★★★★★ reviews for Luke Bradshaw in 5 SOLDIERS at Edinburgh Fringe - now on tour again!
Luke Bradshaw has just finished a run of acclaimed performances in 5 SOLDIERS at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe! Luke first joined the award-winning Rosie Kay Dance Company in to perform in the critically acclaimed contemporary dance piecefor its 2016/17 tour of Scotland and is now joining them for a new exciting tour, kicking off with a LIVE broadcast of the show this Friday evening!
Luke graduated from London Studio Centre in 2013 after touring with LSC’s contemporary dance company, INTOTO Dance. He went on to perform with The Burklyn Ballet Theatre and Kim Robards Dance Company in America before returning to London to work with James Wilton Dance and Jorge Crecis |SQx. Soon after, he joined Citrus Arts, a contemporary circus and theatre company based in Wales where he beganhis training in Corde Lisse. He later toured in Terry Gilliam and English National Opera’s Benvenuto Cellini and worked with the Dam Van Huynh Dance Company before joining Rosie Kay.
5 SOLDIERS was first devised by Rosie Kay in 2010 after she spent time with the 4th Battalion The Rifles (4 RIFLES) and visited the Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre for our Armed Forces to learn about the effects of conflict. The resulting piece is a moving, dramatic and unique exploration of how the human body remains essential to war,even in the 21st century.
Luke (left) and the cast of 5 SOLDIERS
As well as the more typical theatres and arts centres, Luke and the company performed in various Scottish military venues including Glencorse Barracks in Penicuik, Gordon Barracks in Aberdeen and Fort George in Inverness. For 2017, Rosie Kay is taking it one step further with Luke and the company taking 5 SOLDIERS on a national tour of exclusively military venues including Yeomanry House Bloomsbury in London, Londesborough Street Barracks in Hull and Golden Hillock Road Army Reserve Centre in Birmingham. This unique tour, which is presented in association with The Army, is designed to “develop a relationship between the military bases and the local arts community”. As well as the main performances, the company will engage in two months of community outreach in each location leading to a weekend of events, community performances, outdoor performances and post show talks.
Luke (middle) and the cast of 5 SOLDIERS (top) with two members of The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (SOTS DG) (bottom)
To prepare for this new tour, Luke and his four fellow cast members joined The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (SOTS DG) on a 3-day combat exercise designed to prepare the soldiers for their deployment on a United Nation’s peacekeeping mission.
Rosie Kay explained, “It was hugely valuable for the cast to go on exercise with the Army so they can really understand the people, relationships and situations they portray on stage. The point of 5 SOLDIERS is to give an honest and compelling vision of what it is like for soldiers to go to war.”
During the exercise Luke and the cast discovered what it was like to be out on patrol in enemy territory, be part of an ambush, deal with a roadside bomb blast and undergo an artillery bombardment. They also witnessed a live fire exercise involving heavy machine guns and grenades.
Luke said, “5 SOLDIERS is all about what it’s like for people as they go through incredibly dangerous and stressful situations. What we’ve seen here is the human side of what it’s like to be a soldier and also how they work together like a well-oiled machine. What’s so valuable for us is to learn about the subtleties, the mannerisms and the way they really interact. Things like that add so much to your performance.”
Luke joined the The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (SOTS DG) on a 3-day combat exercise
Following a sell-out run at Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the company kicked off their tour at Yeomanry House, Bloomsbury (presented by Sadler’s Wells) on Friday 8th September and celebrating with a special broadcast of the performance (commissioned by The Space) followed by a post-show talk. The performance and talk are now available to view on demand via their the 5 Soldiers website, their Facebook page, theirYouTube channel and on the BBC Arts website. This is a great opportunity to see the show that has been wowing critics!
SeeLuke Bradshaw performing in 5 SOLDIERS on these dates:
Yeomanry House, Bloomsbury – Presented by Sadler’s Wells – Thu 7th – Sat 9th Sep
Londesborough Street Barracks – Supported by Hull military Covenant Forum – Thu 14th – Fri 15th Sep
Canada House Boxing Centre – Presented by The West End Centre – Fri 22nd – Sat 23rd Sep
Royal Wessex Yeomanry Army Reserve Centre – Presented by Swindon Dance – Fri 29th – Sat 30th Sep
Corporal Budd VC Gymnasium – Presented by Mercury Theatre – Fri 6th – Sat 7th Oct
Golden Hillock Road Army Reserve Centre – Presented by Birmingham REP – Fri 13th – Sat 14th Oct
★★★★★ “War from a female perspective packs a punch…taut, visceral, compassionate” – The Observer
★★★★★ “Unstinting, visceral.” – The Scotsman
★★★★★ “in-depth background researches have grounded her moves and their delivery in the physicality, camaraderie and mental challenges of army life.” – The Herald
★★★★★ – Broadway Baby
★★★★★ – Edinburgh Festivals Magazine
★★★★★ – Edinburgh Guide
★★★★ "Lust, shock and awe… a disturbing, illuminating and necessary glimpse into a world we mostly prefer to ignore." – The Guardian