Coming Home Company perform @ Mental Health Arts Festival

The Coming Home Company will be sharing a powerful evening of song, spoken word and film as part of the Wales Mental Health Arts Festival on Wednesday November 23rd.

Performed by military veterans affected by post-traumatic stress, family and community members, and featuring uplifting performances from the Coming Home Choir, this will be a unique and memorable evening. 

We are excited to be part of the Wales Mental Health Arts Festival, which is challenging stigma and celebrating the power of creativity in mental health.

You can book tickets following the link below and please spread the word to friends and colleagues.

Coming Home

Weston Studio, Wales Millennium Centre

Weds November 23rd 2016 @ 7.30pm

This project is supported by the Community Covenant Fund.



Invitation to Veterans and Family members of veterans

Coming Home to the Arts is now in its second year and we are inviting new veterans and family members to join our creative programme. Based at Chapter, Cardiff this is a friendly, supportive project where members of the local community and veterans and families come together to support one another in a positive way.

We start back on Friday 23rd September and runs for 10 Fridays until Dec 2nd. Participants are invited to take part in the whole day or half day.

Structure of the day:

11am - 1pm Coming Home Choir (open to veterans, family members and anyone from the wider community who would like to support) No previous singing experience required.


1.30pm -3.30pm Theatre based groupwork

The afternoon sessions are an opportunity for veterans and family members to explore issues affecting their wellbeing through theatre, reflective writing and discussion. This group is suitable for people wishing to explore ways of moving forward. This is a rolling group and new members can join at any time, but we invite you to commit to a 10 week programme.

This is not a therapy programme, this is an opportunity to:

  • Build your confidence and meet new people
  • Explore some of your thoughts and feelings in a supportive group environment
  • Learn new coping skills and identify goals for the future
  • Boost your mood by taking part in something positive and creative

The project is led by Alison O’Connor, an experienced groupworker and counsellor.

At the end of the 10 weeks there will be an invitation to contribute to a performance at the Mental Health Arts Festival. This is an opportunity to raise awareness of the issues around mental health for veterans and their families.

If you are interested in taking part, contact Alison on 07738 259906 for a chat or email

If you would like to speak to a veteran about his experience of the programme contact Dave on 07794 197253.

Belonging rehearsals underway!

It was a fantastic first week of rehearsals for the Belonging team. We are delighted to welcome guest director, the award-winning Peter Doran to the Re-Live camp! He has a superb cast and crew to guide through the next few weeks of rehearsal and discovery. We were delighted to bring in a variety of dementia experts from our Memoria project to share their experiences with the actors. There is a strong desire from the whole creative team to ensure their portrayals of families living with dementia and the roads they navigate are truthful, respectful and accurate. Can’t wait till May 2nd when the first audiences will see this brand new production and then the tour of Wales begins. Get your tickets now!

Winston Churchill Travel Fellowship: US research visit

Alison is off on a research trip to America, thanks to a travel fellowship from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust! She will be exploring how the arts can help transform the trauma of conflict into something hopeful, forward-looking and strong. There is a long and rich history of returning soldiers and civilians turning to art and literature to try and make sense of the chaos and casualties of war. In America the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and their aftermath have led to a surge in creativity as writers, dancers, theatre makers and musicians – veterans and civilians – seek to communicate and make sense of those conflicts.

This will be a learning experience and a huge opportunity. Alison is delighted to be connecting with these fantastic organisations

and attending this training programme with world trauma expert Bessel van der Kolk

The second part of Alison’s trip will be to Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia later this summer. We want to explore how the arts can connect us to one another, not distance us by visiting creative projects seeking to improve the mental and emotional health of whole communities affected by conflict. Alison is privileged to be attending this ground-breaking conference

Memoria Project wins Age Cymru Community Award 2015

We all got our glad rags on and went to the Age Cymru Gala Dinner to collect our award!! So proud of the extraordinary Memoria group and just brilliant to see their strength, determination and creativity being acknowledged. We were humbled by this award, our third award for 2015!!! It was a good year for Re-Live and we wish to thank every single person who worked with us and particularly those who shared their stories. You are our heroes. 

New R&D collaboration will bring Earthfall and Geese Theatre into the Re-Live mix!

