Live Events

CSE’s Middle Eastern Odyssey Brings Morale To The Masses

"It’s just nice to have a laugh and have a sing, it’s been really enjoyable.”

Comedians Jarred Christmas and Christian Reilly were joined by acoustic duo Hot Shots to bring January joy to troops across three locations in the Middle East during one whistle-stop tour. 

For many of the audience members, this was their first time experiencing show by Forces Live Events (CSE), allowing them to relax and congregate together, taking their minds away from missing home over the holidays.

Sergeant Michelle Morris said:

“It gets you thinking about something other than the fact that you’re away from family and friends.

"It’s just nice to have a laugh and have a sing, it’s been really enjoyable.” 

The perfectly formed tour party escaped the British winter freeze and visited three Middle East detachments before returning home, fitting in three shows, a lot of military flights, a cockpit chat with a pilot and a visit to HMS Brocklesby. Angie Avlianos, CSE Events Manager, said:

“The ship’s company spoke with such pride about the vessel’s capabilities and the work they have been undertaking during their tour.

"The cast and crew were especially struck by how little living space the sailors have on board, it’s no place for anyone who suffers from claustrophobia.”

The cast learned about the vessel's capabilities and were given a tour of the ship
The cast learned about the vessel's capabilities and were given a tour of the ship

A top-class technical team from All The Kit joined the cast, working hard to ensure the stage set up was complete in time for each show, with many miles, detours and not much time for sleep in between.

They transformed some austere military locations into exciting show spaces and were the first on site and last to leave, but always cheerful and enthusiastic.

Flight Lieutenant Alex Starflinger was one of the in-theatre organisers who was involved with preparing for CSE’s arrival. He said:

“It’s been surprisingly easy to organise, we’ve had really good communications with CSE and it’s been very straightforward.

"It’s the first time I’ve seen a CSE show and I thought it was brilliant.”

The delivery of tours like this rely not only on CSE’s expertise and experience but also on the support of in theatre sponsors and organisers too. Angie added:

“Without the help of the RAF movers, delivery of these shows would not be possible, so huge thanks to them for getting the team and their kit around.”

The tour party visited three locations across the Middle East during one whistle-stop week
The tour party visited three locations across the Middle East during one jam-packed week

The tour was funded by the SSVC trustees from the SSVC Welfare Fund. As a not for profit organisation all surplus funds go towards delivering events and tours for those most in need. If you would like help with an event or want CSE to visit your location get in touch at cse@ssvc.com