SebastÌan Faulks’s masterpiece Birdsong will be released online in a brand new specially made production on 1 July 2020.
“This is a great initiative from the Original Theatre Company and technically very ambitious. The adaptation of novel to play continues to evolve and I’m confident it has reached its best incarnation yet. Some of the best actors in its long life have signed up. Should be enormous fun.”
— Sebastian Faulks
With a star cast including Max Bowden, Stephen Boxer, Tom Kay, Madeleine Knight and Tim Treloar and narration by Sebastian Faulks himself, this uniquely made production marks a one of a kind special event to mark the 104th anniversary of The Battle of The Somme.
Told using video technology, live performance, sound design and music all woven together to create a unique portrayal of one of the greatest love stories in modern literature. Birdsong Online is directed by Alastair Whatley and Charlotte Peters and will be raising money for The Royal British Legion.
This show is no longer available.
Running time - 135 mins
Age guidance - 13+
“Birdsong is a story about the endurability of the human spirit and about the power of love. Sebastian’s novel highlights how even in times of unimaginable horrors, there is more that binds us together than breaks us apart. Never has this incredible story had more to offer and we wanted to find a way to share it at this time, 104 years to the day since the first day of one of the most terrible battles in British history..”
— Alastair Whatley, Artistic Director, Original Theatre Company
About the novel
Faulks’s fourth novel and the second in his French trilogy has become a classic of modern English literature. It is taught at school and university on both English and History syllabuses; it has sold more than two million copies in the United Kingdom and three million worldwide; it has been used at Sandhurst to instruct young officers in the realities of warfare; in polls it is regularly voted one of the nation’s favourite books.
About the stage show
The Original Theatre Company and Birdsong Productions Ltd produced Rachel Wagstaff’s adaptation of Birdsong on stage between 2013 and 2015, with a 2018 UK Tour produced by Birdsong Productions Ltd in Association with the Original Theatre Company.
Acclaimed by critics and audiences alike Birdsong was seen by over 250,000 people in over 75 theatres across the UK and in Ireland.
“I am thrilled to see my adaptation taking life in this new online format. I have really enjoyed re-working it with Sebastian Faulks’ ongoing support and participation, the story, characters and heart of the novel coming alive to me again in this streamlined and imaginative form. I’m also really pleased to be teaming up again with directors Alastair Whatley and Charlotte Peters, the Original Theatre Company. Their work means a great deal to me and I’m very glad to be able to both support and promote it. I’m also very impressed that they have found a new way of making and creating work which, with theatres being closed for the foreseeable future, will be so essential for many of us.With the support of audiences around the world, I hope we can continue Birdsong’s journey from page to stage to Zoom, and keep alive the flame of theatre, storytelling, and the sacrifices of so many, for us.”
— Rachel Wagstaff, Adaptor
Narrated by Sebastian Faulks
Adapted by Rachel Wagstaff
Starring: Olivia Bernstone, Max Bowden, Stephen Boxer, Jeffrey Harmer, Christopher Harper, Malcolm James, Tom Kay, Madeleine Knight, Samuel Martin, Liam McCormick, Poppy Roe, Tim Treloar, James Findlay, Tony Green
Producer / Co-Director Alastair Whatley
Co-Director Charlotte Peters
Film Direction and Editing Tristan Shepherd
Production Designer David Woodhead
Sound Designer and Editor Dominic Bilkey
Composer and Arranger James Findlay
Original Production Music Tim Van Eyken
Costume, Hair and Make Up Supervisor Siobhan Boyd