An award-winning Fringe play is working to raise awareness and funds for the veterans’ charity Help for Heroes.

Adapted from Kosovo and Iraq veteran Neil Blower Watkins’ acclaimed novel it follows the story of Tommy Atkins who suffers undiagnosed post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and faces multiple challenges adapting to civilian life.

Created in association with military and mental health charities, Shell Shockis a multiple-award production that is thought provoking, poignant and very funny. The play won the Sunday MailBest Solo Show at Adelaide Fringe in March and has just been recommended as an Edinburgh Fringe “must-see” by the Daily Record.

As part of the Army@TheFringe programme, in association with Summerhall, it is performed by former sitcom actor Tim Marriott in the Hepburn House drill hall which has been temporarily transformed into a Fringe venue.

Ailsa Alcock, Help for Heroes’ Fundraising Manager for Scotland, said: “We are delighted that awareness is being raised about the mental health challenges faced by forces veterans at the Edinburgh Fringe through soldier Tommy’s powerful story of coping with PTSD as told through Shell Shock.

“The company behind the production has also offered invaluable support for the work that Help for Heroes does – from actor Tim Marriott mentioning us in the play to allowing our volunteers to hold collections and hand out leaflets at the informal Q&A sessions held afterwards.

“Help for Heroes offers wounded, injured and sick forces veterans and service personnel the chance to reach their potential, regain their purpose and have a positive impact on society.

“We hope people will go along to see Shell Shockand learn more about the issues that affect so many of our armed forces and their families and the support that Help for Heroes can offer them.”

Shell Shockhas also been chosen to tour Australia and go to the Invictus Games in support of PTS, a charity founded by Vietnam veteran and Test cricketer Tony Dell. The team will join the largest convoy of former military vehicles ever seen in Australia. It will tour from Brisbane to Melbourne and arrive in Sydney to coincide with the Invictus Games.

Tim Marriott, who plays the role, says:“We are very proud to be supporting the work of Help for Heroes during our run at Army@TheFringe. Tommy’s story is familiar to veterans, and many others, in this country and around the world.

“It is important to raise awareness of their situation. And Shell Shock tries to do that in a way that’s engaging, funny and authentic.”

Marriott is best known from his sitcom days as deputy leisure centre manager, Gavin in seven series of The Brittas Empireand also as RAF Pilot Tigger Thompson in Allo, Allo.

Shell Shockwas performed earlier this year in New Zealand at the invitation of the country’s Defence Force, being presented “behind the wire” in military centres and is to return to there after the Invictus Games.

It has achieved widespread critical acclaim as being “Outstanding” ★★★★★Fringe Review, “Marvellous” ★★★★★Glasgow Living, “Superb” ★★★★★Broadway World and “Stunning” ★★★★★Fringe Guru

Marriott’s other TV credits include Doctors, The Bill, An Actor’s Life for Me, The Main Event, Luv and film credits include forthcoming features The Real Thing, Love Type D and Revelation. He recently returned to the stage after an 18-year break teaching English and drama. He is in two other Fringe productions, Mengeleand All Change.

See trailer here: SHELL SHOCK

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Listings Details

  • Venue: Army @ The Fringe in association with Summerhall, Hepburn House Army Reserve Centre, East Claremont Street (Venue 210)
  • Time: 17:30
  • Duration: 60 mins
  • Dates: 11, 12, 14-19, 21-25 August. Previews 10 August.
  • Tickets: £9 to £12
  • Bookings:
  • Advisory: Contains strong language


About Smokescreen Productions

  • Smokescreen Productions create impactful, thematic theatre, working with national charities to bring contemporary issues to life on stage,designed to engage audiences in new work that has broad benefits in the outreach and engagement of topical aims and the objectives of charities. Smokescreen presentMengelein rep with All Changea new play created in support of the work of St Wiflrid’s Hospice and are also producing the award winning PTSD piece Shell Shock(supporting multiple military and mental health charities) with Army@TheFringe at EdFringe 18.
  • For more: W: W: Tw: @SmokeScreenProd FB: @SmokescreenEB


For media information contact Matthew Shelley at Matthew@ScottishFestivalsPR.Orgor Assembly Press office 0131 6233050 or