A visit to see the Falklands War play “Minefield”
3 January 2018 13:00
Some of our blind veterans were taken to the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts in East Sussex, to see a performance of Argentinian playwright Lola Arias’s play “Minefield”.
This is an innovative play starring six genuine veterans, three from each side of the Falklands War, and looks at what it means to be a veteran.
Ex-Service men and women who once faced each other from across a battlefield, now face each other across the stage. Together they share memories, films, songs and photos, as they recall their involvement in the war and embody the political figures that led them into it.
The stories they share take us from the horrors of war to today’s uncertainties, with brutal honesty and startling humour. 34 years ago they were fighting on opposite sides and if they had met then they might have tried to kill each other – now when they meet they hug.
Prior to the performance our blind veterans were given a “touch tour” of the stage, scenery and props. They also had a chance to meet the cast, with both our blind veterans and the play’s Falklands veterans thrilled to meet each other.
Ex-RAF blind veteran Mike, 80, who lost his sight due to retinitis pigmentosa, is seen on the left above being “guided” over the relief map of the battlefield. Mike explained:
"Before the performance we met the cast, all former veterans of the Falklands War and were given a touch tour of the set and props. We were able to “feel” the scene of the battle, as they had a relief map, which made understanding the manoeuvers and progress of the battle much easier. The highlight for me was being able to hold a Kukri, a Gurkha knife, as one of the British veterans was a Gurkha."
Mike, who has been supported by our charity since 2010 said: “I was so honoured to be chosen to go to this performance along with my guide and friend Thelma”, shown in the photo above and herself a widow of one of our former blind veterans.
They were given headsets to better hear the actors and explanations of what was occurring on the stage. Mike said: “Throughout the play were the sounds of battle. I did not understand what the Argentinian soldiers were saying though as I do not speak Spanish."
"I really felt I was so lucky to be there, it was a real privilege."
Blind veteran Mike