War veterans to share healing words of poetry at Wells festival

Shaun Johnson is performing as part of Combat Veteran Players in the Wells poetry festival

Shaun Johnson is performing as part of Combat Veteran Players in the Wells poetry festival - Credit: Maurice Sparrow

A group of war veterans, who turned to Shakespeare, poetry and art to help them rebuild their lives after suffering the psychological scars of warfare, make their first trip to Norfolk this year as they perform for the 19th Poetry-next-the-Sea Festival in Wells.

Andy McCabe will perform as part of Combat Veteran Players at the Poetry next the Sea festival

Andy McCabe will perform as part of Combat Veteran Players at the Poetry next the Sea festival - Credit: supplied

Combat Veteran Players, who made their stage debut in 2012, will read a selection of their own poems, poems of the First World War and poems that have influenced their recovery.

The CVP was founded by Jaclyn McLoughlin after discussions with Combat Stress, the UK's leading veterans' mental health charity.

Last year, they also teamed up with Shakespeare's Soldiers where wounded, injured and sick service personnel go into schools to inspire and teach students.

Their script of Great War poetry was created by the charity Never Such Innocence and they are delivering performances nationally through the centenary of the First World War until 2018.

Nicci DeMaine will perform as part of Combat Veteran Players at the Poetry next the Sea festival

Nicci DeMaine will perform as part of Combat Veteran Players at the Poetry next the Sea festival - Credit: supplied


You may also want to watch:


CVP members Nicci DeMaine, Andy McCabe and Shaun Johnson will be at Alderman Peel High School on Saturday, May 7, from 12.20pm to 2pm, on the second day of the poetry festival which runs from May 6 to May 8.

The festival's artistic director Fiona Fraser said: 'I am particularly delighted to present these exceptional players to the audience in Wells.

Most Read

'In poetry, they have found great solace and poems have been instrumental in their recovery.

'They will read some of their own poems, some referring to World War One and some that have been particularly crucial to the healing process from the conflict that they have endured.

'They are a real-life band of brothers and sisters.'

Kicking off the festival on the Friday are John Fuller and Roddy Lumsden reading a selection of their poems.

John Fuller is back on the Saturday with a poetry workshop, along with Ruth Padel.

After the CVP performance, four Faber new poets will read some of their poems during the afternoon.

Martin Figura will then read from Dr Zeeman's Catastrophe Machine before Kate Bingham and Ruth Padel read on the theme of 'pattern'.

On Sunday, Gillian Beer and Ruth Padel's event is called 'Poetry And… Science'.

Tickets for each event are now available and for more information visit www.poetrynextthesea.co.uk or contact Fiona Fraser on 01328 738243 or email fmfraser7@googlemail.com.

Are you organising a festival? Email kathryn.cross@archant.co.uk.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus