• New production from BeFrank Theatre Company following 2013’s acclaimed Like Enemies of the State
• Mini tour 3-10 November coming to New Diorama Theatre, Salisbury Playhouse, The BikeShed Theatre
• Further performances in 2015 tbc, including Old Fire Station, Oxford February 18-19 and a world-first performance for the British Forces in Germany
Do We Do the Right Thing?, the second production from contemporary theatre pioneers, BeFrank, will be performed for the first time in a seven date mini-tour kicking off at New Diorama Theatre on November 3.
Having distanced himself from his military heritage, Neil Walker watched from a distance as the town of Royal Wootton Bassett stood respectfully still for the repatriated bodies of 345 military personnel that travelled through its streets on the way to their final resting place.
Affected deeply by what he witnessed he began to wonder about the process of remembrance, the relationship between civilians and fallen servicemen, and why the thought and sight of these strangers can evoke such powerful emotions.
He began to talk to the people of Royal Wootton Bassett and others actively involved in military life and, through their testimonies, gradually came to terms with him own military childhood and connections with the armed forces.
Do We Do the Right Thing? is a compelling real-life story exploring the military traditions, rites of passage and conflicts that have shaped so much of British history, interspersed with stories of how this enormous establishment has impacted the protagonist’s life directly.
Following the initial performances at London’s New Diorama Theatre (where there will also be a fundraiser on Tuesday November 4th), Salisbury Playhouse and Exeter’s BikeShed Theatre, Do We Do the Right Thing will return for a number of shows in 2015, including historic performances for British troops stationed in Germany for the final time before the size of British Forces Germany is reduced by half in 2015.
Neil Walker was born on a military base but quickly chose not to pursue a military career which for many generations had been a thread in his family heritage. Initially he went on to have a successful career with The Prince’s Trust followed by more than a decade in television management including time as Head of Production Talent at the BBC and ITV Studios. After this he decided to fulfil a long-cherished ambition and dedicate his considerable abilities to a career in the theatre.
A BBC documentary about Royal Wootton Bassett’s unusual remembrance rituals stirred something in him and Walker, along with collaborator Rus Kallan, began to collect the testimonies from both residents of the Wiltshire town and military personnel that would eventually – along with his own childhood memories – form the Basis for Do We Do the Right Thing? .
The play is directed by Tommy Lexen, BeFrank’s founder and Artistic Director, who started the company in 2010 after moving to London from his native Sweden, and has since forged a revolutionary model for creating and producing theatre shows, forging links with International Theatre Companies, Academic Institutions, Journalists Charitable Organisations, Government Bodies and Diplomatic Services, as well as carrying out thorough, investigative first-hand research, including visiting the Democratic Republic of Congo to interview child soldiers for BeFrank’s first production, Like Enemies of the State.
BeFrank Theatre Company has rapidly gained a reputation as a buccaneering force for theatrical innovation, constantly breaking new ground in the areas of theatrical research, production, form and financial sustainability, as well as creating an objective, creative, engaging platform from which their productions help people to understand and engage with difficult and important real-world issues.