Harry Potter star Jason Isaacs is to perform in a threatre project that stages 2,500-year-old Greek tragedies to military audiences to see if it can help them come to terms with what they have seen on the 21st century battlefield.
Isaacs, who has starred in a host of blockbuster films and is widely known for his role as Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter series, is taking part in the stage project Theater Of War after becoming a patron of the Bravehound charity, which pairs assistance dogs with veterans in need of support.
The seasoned actor, a familiar face on the silver screen in movies such as Harry Potter, The Patriot, Peter Pan, war film Fury and many other major productions, told how stage plays can be used as a vehicle to aid those facing tough times to open up about their experiences.
Speaking to BFBS presenter Mark McKenzie in a video conference, the actor said drama had a power to unlock debate, adding:
"To help people heal the invisable wounds that they find difficult to talk about."
The free online performance came about as part of a collaboration between Bravehound, a Scottish charity that supports veterans and their families in the UK with support dogs and their training, and Theater of War Productions, a threatrical group that presents readings of ancient and modern plays to spark discussion about a variety of social justice and public health issues. The performance was made possible by a Positive Pathways award to Bravehound from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund.
Audiences can watch the play online on Thursday, July 16, by registering on the link at the end of this article.
Theater Of War stars other well-known actors including Lesley Sharp, who starred in The Full Monty, Nyasha Hatendi, who starred in Alex Rider and The Front Runner, David Elliot, who starred in docudrama Kajaki and Patrick Walshe-McBride, who featured in TV drama Shakespear & Hathaway.
The production brings to life scenes from Sophocles’ ancient Greek plays Ajax and Philoctetes, which explore themes of tragedy and what morality means to each man.
Each performance is followed by a panel-lead discussion about the challenges faced by service members, veterans and their families on a daily basis.
The production and discussion is taking place on the video call platform Zoom due to the restrictions imposed following the coronavirus pandemic but has previously been performed on a number of military bases.
Anyone can register to watch the online performance for free.
Isaacs also talked to Mark McKenzie about his hair, including the iconic white locks he sported in his role as Harry Potter's Malfoy, and how the threatre trade has turned to online performances during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Isaacs said that previous performances of Theater Of War had led to outpourings of emotion from those who had seen it, adding:
"Stuff just starts flowing out from the people who are watching."
The team behind this online performance hope that it will have a similar reaction from new military audiences, as they release themselves into the experience.
The online Theater Of War performance is a one-off collaborative project with the Bravehound charity, and Isaacs also explained a little more about what the charity does in support of veterans, service members and their families.
He told how the charity provides support dogs and training to those that need the assistance, as part of their transition back into civilian life upon leaving the military.
To watch the live performance on July 16 at 7pm you can register here https://www.bravehound.co.uk/