER, YALTA GAME, AFTERPLAY (Sydney Festival); ONE FOR THE ROAD (StMartin’s Theatre, Lincoln Centre – New York for The Pinter Festival).
Opera credits include: THE CARMELITES (Grange Park Opera); PORGY AND
BESS (The Royal Danish Opera); LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR (Houston Grand Opera
Texas, La Fenice Venice & The Sydney Opera House).

Oliver Vibrans
Oliver has previously worked on Graeae’s Midwich Cuckoos for BBC Radio 4, the Graeae Ensemble’s production of Stepping Stones, The Threepenny Opera, Act of Memory. Oliver has composed music for The Pitmen Painters at The New Vic, Edward II at Cambridge Arts Theatre, Maklena for Night Train Theatre at Cambridge Junction, Mr Darcy Loses the Plot, Inspector Norse for LipService Theatre. This summer he is working on a site specific production of The Tempest for The Royal Exchange. Oliver is also a musical director and assisted on The Who’s Tommy for Ramps on the Moon.

Tina Carter
Tina has been a professional aerialist for more than twenty years working as a performer, director, teacher and researcher, regularly teaching dancers at Canterbury Christ Church University, physical theatre students at East 15 Acting School, the monkeys at Wicked the Musical, her recreational aerial participants at and Deaf and disabled veterans and performers working with Graeae Theatre Company. More recently, she has been invited to consult on Accessible Aerial at the National Centre for Circus Arts, Extraordinary Bodies, Spin City and Slow Label (Japan) as well as presenting her paper, ACCESSIBLE AERIAL: Suspending the rules to professional aerialists, teachers and researchers.

Freddie Opuku-Addaie
Freddie Opoku-Addaie is London-born inter-dependent Choreographer, Dancer/Performer, partly raised in Ghana and of Ghanaian heritage. His work weaves disparate movement styles, ritualistic folk practices, structured choreography with indeterminate rules. The results are viscerally affecting work/s, reflecting contemporary notions of the group, the individual and the outsider.

He is a recipient of the Robin Howard Commission, One Dance UK (Dance of the African Diaspora) Trailblazer Fellow/Champion and former Associate Artist of the Royal Opera House (ROH2). Opoku-Addaie’s been presented incl. twice Finalist Choreographer & Performer of The Place Prize sponsored by Bloomberg, Aerowaves/ Dance Across Europe, Jardin d’Europe (Romania), B-Motion (Italy), Attakkalari Biennial Festival (India), Royal Opera House (UK), Horniman Museum and Gardens (UK), Musée de la civilization (Canada), Tate Britain & Tate Modern (London), amongst others. He is currently a Studio Wayne McGregor Dance Artist, Queen Mary Visiting Fellow Artist, and Guest Programmer at Dance Umbrella international Festival – London.