PTSD is a widely recognised mental health disorder with roots stretching back centuries and often associated with the military. Terminology such as ‘shell shock’ and ‘combat fatigue’ was used before the diagnosis of the condition being linked to mental health.
It’s 1982 and the five main characters of the play are going through an introduction to their sergeant and the audience at an army barracks, switching between present day and a brief ‘spotlight’ review of their troubled past, which has thrust them towards enemy lines.
The story is based around Jonny Stanton and his struggle to deal with PTSD experienced through conflict and the shock battle. Jonny Stanton’s young wife and colleagues try bringing Jonny back to his former self with moving scenes of sadness, frustration and violence coupled with humour and a couple of twists and turns along the way. The opening scene gives the reader an overview of the leading characters, their personalities and how they become potential soldiers. Then on to the scene of the helicopter troop movement, where humour masks the fears and insecurities of the men, the harrowing bombing of HMS Sheffield and a gripping hospital scene.
In the background to all this is a love interest, a sex change and murder. The script takes the reader along a path of a young married man’s insecurity and fear that’s elevated to an extreme level brought on by the illness and poorly subscribed medication and finally, the horrifying climax…