TONIGHT the Georgian Theatre in Richmond will play host to the second of six performances of a new play where three men in the audience are cheered even louder than the cast of six.

Those men are the last three remaining York Normandy Veterans, and they will be attending each venue, taking a bow on stage with the Everwitch Theatre company, offering a few thoughts and then mingling with the audience and taking questions afterwards in the bar.

Pickering writer-director Helena Fox's play brings to life the first-hand accounts of D-Day of the last five York Normandy Veterans. Dennis 'Hank' Haydock and George 'Merry' Meredith have passed away since the play project began, but Ken ‘Cookey’ Cooke, Ken ‘Smudger’ Smith and Albert ‘Bert’ Barritt will be there each night and it would be hard to imagine a more emotional experience at any Yorkshire theatre this season.

The five veterans had voiced their concern that their experiences would die with them. Helena Fox has honoured them, both the young men who never came home and the veterans, by telling the old soldiers' stories in verbatim form, giving equal measure to all five. Fox said everything they wanted to say, the veterans said immediately afterwards at Helmsley Arts Centre on the opening night, visibly touched by what they had just witnessed.

Bomb Happy follows each veteran’s journey from the D-Day landings to VE Day, and through battles in between to liberate Europe, and the drama of conflict acquires even more impact from highlighting the long-term impact of conflict stress/post-traumatic stress disorder on both veterans and their families.

Fox uses direct address as her theatrical form, as each of the five ordinary lads from York, Leeds, Sheffield and London takes his turn in the spotlight; the others sitting still beside them, never leaving the stage, unified by their common cause but separate experiences. There is no interval; rightly so, because this is a story driven by the relentless momentum of war.

The set is kept as simple as military rations, the young soldiers in their uniforms with a few boxes of ammunition to sit on, their positions changing in slow, measured movements as the focus switches. George Stagnell, fresh from his First World War one-man show Private Peaceful, is outstanding once more, this time as Cookey; Irish actor Carl Wylie effects a spot-on London accent as the jack-the-lad Merry; and Joe Sample's rising talent is affirmed by his moving portrayal of Smudger. Thomas Lillywhite's Bert and Adam Bruce's Hank impress too in an ensemble whose performances carry such conviction.

Beryl Nairn's Queenie opens and closes the play with thoughts from today, linking past and present. We shall indeed never forget and Bomb Happy is a truly fitting tribute.

Bomb Happy moves on to Pocklington Arts Centre, October 26 (01759 301547); Square Chapel Arts Centre, Halifax, November 10 (01422 349422); Junction, Goole, November 16 (01405 763652), and Otley Courthouse, November 24 (01943 467466). Shows start at 7.30pm, except Halifax at 7pm and Goole at 2.30pm.