Shell Shock is one soldier’s story of coping with the symptoms which can lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. After serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, Tommy Atkins’ observations on life on civvy street are poignant, frequently comic and always moving. His over-emotional responses to post office queues, a trip to Ikea, his relationships and family lead to alienation and anger.
Trauma does not have to mean PTSD in the most severe cases imagined. At any level it can cause flashbacks, nightmares, anger and depression – often leading to violence, alcohol and substance abuse, job loss, family breakdown and even suicide. All these topics are covered in the production with the hope sufferers or those close to can connect and identify with the performance and seek help which is available from service charities for all the military community.
Drawn from personal experience, Neil Watkin’s writing is “affecting, vernacular and direct” (Herald), The performance is “deeply engaging and haunting“. The story, adapted from the original novel Shell Shock: The Diary of Tommy Atkins, written under the pen name Neil Blower highlights the work of forces charities such as Combat Stress and Help For Heroes.
Shell Shock is adapted from the acclaimed novel available from Amazon here.
“This had me back there. It had me in stitches. It had me remembering phrases that civvies would think gobbledygook. It had me angry. It had me in tears. If you do nothing else after reading this book, point it in the direction of friend who’s showing one or more of the behaviours described therein. Give them the chance to continue living to tell their tale.“
Serving military mental health nurse.
You can view a trailer for Shell Shock by clicking the link below
See tickets and tour for full details of current showings.