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Two Worlds of Charlie F is truly a play like no other

PUBLISHED: 10:18 04 April 2014 | UPDATED: 10:18 04 April 2014

The Two Worlds Of Charlie F - Marine Cassidy Little, 32, plays Charlie F. Photo credit: Cylla von Tiedemann

The Two Worlds Of Charlie F - Marine Cassidy Little, 32, plays Charlie F. Photo credit: Cylla von Tiedemann

Cylla von Tiedemann

Marine Cassidy Little has lost none of his sense of humour, even though he has achieved one of his ultimate goals relatively late in life.

The cast are made of a mix of servicemen and women as well as professional actors. Photo credit: Cylla von TiedemannThe cast are made of a mix of servicemen and women as well as professional actors. Photo credit: Cylla von Tiedemann

Surprising really, but then again Little is no ordinary man.

“I joined the marines because of a bet 10 years ago,” Little, the star of Two Worlds of Charlie F, tells the Bromley Times. “I made a number of bets with an ex-girlfriend, most of which were sexual so you probably can’t print them.”

That bet arguably changed his life forever. In 2011 the 32-year-old suffered extensive injuries while serving in Afghanistan, including losing his leg.

However, while undergoing an intensive rehab programme, the opportunity arrived to become an actor – a burning childhood ambition of his.

The Two Worlds Of Charlie F has been received remarkably well by audiences considering half the cast have not acted on such a grand stage before. Photo credit: Cylla von TiedemannThe Two Worlds Of Charlie F has been received remarkably well by audiences considering half the cast have not acted on such a grand stage before. Photo credit: Cylla von Tiedemann

“Once in a while the military provides routes to focus your recovery [from injury],” says Little.

“This opportunity came along – it was the first and only of its kind.”

Little, a naturalised British citizen, born in Canada, plays Charlie F in the play which details real life stories from the army, performed by soldiers - many of whom have suffered injuries themselves in the line of duty.

The cast is bolstered by professional actors who help advise the soldiers how to act.

The servicemen, in turn, relay their own experiences of being on the frontline back to the actors.

The play has given Little a chance to regain focus in his recovery from injury. A journey he knows he may never truly complete.

“With trauma it kind of affects everything about you,” he explains. “When you go through the process of recovery things can get tedious and you lose focus, especially with all the drugs you are on. You cannot see an exit strategy.

“[Playing Charlie F] is like a job and I work very hard at it. I would love to say that this whole acting malarkey is a doddle but it is hard - and I love it. “

Little has been left bewildered by the public’s response to what is essentially experimental theatre with half the cast being made up of soldiers.

“I did not see the success coming,” he says. “When I started the show it was all about me and my recovery – to try and fill in the gaps. It was never about the audience.

“But we have had standing ovations at every single show. People want to tell people about it.”

Little, though, adds a word of caution. He says: “The only thing I would say about it is it’s not Les Miserables – this is something that is completely different.

“It will take a leap of faith from the public to go and see the show. I just need that leap of faith.”

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