Five dancers joined the army on three days of combat exercises deep in the Galloway Forest to prepare for their stage roles at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
They joined Exercise Solway Eagle which involves members of The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards who are soon to be deployed on an overseas peacekeeping mission.
The dancers discovered what it was like to be out on patrol in enemy territory, be part of an ambush, deal with a roadside bomb blast and undergo an artillery bombardment. They also witnessed a live fire exercise involving heavy machine guns and grenades.
The cast are preparing to take their acclaimed production of 5 SOLDIERS: The Body is the Frontline to the Fringe.
It has already received five star reviews and t is among the shows taking place at Army@TheFringe, the Army’s first ever Edinburgh Festival Fringe venue, which aims to enable the military to engage with the public in new ways.
Dancer Reece Causton said: “Talking to the troops and seeing them at work is incredibly valuable, it’s gold dust. As dancers we absorb it all, so the movements and the way they interact all comes out in our performance and gives a strong sense of realism.”
Captain Edward Mitchell, who helped look after the dancers while they were in the Galloway Forest, said: “This was an ideal opportunity for the dancers to see what soldiering is about, what really happens when we prepare for a tour of duty overseas and how soldiers learn to survive and fight in combat conditions.