We are delighted to have been awarded a Research and Development grant from ACW to explore the impact of trauma in collaboration with our veterans and families group and a team of invited practitioners.

Words are sometimes not enough to convey the true impact of war. Memory is stored in the body. This R&D period is called "The body keeps the score" and will provide an exciting opportunity for us to explore the potential of incorporating movement and physicality into the truthful challenging life story theatre Re-Live has become known for.

We have chosen to work with practitioners whose artistic vision excites us and who have experience of working with people who have been traumatised or experience complex mental health issues. Earthfall will be our key movement partners, bringing their experience of working with complex material and vulnerable individuals such as their work with the Centre for Survivors of Torture, combined with the innovation of their recent immersive work, Stories from a Crowded Room. This will be a new collaboration for us which we are excited about exploring. We will develop the working partnership we have recently established with Pauline Down, singer and musician who will lead the choir development, she is a leader in the field of Arts and Health and highly experienced in working creatively in mental health. We will strengthen and develop an emerging partnership with Geese Theatre from Birmingham who will bring their award-winning practice in maskwork and movement combined with 25 years experience of working with men and women who have experienced trauma. Gilly Adams will bring her vast experience of working with rites of passage and will act as an advisor to the emerging dramaturgy. We will continue and enrichen our partnership with award-winning filmmaker Mike Barnes who collaborated with us on Abandoned Brothers. Mike will help us explore how film and still image can work alongside movement and choral sound to create a landscape for the stories and sensations of the impact of war, the weight of memory.

All of these artists have outstanding track records and their previous work demonstrates artistic integrity and ethical practice. They will work with Re-Live to ensure that this is a research and development period of the highest quality. Cathy Boyce, Theatre Programmer at Chapter will act as critical friend during this period

Coming Home group members feature in Radio 4 documentary

Two members of our Coming Home project recently recorded a series of letters from soldiers in Afghanistan for a documentary on Radio 4. “The Perfect Strangers” was aired on March 20th and told a heart-warming real life story of Mo and Jo and the thousands of parcels they sent to Afghanistan. We were proud of the excellent job our performers did and thanks to the BBC for inviting us on board!

Listen to the programme here



Inspiring, moving and full of hope, Belonging is a powerful new play that follows the lives of two families as they discover that love and laughter don’t have to stop because of dementia. This bilingual production is based on the real stories of people living with dementia, their families and carers. Belonging dispels the myths of dementia and shines a light on how together we can create a dementia-friendly Wales. 

“It was absolutely amazing! Everyone needs to see this and gain insight”
Audience member, Cardiff

Belonging will be touring to theatres throughout Wales during May and June 2016.

Supported by the Arts Council of Wales, Baring Foundation, Gwanwyn, Chapter and the Torch Theatre

Re-Live yn cyflwyno


Ysbrydoledig, teimladwy a llawn gobaith. Mae Perthyn yn ddrama newydd, bwerus sy'n dilyn bywydau dau deulu wrth iddyn nhw ddarganfod nad yw cariad a chwerthin yn gorfod dod i ben oherwydd dementia. Cynhyrchiad dwyieithog yw hwn sy'n seiliedig ar straeon gwir gan bobl sy'n byw efo dementia, eu teuluoedd a'u gofalwyr. Mae Perthyn yn gwaredu'r rhagfarnau ac yn goleuo llwybr i newid ein rhagdybiaethau am dementia i greu genedl sy’n deall dementia.

 Fydd Perthyn yn teithio theatrau ledled Cymru yn ystod mis Mai a Mehefin 2016.

Cefnogwyd gan Cyngor Celfyddydau Cymru, Sefydliad Baring, Gwanwyn, Chapter a Theatr Torch

Coming Home Choir Launches at Chapter

If you sometimes feel there’s just not enough joy in life, then come and sing with us at Chapter at 11am on Fridays! The next stage of our Coming Home project, funded by the Community Covenant is the launch of the Coming Home Choir: a brand new choir for veterans, family members and the wider community. Led by the excellent Pauline Down, highly experienced choir leader and professional singer, the Coming Home choir will be a laid back, informal and welcoming place to be. No previous singing experience required, all welcome.

There is a host of evidence confirming the mental health and wellbeing benefits of group singing. We hope this new venture will be a great way to beat loneliness, create a new community and maybe even sound quite good…in time!!!