Everwitch Theatre - Bomb Happy D-Day80 Double-bill: Hank & Smudger's Stories

“Bomb Happy is a slang phrase we use for being under fire for many days at a time…  it does describe the condition you become.”  DDay Veteran, Ken “Smudger” Smith

“It would be hard to imagine a more emotional experience at any Yorkshire theatre this season.” York Press for Bomb Happy 2016

★★★★★ Broadway Baby “…a powerful sense of immediacy and involvement” 

★★★★★ BBC Historian, Paul Reed “ ….a “must see” that will stay with you forever.”

To commemorate the 80th Anniversary of D-Day this year Bomb Happy playwright Helena Fox has created two new works telling the stories of two Yorkshire Normandy Veterans in their own words, from conversations and interviews she held with them back in 2016.

This poignant and lyrical double-bill includes:

Premiere of the short film In the Footsteps of Hank Haydock; A Walk in the Park.

Shot on location in Duncombe Park this short film tells the story of Coldstream Guardsman Dennis Haydock’s experiences in his own words, both here in the former WW2 tank encampment and on the frontline. Beautifully shot, it captures the hidden remains of nissen huts, tank standings and tank maintenance pits amongst the now peaceful woodland.

In Sleep/Re-Live/Wake/Repeat playwright Helena Fox and vocalist Natasha Jones bring to life the first-hand experiences of D-Day Veteran, Ken “Smudger” Smith and the lifelong impact of PTSD and sleep trauma through spoken first hand accounts and haunting acapella vocals. With never been seen before black and white images from Ken’s personal photo collection following Ken’s journey during an equally traumatic time in the Middle East following victory in Europe.

Both the film and live performance use first hand testimonies of two WW2 veterans, ordinary Yorkshire lads who find themselves in extraordinary circumstances, following their unique journeys from civilian to soldier and back to civilian. At times humorous, at times harrowing both film and spoken word performance allow a close up insight into life on the frontline and highlights the lifelong impact of post traumatic stress disorder and gives a rare glimpse into life for someone beset by memories of war.

Alongside these there will be the addition to the programme of a new poignant short true story of an act of reconciliation for the 80th anniversary of DDay-  “Our Mum, our Dad, and a door handle” written and performed by Dorothy Bilton, daughter of DDay Veteran Bert Barritt.


Possible Q&A with D-Day Veteran, Ken Cooke, to be confirmed. 

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