Well-timed, insofar as the season of Remembrance is upon us, the adaptation of the war novel Birdsong opens at the Comedy Theatre in London.
The depiction of the triumph of human spirit over the savagery of war was first captured in Sebastian Faulk’s international best-selling War novel but now, here on stage, it is captured again in a version written by Rachel Wagstaff and brought to life by indomitable director, Sir Trevor Nunn.
Nunn is the longest-serving Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the RSC. He has directed a multitude of globally successful plays including Nicholas, Les Misérables, King Lear, Cats and Starlight Express.
Rachel’s past successes include the recently adapted Sebastian Faulks's novel The Girl at the Lion D'or, musical Moonshadow and the plays Night Sky and Full Time.
The cast is headed up by Ben Barnes (Of The History Boys, Sex, Chips and Rock 'N' Roll and Bugsy Malone fame ) who plays the lead role of Stephen Wraysford. Ben is supported by Genevieve o’reilly (The Weir, Richard II, The Violet Hour) playing the role of Izabelle Azaire, Stephens love. Amongst others Nicholas Farrell, Iain Mitchell and Lee Ross also support.
The story concentrates on our hero Stephen Wraysford. Whilst staying as a guest of a factory owner in pre-First World War France Stephen’s passion for Madam Isabelle Azaire (the wife of his host) is a business distraction he least expected on his first overseas sales sojourn. The affair changes them both for ever.
Sometime later Stephen finds himself back in the same place but this time as a soldier at the Battle of the Somme where he finds himself exposed to death and man’s inhumanity to fellow man, leaving him desperate to return to the arms of Isabelle, and away from the arms of war.
This beautiful tale of love, courage, fright and endurance of the human spirit, makes Rachel Wagstaff’s stage production an indelible attachment to the lives of hundreds of thousands of young men who volunteered for their country without fear or knowledge of their terrible fate in the mud and carnage of the trenches.
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Published: 20/10/2010 13:47:59