Marking the centenary of the end of the First World War, Rachel Wagstaff’s highly acclaimed adaptation of Sebastian Faulks’s best-selling novel Birdsong embarks on its final UK tour, opening at Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds Wed 31 Jan – Sat 3 Feb.
Birdsong tells a mesmerising story of love and courage, before and during the war. In pre-war France, a young Englishman, Stephen Wraysford, embarks on a passionate and dangerous affair with the beautiful Isabelle Azaire that turns both their worlds upside down. As the war breaks out, Stephen must lead his men through the carnage of the Battle of the Somme and through the sprawling tunnels that lie deep underground. Faced with the unprecedented horror of the war, Stephen clings to the memory of Isabelle and the idyll of his former life as his world explodes around him.
The cast will be headed by Tom Kay and Madeleine Knight as Stephen Wraysford and Isabelle Azaire. Tom appeared to great acclaim in a recent production of Journey’s End, performed on a First World War battlefield at Ypres. Madeleine’s television and film credits include Poldark and Florence Foster Jenkins.
Also in the cast are Olivia Bernstone, Alice Brittain, Alfie Browne-Sykes (recently seen as Freddie Roscoe in Channel 4’s Hollyoaks), Martin Carroll, Riley Carter-Millington (Kyle Slater in EastEnders) James Findlay (winner of the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award 2010), Liz Garland, Jeffrey Harmer and Simon Lloyd. Further casting to be announced.
The author Sebastian Faulks said, “This is the fourth and final tour of Rachel Wagstaff’s adaptation of my novel and, as it coincides with the centenary of the Armistice in 1918, it comes with an additional air of celebration. I very much hope that this finale will be a glorious one.’’
Birdsong is directed by Alastair Whatley with Charlotte Peters, set design by Victoria Spearing, lighting by Alex Wardle for Charcoalblue and sound by Dom Bilkey. Produced on tour by Anne-Marie Woodley and Jon Woodley for Birdsong Productions Ltd in association with The Original Theatre Company.
Tickets are on sale, call 01284 769505, book online at www.theatreroyal.org or visit the Box Office in person.