Cassidy lost his right leg in an IED blast in 2011 while on his second tour to Afghanistan as part of 42 Commando. He was in an induced coma for a week and hospitalised for two months. Within 3 months of recovery he was part of The Bravo 22 Company playing the lead role of Charlie in The Two Worlds of Charlie F. In 2015 Cassidy won the first BBC’s Peoples Strictly in aid of Comic Relief.
Theatre includes:- Soldier On, The Two Worlds of Charlie F again in 2014, Explosion, The Trial of Jane Fonda.
Television includes:- The Alienist: Angel of Darkness (Netflix), Midsomer Murders (ITV), Coronation Street (ITV), Doctors (BBC), Holby City (BBC), Rated (Forces TV), The Peoples Strictly (BBC).
Film includes:- The Kings Man (20th Century Fox), Doom: Annihilation (Universal 1440 Entertainment), Centurion (Millicent Productions)
NICHOLAS CLARKE JACKO/DONNY
Nicholas is delighted to be reprising the roles of Jacko and Donny in Soldier On after the earlier sell-out tour. Theatre includes: Afterbirth (Park Theatre); In/Out (a feeling) (Hope Theatre); Hazard (Bush Theatre, Boom
festival); It Never Ends (theatre 503); All Alone (Drayton Arms Theatre); Miss Julie (Bussey Building); Meat (Albany); Taken In (Tristan Bates Theatre). Film/Series includes: Are We
Dead Yet? and Bronzed.
Lizzie Mounter graduated from RADA. She has since co-formed the theatre company Mugshot Theatre, co-producing and performing in their debut play Sisterbound at the Camden Fringe last year. Theatre includes: Much Ado About Nothing and The Importance of Being Earnest (RADA Studios-Cunard Company);
Soldier On Tour (Playground Theatre and UK Tour); Who Cares (The Lowry); Sisterbound (Hen & Chickens Theatre); Hamlet (Cockpit Theatre). Short film includes: Withheld (Blue Cedar Films); The Effect (Met Film School).
Zoe Zak is a London based actress who has worked across stage, screen and radio. She went to The Brit School of Performing Arts and later continued her development with The Young Vic, The North Wall, Old Vic New Voices and The Actors Class. She is reprising the role of Sal in Soldier On (UK Tour & West End). Other projects include one woman play Pinch Punch for The Old Vic’s new writing event Connect Now, two guest leads in Doctors (BBC), short films Change Step (commissioned by the British Army, produced by Somerset Film) and Born Again (Norwich University). She regularly works as an actor at The National Film and Television School. Theatre includes playing Nurse Ratched in a production of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (Edinburgh Festival), Foxfinder (Edinburgh Festival), Housed (The Old Vic) and The Disintegration Loops (The North Wall - directed by Iqbal Khan). Zoe also works as a voiceover artist and is the British voice of Nina in Disney’s Soy Luna.
In 2016 she produced her own short film DOG (written by Tom Wilton) and has begun producing and hosting an event called A Joyful Noise, raising money for different arts charities.
Scotty is a retired Army Reserve Officer and National Anthem singer who is best known to people as the former "Singing Soldier" for all major sports franchises in Toronto. He graduated from the Theatre Studies program at York University and has taken part in a variety of different stage and screen projects.
After serving 13 years in the Army Reserve, Scotty took the uniform off and turned his primary focus back towards his performance career. When not onstage, he can be found around the city working as a featured vocalist for different events and ceremonies.
He is excited and humbled to be part of the "Soldier On" cast and wants to thank Tom, Jenn and Jonathan for believing in him. Special thanks to Katie as well as his entire family for their unwavering support since the beginning of this journey.
Tom is an Ex-Royal Marines Commando who surprised everyone with a transition to acting after leaving the military in 2015, due to suffering an injury on operations in Afghanistan. Using his military experiences to drive his work ethic and performance and to give him a unique viewpoint, he trained with Richard Stride from
the Groundlings Theatre, Portsmouth. Tom started performing as often as possible with the desire to show other veterans that they can be successful in their ‘second life’. Recent credits include: My Fair Lady (Several); Coriolanus, (Aufidius); Pink Triangle (Claudio); No Name (Prince Charming) and several TV/Film projects.
