Experience the life and work of 5 Soldiers

Published: Wednesday 13th September 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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Rosie Kay Dance Company brings the thrilling, gritty and honest 5 Soldiers to Hull’s Londesborough Street Barracks this week.

We spoke with Rosie herself, plus Matthew Shelley, the co-founder of Scottish Festivals PR, to find out more about this spectacular thought-provoking show.

“It is a visceral tour de force, with a powerful physicality and moments of humour. It’s full of honesty. It’s all inspired by the input from serving and former soldiers,” explains Matthew.

“Military audiences have applauded how well it reflects their experiences; their passion for their work and the risks they face. It weaves a story of physical transformation, helping us to appreciate what makes a soldier and how warfare affects those who put their lives on the line.”

Rosie Kay actually joined the 4th Battalion, watching and participating in full-battle exercises. She visited the Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre for our Armed Forces during her research.

“I had suffered an injury, which could have potentially destroyed my career,” Rosie recalls. “This set me thinking about the parallels between dancers and soldiers: the high levels of training, the dependence on physical fitness and the catastrophic impact of injury.”

“Joining the army for training gave me huge insights and tremendous respect for our soldiers, their work and their dedication. Later, when I visited the rehabilitation centre, I met soldiers who I had known during training.”

“They had been deployed to Afghanistan and had suffered life-changing injuries. This had a profound impact on me and it is the experiences of those people that have done so much to create 5 Soldiers.”

The performances in Hull are part of a wider UK tour, which will allow the British public to see it presented inside barracks and drill halls across the country.

“Going into a theatre to see a live performance offers a real sense of intimacy and power that is quite compelling,” Rosie adds. “The collective experience of the audience and the cast is quite intense. One of the things that is so special about this tour is that it will take place in real environments.”

The choice of venues was done deliberately to hone in on the fact that the show is all about the genuine experience of real soldiers.

“A great deal of our troops have said that 5 Soldiers allows us not just to see, but to get an idea of what it feels like for them as they train and when they face combat. It’s a powerful piece of work and the dancers are tremendous,” says Rosie.

“Places like Hull have strong military traditions and we really should understand what it is that society asks of the soldiers from the city and its surrounding area. We also need to get beyond the uniform and think about them as normal young men and women who have to face the most extreme experiences.”

5 Soldiers will be performed at Londesborough Street Barracks inHull this Thursday and Friday. Tickets start at £10 and can be purchased from the Hull Theatres website.

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Published: Wednesday 13th September 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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