Review and gallery: Birdsong takes to the stage in Shrewsbury

One of the most evocative and poignant stories of recent times has taken to the stage for a week-long run.

Review and gallery: Birdsong takes to the stage in Shrewsbury

The cast of the 2015 UK tour of Birdsong. All pics by Jack Ladenburg

Sebastian Faulks’ novel Birdsong was written in 1993 and told the story of First World War solider Stephen Wraysford at different stages of his life. 

It remains one of Britain’s best-loved books and has been adapted for radio, the stage and television.

Running at Shrewsbury’s Theatre Severn until Saturday, this version, starring former Blue Peter presenter Peter Duncan, has been adapted for the stage by writer Rachel Wagstaff. The cast also includes RADA graduate Edmund Wisemen who takes on the lead role of Stephen while Emily Bowker is Isabelle and Mr Duncan plays Jack Firebrace. 

Mr Duncan returns as Firebrace, having already played the role in the 2014 tour of the production. 

Though perhaps best known as a Blue Peter presenter, Mr Duncan began his acting career in the 1970s when he joined the National Theatre. There is a heart-rending climax to a compelling and gripping evening’s theatre and Wraysford offers food for thought in its dying moments, delivering a Shakespearian epilogue.

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Lest we forget, the play’s performance coincides with centennial commemorations of World War One. 

It is a work that serves the brave men and women who fought and died with impressive skill and emotional integrity.

See Friday’s Ticket supplement for an extended review.

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