Scotland’s Armed Forces Children’s Charity Joins Soldiers

A theatre show which has been seen by over 15,000 Scottish school children and highlights the impact of deployment on a young boy whose father is in the Royal Marines, will be performed for the first time at the Fringe next week.

This is My Life, which has performances times on 14 and 15 August, follows the story of a young boy called Kevin, whose father is deployed with the Royal Marines. The play, which was commissioned by RCET and produced by Hopscotch Theatre Company, is a witty and engaging theatre show, which tackles sensitive issues like separation, bullying, and making new friends.

Today, the Commander of 51 Infantry Brigade, Brigadier Gary Deakin CBE was at the Army Reserve Centre in East Claremont Street in Edinburgh ahead of the Army@TheFringe performances taking place there next week, where he met with RCET team member, Stephanie Ferrier.

Stephanie lives in Glencorse, Penicuik and is no stranger to life in the Armed Forces. She attended Queen Victoria School in Dunblane, while her father was deployed on numerous operational tours in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia and Northern Ireland. He is still serving and is currently commanding the Regimental Support Team in Scotland.

Now Stephanie is married to Martin, a medic in 2SCOTS and they have two young children, Alfie (4) and Daisy who has just turned 1. Martin was deployed for an 8 week training exercise in Canada when Daisy was just a fortnight old and he is due to be deployed for 6 months to Iraq with 2SCOTS just before Christmas.

Urging Fringe goers to see This is My Life, Stephanie said, “My father joined the army when I was four and is still serving. I grew up facing many of the hurdles military children still face today: moving house – often abroad; making new friends; starting new schools; not really feeling like I have a ‘home town’ or a sense of belonging.

“Now I am a military wife I will watch my children endure the same challenges. I would urge all families to come along and see This is my Life. Forces and non-forces families alike will be able to relate to many of the issues raised.”

This is My Life is free for all armed forces serving personnel and veterans and their families. Please register attendance by emailing events@rcet.org.uk. All other tickets from the Fringe Box Office and Half Price Hut.

Reviews of This is My Life:

All the pupils were engaged in the show from the beginning to the end. This is a great way of teaching pupils about a sensitive issue. One pupil in particular got a lot from it and was eager to share facts about his uncle (who is in the forces). We thoroughly enjoyed the show and this was a valuable learning opportunity for the class.” Miss Ross, Antonine Primary School, Drumchapel, Glasgow

“The show allowed children and adults to understand what family life is like when a parent is part of the Armed Forces. Also gives teachers an insight into the impact which this has on children”. Mrs M McFadden, St Stephen’s Primary School, Stockbridge, Edinburgh.

Venue: Army@TheFringe, Hepburn House, East Claremont Street.

Duration: 45 mins

Dates & Times: Aug 14: 1715hrs & 1915hrs / 15 August : 1400hrs & 2030hrs

Suitability: 7+

Tickets: £5 (£3.50), £3 – other discounts available

Tickets available from www.edfringe.com and 0131 226 0000

RCET is Scotland’s Armed Forces Children’s Charity. RCET has been providing education support to children and young people from Armed Forces families for over 200 years. For more information please visit www.rcet.org.uk

Army@TheFringe is a new venture by The Army in association with Summerhall, telling stories on stage of life in and out of uniform. This is the seventh festival programme for Summerhall, Edinburgh’s acclaimed and award-winning multi-arts venue, in the 70th year of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Email press@summerhall.co.uk