Choreographer & Understudy
Lily Howkins trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, after completing an English Literature degree at Durham University. Her stage experience includes Cheryl in The Fletton Railway Children for Eastern Angles, Augusta in Our American Cousin at the Finborough Theatre, Dame Kitely in Every Man In His Humour for The Globe’s Read Not Dead season at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse and the role of Melanie in Arnika at The Bridewell Theatre. She also played the role of Tanya in the original UK Tour of Soldier On.
She recently finished filming the role of Tina for a new Netflix series, ‘The Stranger’, and her other screen experience includes the role of Mustardseed in a new adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Cinderella for an ITV special with Shiver Productions.
Tom trained at ALRA between 1985-88 and this year celebrated 30 years in the profession. He was in Jonathan Lewis’s first play Our Boys and also a member of the original cast at The Cockpit Theatre. Jonathan and Tom also collaborated on The Club at The Old Red Lion and Edinburgh Festival with Tom producing and performing, while Jonathan directed. As well as this being their third play together, they also appeared in Soldier Soldier together, where Jonathan was Tom’s Company Sgt Major. Theatre includes: Soldier On (Playground Theatre and UK Tour); The Armour (The Langham Hotel); Shang a Lang (Kings Head Theatre); The Kitchen and Disappeared (The Royal Court). Film includes: Hyena (Director: Gerard Johnson); The Navigators (Ken Loach). Television includes: Murdoch Mysteries, two and a half years on Coronation Street, six seasons of Where The Heart Is, final season of Soldier Soldier and Madson for the BBC. Tom’s first TV credit was as a regular on The Paradise Club back in the 80’s!
Kirk Bowett is a limbless ex-serviceman who served 16 years in his County Regiment The 22nd Cheshire Regiment, subsequently 1st Battalion the Mercian Regiment. His military service took him globally and he has served on operations in Northern Ireland, The Middle East and Africa. On leaving the Army, Kirk returned to the Iraq as a private security consultant to assist the UK and US governments in their post conflict reconstruction mission.
In the summer of 2013 and whilst conducting high risk security operations, the vehicle in which Kirk was travelling was hit by a blast resulting in its destruction and the death of his colleague and driver Edan. As a result Kirk received serious life changing injuries including the loss of left forearm. After a long recovery Kirk has had the unique privilege of becoming a member of The British Limbless Ex Serviceman’s Association BLESMA.
Since recovering from his injuries Kirk has taken his combined 20 years of operational experience and focused on a new and varied career path. In September of 2018 Kirk joined the British Forces Broadcasting Service BFBS to study creative media with the 2018/19 Forces Media Academy. Also a new found passion in acting has led to roles as a supporting artist and actor in some major new feature films and box sets which include Wonder woman, The Crown, War Machine, Dunkirk, Rogue One and many others. Kirk has found real fulfillment recreating the experience and history of injured service personnel through Film, TV and theatre.
Janaya calls Toronto home but has also worked in film and television in Los Angeles.
Shortly after graduating from theatre school she landed the lead role of Marie Osmond in the ABC made-for-tv movie “Inside The Osmonds” playing alongside Bruce McGill and Veronica Cartwright.
Janaya is probably most well known for her series regular role in the CTV hit series “Flashpoint” sharing the screen with Hugh Dillon and Enrico Colantoni.
Feature film credits include “Death Race” with Jason Statham, “The Lookout” with Jeff Daniels and Joseph Gordon Leavitt, 3 films in the “Left Behind” franchise with Kirk Cameron and most recently “Strange But True” opposite Amy Ryan.
