Jennie Buckman began the exploration that led to the writing of SNAFU (Situation Normal All Fucked Up) in 2011/12 when the UK was withdrawing troops from Afghanistan. The play takes its inspiration from Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey and looks at the effect of servicemen and women returning from war. It touches on the life-changing issues that impact on both the returnees themselves, and their families.
Over a period of 18 months, Giants worked with serving military personnel, veterans suffering from PTSD, amputee vets, military doctors, psychiatrists and most importantly, the families of military personnel. SNAFU is a play about two soldiers coming home – one without his leg, one without his sanity – into the chaos of civilian life. Kit bags, pharmaceuticals, ghosts and horrific flash-backs collide on the home front.
Giants staged a successful rehearsed reading of SNAFU at Soho Theatre with a cast that included Lorraine Ashbourne, Jonathan Slinger and Geraldine James, directed by Sallie Aprahamian. SNAFU has since been produced in Chicago at the University of Illinois (2016), directed by David Kersnar.
In Autumn 2016, SNAFU was updated and rewritten as FUBAR (Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition) to reflect issues affecting UK troops post Iraq and Afghanistan deployment.
I am interested that so many real human situations have been included, all believable and none, to my mind, overdone.
– General The Lord Ramsbotham GCB, CBE
Written in collaboration with: