“Do they matter? – those dreams from the pit?…
You can drink and forget and be glad,
And people won’t say that you’re mad;
For they’ll know you’ve fought for your country
And no one will worry a bit.”
Siegfried Sassoon (1886-1967), Does it Matter?
Written & Directed by Emma King-Farlow
Taking its title from the work of WWI poet Siegfried Sassoon, Dreams From The Pit follows three soldiers – Razor, Jacko and Sully – as they deploy together to Afghanistan. Life in ‘Afghan’ is tough but for some the return to civilian life is even harder…
Following the success of our previous Remembrance productions, we were delighted to premiere the ‘authentic, gritty and sometimes very funny’ Dreams From the Pit at the Palace Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, in aid of the Forces mental health charity Combat Stress.
The play was followed by a panel discussion hosted by BBC Presenter Mike Williams, during which he and special guests Commodore Andrew Cameron (Chief Executive of Combat Stress), Jake Wood (Veteran, PTSD sufferer & author of the bestselling Among You) and Professor Deirdre McManus (King’s Centre for Military Health Research) discussed some of the issues raised in the script.
Based on numerous interviews with Veterans, serving members of the Armed Forces and their families, Combat Stress staff and civilian counsellors, the play received some fantastic feedback from the audience, both military and civilian alike:
“It was an awe-inspiring evening… A brilliant script with the perfect blend of humour, pathos and meaning. It was very thought-provoking and you hit all the notes exactly. …Will you be able to take it forward? Many more need to see it.” Lieutenant General Sir A.D.S.
“What a huge and enjoyable success last night was, brilliantly written and performed and directed. …everyone was buzzing afterwards with praise. A difficult subject to address, but done with sensitivity and humour.” F.S.
“I firmly believe that ‘Dreams From The Pit’ should go places now. The play is simply too powerful for only one show a year.” Jake Wood (TA Veteran, PTSD sufferer & author)
“…What a thought-provoking piece of work. I was very much more enlightened after than before, although I was aware of the awfulness of combat stress.” S.G.A.
“Thank you for a good night … Was hard for me to sit and watch some of it as it was a mirror of my life but was glad to see so many people there supporting this worth while charity! Thanks again.” P.P. (ex-military, PTSD sufferer)
“What a wonderful play! I found it both moving and thought provoking. The second part was even stronger than the first.” O.D.W.
“It was a memorable theatrical experience though it was very ‘difficult’ to sit through. The result is very true to barrack life as I knew it. Congratulations on the evening and writing a true record of the damage to our troops in combat.” W.M. (ex-Army)
“A very impressive evening, moving and not at all sentimental, and hopefully it will help those affected now and in the future.” D.J.
Included with many of the letters, emails, texts, messages and tweets of praise, were numerous requests that we stage the play again in order to reach a wider audience – something we very much hope to do in the not-too-distant future…