Other TV credits include the Lifetime Mini-Series “Beach Girls” with Rob Lowe and Julia Ormond, a recurring role in ABC’s hit series Quantico, an episode of the final season of “Suits” with Katherine Heigl and a featured role on the internationally popular “Murdoch Mysteries.
When not performing on stage or screen, Janaya is a devoted mother of two children, and loves to stay active by involving herself in several sports.
She is so thrilled to be a part of this exciting new play, and to be here in England. It’s a dream come true
Hayley left school at sixteen and trained as a Jockey at the British Racing School Newmarket. Then moving on to join the Royal Army Medical Corps, and was described as an exemplary soldier, in both her medical training and physical training. Hayley was awarded for her outstanding athletics contributions and was presented with the award for the best recruit at physical exercise.
After leaving the Army Hayley has focused on academia. Completing a BSc in Midwifery, Psychology and recently graduated with a first-class honour in Mental Health Nursing. Hayley has found her passion in caring for young children who have experienced severe trauma and making a positive impact on their life. Hayley is currently completing a Bachelor of Laws degree after being awarded a full scholarship.
Hayley first found her love of performing as a child, training in Ballet, Tap, Modern and gymnastics. Hayley has performed in theatre, TV and Film. Hayley feels honoured to be playing the role of Trees in the production of Soldier On. Hayley would like to thank Jonathan Lewis and Amanda Faber for this wonderful opportunity.
Dean served with the Duke of Lancaster’s infantry Regiment. He moved to London earlier this year to pursue a career as a professional actor and he is currently training at city Lit with his friend and mentor Gary Grant. Through his training, Dean has realised that acting is what he was born to do. Gary also put
him in touch with the Soldiers’ Arts Academy where he is understudying a few characters and will be making his theatre debut as Len. Dean says: ‘I am delighted and humbled to be a part of an organisation that has such amazing and talented individuals. It helps to promote and convey the message to other members of the military family, that the performing arts is a great way to help them heal and to integrate back into civilian life. There are lots of others in the room to help and support each other along the way’
51-year-old Tip Cullen is a former Royal Marine turned Actor. He served nearly 30 years leaving to train as an actor with The Actors Wheel Company at Plymouth Marjon University, achieving a BA Hons degree in acting. The Royal British Legion provided Tip with his first acting ‘break’ when he took part in the charity’s recovery through the arts production ‘Boots at the Door’ in December 2015 at the Theatre Royal in Plymouth. Whilst at University he was able undertake extras work in various Hollywood films including Spielberg’s “Ready Player One” and “Kingsman 2”, gaining experience and furthering his education. Since graduating he has been kept busy touring with Bravo 22 Company and “Unspoken” as well as performing with The Soldiers Arts Academy and Shakepeare’s Globe production “Shakespeare and Remembrance” This year he has been Touring with the Soldiers Arts Academy as ‘Len’ in Jonathan Guy Lewis’ play ‘Soldier On’. He also appeared in a recent short films ‘Change Step’ and ‘About Face’ as a former service person/mime artist ‘Dorian’.
MARK GRIFFIN RICKSHAW
Mark’s first acting role came when he moved to Los Angeles and was cast as the lead role in the Disney TV series Action Man. He stayed in L.A. for the next fourteen years, working alongside such luminaries as Eddie Murphy, Diane Keaton, Jeff Daniels, Anna Faris, Mark Harman and Jean-Claude Van Damme to name a few, as well as having recurring roles on CBS’s Days of
Our Lives and guest starring in Curb Your Enthusiasm, NCIS, I Did Not Know That, The Smoke, Doctor Who, and the role of Brandon Vickers in the finale of HBO’s Strike Back. UK theatre includes: Touching The Blue, Edinburgh Fringe, A Second of Pleasure, Those The River Keeps, Pinter’s Betrayal, The Merchant of Venice, Closer, The Good Doctor, Apologia (all at the Bridge Theatre in Richmond); Bluebird and Wastwater (The Tabard); The Two Faces of Agent Lacey (Above The Arts, Leicester Square); Soldier On (Playground Theatre and UK Tour). Film includes: Doctor Dolittle II, Daddy Day Care, The Hard Corps Dragons of Camelot, I Am Vengeance, Bromley Boys, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.
