How do you adapt a 500 page novel to fill a two hour stage performance and do it justice? Ask Rachel Wagstaff as that is exactly what she has accomplished with Birdsong.
With a visually stunning set placing the audience into the trenches of World War One designed by Victoria Spearing complimented by the realistic sounds from Dominic Bilkey and the atmospheric lighting by Alex Wardle the stage was set for an emotional evening with many in the audience carrying a spare hanky or two to see them through the epic performance.
Set mainly in the trenches of the Western Front, Birdsong opens with Lieutenant Stephen Wraysford (Tom Kay) leading his men through the horrors of the war whilst ending up in the field hospital from the opening bombardment.
The story continues with Wraysford drifting between his present and the pre-war affair he had with Isabelle Azaire (Madeline Knight). Buoyed on with the hope of rekindling his dangerous love affair which soon became more than just a daydream once he and his comrades were posted to The Somme.
Sapper Jack Firebrace (Tim Treloar) provided the performance of the evening with the emotional delivery of his letters home to Mags who was at the hospital bedside of his dying young son whilst remaining dependable and loyal to the cause.
Directed by Alastair Whatley, Birdsong has everything you would expect from a war time adaptation and this the fourth and last tour of this production, it is one you must head along to the Wyvern and see before it is too late!
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.
Birdsong will be playing Swindon’s Wyvern Theatre through until Saturday March 24th 2018.
Tickets are available at the Wyvern Theatre online or by calling the Box Office on 01793 524481