LIKE buses, as soon as one play about the soldier's lot comes to York Theatre Royal, another immediately follows.

Last week, it was Lola Arias's Minefield, bringing together British, Gurkha and Argentinian veterans from the Falklands/Malvinas War in memoir, music and mutual reflection on the trauma of war and its emotional damage.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder lies at the heart of this week's play too, written and directed by Army scholar and Soldier Soldier actor Jonathan Lewis. It is bigger in scale, much longer too, with more vignettes and a cast of 16, but played in the smaller Studio – the front rows at the side left empty to accommodate them all – although it would equally suit a bigger theatre.

There is no scenery, the black back wall sufficing with its use for Harry Parker's video projections and scene titles for a play that brings together military veterans and actors to make a play where Lewis notes the similarities between military life and the theatre, with delineated roles, set lines etcetera.

Former Soldier Soldier actor Harry (David Solomon) is brought in to work alongside exasperated Len (Thomas Craig) to bring the play to fruition, but all the while we see the effect that war has had on ex-soldiers, their wives, girlfriends and mothers alike.

Fists fly, so does the F-word, as a theatre of war of a different kind plays out, aided by Lily Howkins' abrasive, military-drilled choreography, amid the echoes of battle nudging constantly at fragile, disturbed minds or broken bodies. "It is too real," says Ellie Nunn's Sophie at one point.

Yet Soldier On is full of gallows humour too, and there is a sense of healing, one that says yes, theatre can be therapeutic for veterans, which is why you must hope the Soldiers' Arts Academy can soldier on with Soldier On for another tour to bigger venues.

Soldier On, Soldiers' Arts Academy, York Theatre Royal Studio, tonight at 7.45pm; tomorrow, 3pm and 7.45pm. Box office: 01904 623568 or at