Thousands of veterans' minds are tormented by those things they were called upon to witness and perform in the line of duty. Loss of limb is visible; mental pain is not and so it is easily dismissed but thousands of veterans are afflicted with mental anguish as a consequence of their military experience. Many try to hide it because they feel ashamed and, as a consequence, their situation deteriorates. Their family suffers and marital breakdown is common.
Since the beginning of 2014 we've been working with more than forty veterans and their wives and partners to gain a true understanding of the impact of military service. Some of these veterans are young men who have been damaged by their military experience, and are now struggling to build a life in the civilian world. Other older veterans, now in their fifties and sixties, continue to wrestle with the demons which haunt them. For them, there is less attention and dwindling sympathy.
TRIPTYCH has evolved because these people grew to trust us. They spoke to us partly because they believed it would help them to tell their story and, also, because they hoped that, by speaking out, they would help others understand the true impact of military service.
Their extraordinary testimony inspired TRIPTYCH.
True to its name, it is a trilogy - a piece in three parts :
A video installation. A series of screens show a succession of 'talking heads' : men and women, military veterans, their mothers, partners, wives speak openly and directly. Their testimony is a candid eye-opener which is shocking and deeply moving.
A compelling, family saga written by Gwyneth Glyn and Judith Roberts. Inspired by the tragedies of ancient Greece, this is the story of a family caught up in a web of secrets and lies.
An exhilarating new piece for two male dancers which has been created in response to the veterans' testimony. Choreographed by Gwyn Emberton.
The reviews :
“powerfully gut wrenching, at times shocking and always painfully sincere, raw drama...
While some other performances about the experiences and terrible suffering of soldiers veer into sentimentality and, frankly, could be benefits for Help for Heroes, in their lack of thought, analysis, questioning and often plain honesty, Triptych is a warts and all smack in the face about the suffering of the men and women who come home, seemingly in one piece, but shattered mentally. It also shines a much needed light on the people they leave behind...” Mike Smith - Arts Scene in Wales
Public Reviews ****
“What soldiers go through during a war has been well-documented – the pain, the trauma, the loss. Those who return home are treated as heroes for their service and restored to civilian life. Triptych, the powerful three-part performance from De Oscuro, turns this idea of a happy ending completely on its head.”
“Captivating performances .....an intense evening ... a truly stunning, yet harrowing, piece.”
“I’ve just watched the interviews, Judith, and I’m speechless. Thank you.” Jim - veteran
“A profound view into the lives of so many - understood by so few.” Helen - veteran’s wife.
“This is the third time I’ve seen it. It’s so true to life. Too true to life. But each time I’ve seen it, I’ve felt a bit lighter.” George Mills - veteran’s wife
“I watch hard, old soldiers respond to a piece of modern dance in an emotive and positive way I never thought possible.” Sean Gane - veteran