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New play brings D-Day experiences to life

Posted on 25/09/2017 by Helga Pearson
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A unique play which brings to life the verbatim first-hand accounts of the last five remaining York Normandy Veterans is being staged on Friday 13 October at 7.30pm.

'Bomb Happy'– a term used during WW2 to describe conflict trauma – tells the story of the D-Day Landings, and the battles to liberate Europe, from the view point of these five Normandy Veterans when they were raw young conscripts. 

The three remaining York Normandy Veterans: Ken ‘Cookey’ Cooke, Ken ‘Smudger’ Smith and Albert ‘Bert’ Barritt (sadly, Dennis 'Hank' Haydock, and George ‘Merry’ Meredith, have since passed away), are so determined to share their stories with as many people as possible whilst they still can, that are accompanying the production on its tour across Yorkshire this autumn and meeting audiences after the show.

Bomb Happy originally came about when the York Normandy Veterans voiced their concern that their experiences – a critical moment in British History where so many young men lost their lives – would die with them.

“They were actively looking for a way to keep their memories alive and to honour those young men who never came home” says the play’s writer and director, Helena Fox. Bomb Happy also touches on the lifelong impact of that iconic day for these incredible men, now in their nineties and living in Yorkshire.

The Normandy Veterans will be portrayed on stage by five young actors, including George Stagnell, fresh from his recent sell-out Edinburgh fringe one man show of ‘Private Peaceful’. George, who is playing ‘Cookey’, will be joined by Carl Wylie as ‘Merry’, Joe Sample as ‘Smudger’, Thomas Lillywhite, as Bert and Adam Bruce will be taking the role of Dennis Haydock, also known as ‘Hank’. Completing the cast is Beryl Nairn, playing ‘Queenie’.

Tickets for Bomb Happy cost £13 (includes £1 restoration levy) and are available from the Box Office on 01748 825252 or via the online booking service on this website.

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