REKHA JOHN CHERIYAN
Rekha John-Cheriyan is an actor and writer.
Following on from last year’s run of “Soldier On” in the West End, Rekha went straight on to work with Secret Theatre in “Code 2024”, where she played Judge Mary Johnson (“steely and commanding” – The Stage). She went on to join the cast of the UK soap “Hollyoaks” as Sheeba, and has spent time filming the TV series “Four Weddings And A Funeral” and the feature film “Dream Horse” due for release next year.
As a writer, her work has been well-received by audiences at Tristan Bates, The Vaults, The Bunker and the Lion & Unicorn and she is currently working on a number of new projects, including a sit-com
David trained at RADA. After several years in the business, he hung up his leotard and started training business people to express themselves. After 20 years of living a responsible life, he jumped at the chance of a comeback and fooled most of the people most of the time in the award winning, sell out run of Soldier On.
The transfer to The Other Palace was an irresistible opportunity to extend a much needed mid-life crisis. Theatre includes: Soldier On (The Playground Theatre and UK Tour); King Lear (Royal Shakespeare Company); a part too small to remember in a play everyone forgot (National Theatre); Merchant of Venice (Manchester Library Theatre); Measure for Measure (The Oxford Stage Company). Television includes: Eastenders, The Politician’s Wife and Love Hurts.
Trevor Dwyer-Lynch is a British Actor, Presenter, and sometimes stand up comedian/MC.Born and raised in Moss Side and Salford, Dwyer- Lynch calls himself a "Mossfordian" trained in Drama and Performing Arts at City College /Arden School of Theatre Manchester in 1990, Dwyer-Lynch has appeared in numerous television and theatre productions throughout his long career, merging both serious roles— such as "Gloucester" in Shakespeare's King Lear, to his best known comedic role in Coronation Street as Patrick Tussell the taxi-driver working for Steve McDonald (2002–2005). Trevor Dwyer-Lynch is looking forward to visiting Canada again for the first time in 41yrs since being stationed in Calgary with the Canadian Forces
Merle is excited to be joining this production of Soldier On!
She is a graduate of The Arts Educational Schools in London, England.
Merle has worked in T.V./Voice Over/Film and on stage (Factory Theatre, Hamilton Theatre Inc.)
Selected acting credits include: Murdoch Mysteries; Kim's Convenience; Anne with an "E"; Bajillionaires;
Diggstown; Upcoming Netflix feature film "Feel the Beat".
Also a songwriter, some of her works have been featured on shows for ABC Spark and on The Young and the Restless.
Thank you to my supportive family also to Meagan,Daryl, Tom, JL, RG, JG.
And thank you to all of our everyday unsung heroes, you are appreciated!
Leanne is the proud daughter of an ex-serviceman who served 24 years in the British Army as part of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Royal Regiment which later became known as the 1st Battalion Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Royal Regiment. She trained as an actress initially at London Studio Centre and then at The Actors Class on their Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced courses. Since then Leanne’s professional credits include: Gertrude in ‘Hamlet, the Musical’ on an Italian tour and Judy in ‘V For Victory’ at the Stockwell Playhouse in London. She joined the Soldiers Arts Academy in November 2018 when she performed in ‘Shakespeare & Remembrance’ at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Shakespeare’s Globe to commemorate 100 years since the end of the First World War and has since performed again at Shakespeare’s Globe in collaboration with the Soldiers Arts Academy as a Windsor Local in their production of ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor’ as part of their summer season. Leanne understudied female roles in ‘Soldier On’ at the Wells Theatre Festival and in Sheffield alongside the Invictus UK Trials earlier this year. She feels truly honoured to be part of the Soldiers Arts Academy, where her passion for acting can unite with her military background and shared experiences alongside a wonderful group of people.