Following 2010's West End hit, this exciting, brand new adaptation marks the very first touring production of the play. Over 22 venues across the UK, a dynamic cast of 12 shape Faulks's much loved wartime epic into an intimate story of love and sacrifice, set against the backdrop of the Western Front.
The production arrives after the recent announcement of a historic commemoration ceremony of the centenary of the start of World War I, to be held on Remembrance Day, 2014. Sebastian Faulks has been invited to sit on the advisory board for this event.
In pre-war France, young Englishman Stephen Wraysford embarks on a passionate and dangerous affair with his host's wife, Isabelle Azaire. As civil unrest mounts and war breaks in on the idyll of his former life, Stephen finds he must now lead his men through the carnage of the Battle of the Somme and the sprawling tunnels that lie deep underground. Faced with unprecedented horror, the war-hardened Stephen clings to the shrinking memory of Isabelle as his world explodes around him.
Birdsong was ranked 13th in the 2003 BBC survey The Big Read, finding the nation's favourite book. The novel was adapted for the stage by Rachel Wagstaff and opened at the Comedy Theatre, London (2010), and more recently was adapted for TV by Abi Morgan for a BBC 1 series (Jan 2012). This vivid and ambitious new production follows the launch of Sebastian Faulks's latest novel A Possible Life (Sept 2012). He was appointed CBE in 2002 for services to literature.
The Original Theatre Company was founded in 2004 by Creative Director Alistair Whatley. Previous productions include Vincent in Brixton (2009), The Importance of Being Oscar (2010), Journey's End (2010), The Madness of George III (2010), Dancing at Lughnasa (2011, nominated for Best Production, Manchester Evening News Theatre Awards), Twelfth Night (2011), See How They Run (2011), Our Country's Good (2012) and Three Men In A Boat (2012). The Original Theatre Company is an associate company of Anvil Arts, South Hill Park and Eastbourne Theatres.
Rachel Wagstaff comments: "Birdsong is in an incredibly powerful novel, and through the story of Faulks's fictional characters, we can understand what it might have been like for individuals caught up in this most extraordinary period of world history. Given the approaching centenary and the passing away of Harry Patch, the last surviving British Army Veteran to have fought in the Great War, it seems more important than ever that the courage and sacrifices of those who fought and fell for future generations are not only remembered, but understood. Lest we forget; lest we let suffering on such a scale ever happen again."
Recognising the relevance this story has with the on-going impact of the conflict of war on everyday life the tour is proud to be supporting Help for Heroes.
For tickets go to www.atgtickets.com/glasgow