Touring – reviewed at the New Victoria Theatre, Woking
Guest reviewer: Steve Willox
Rachel Wagstaff has cleverly adapted Sebastian Faulks’ novel Birdsong into a thought-provoking play. The play takes place mainly on the Western Front in France during The First World War but intertwines back to 1910 in Amiens where we meet Stephen Wraysford before his involvement in the war.
A well-designed set allows for the easy movement from 1910 to WW1 to pass effortlessly. Enabling us to see, through flashbacks, Stephen’s memories of the love of his life, Isabelle. Low lighting gives a feeling of life in the trenches and also highlight when there are explosions of gunfire and shells.
A small but skilful cast, playing many different roles, bring Faulks’ novel to the stage in an emotional and moving way. Tim Treloar gives a soul-stirring performance as Jack Firebrace; eager and intense when rallying his mates whilst tunnelling under enemy lines, but sad and emotional at the death of his son. The rest of the cast is also adept at bringing this moving and evocative novel to the stage.
A beautiful love story, interweaved with the horrors of war. Recommended