Bullets & Daffodils
The world’s first musical to be based on war poetry returns to The Theatre On The Steps this October, The show, entitled Bullets And Daffodils, it recasts Wilfred Owen's words as contemporary songs, and is billed as A Voice Reborn.
Very little is known of the Great War poet Wilfred Owen's childhood in northern Birkenhead, often seen as a regrettable chapter in the family's history following the loss of their home in rural Shropshire. This was especially true of his mother Susan, who is often depicted as a cold and aloof woman. But newly discovered evidence suggests that the family forged strong friendships that may have helped shape Wilfred's poetry.
Such was Susan Owen's compassion that they took in the child of a neighbour when her mother became ill. The show is produced by Mal Robinson, whose grandmother was Susan Owen's godchild. Mal says, “Susan Owen did a lot for my Nan and was loved for it.” Named Susie, after her godmother, her parents were German, and this is a staggering revelation in the light of Owen's experiences in the trenches, and such poems as Strange Meeting, which concludes with the line, “I am the enemy you killed, my friend.”
The production is the work of songwriter Dean Johnson, and includes some well-known and unlikely collaborators. Associate director Christopher Timothy (James Herriot) also contributes narration, as does Mark Reed (son of the late Oliver Reed). The script contains contributions from music critics and TV writers David Quantick and Paolo Hewitt. The show's score contains There's No Way Out Of Here, a contribution donated gratis from Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, In this all new West End production featuring dramatic staging it is as moving as it is powerful.
For so long the reserve of school classrooms, Owen remains a controversial figure, relating to both his sexuality and claims that he feigned illness to escape the frontline. He comes second only to Shakespeare as our most studied poet.
"Thought provoking, moving and different"
Running Time 1 hour
THEATRE ON THE STEPS - CONDITION OF TICKET SALES
- Once purchased tickets may not be exchanged nor money refunded.
- Smoking in all areas of the Theatre is strictly forbidden.
- Only food and drink purchased on the premises may be consumed in the building.
- Mobile phones and digital watch alarms must be switched off in the auditorium.
- In the interests of other patrons, babes in arms are not usually admitted. Exceptions may be made for pantomime and certain children's shows, when prior arrangements should be made with the Box Office and a ticket purchased irrespective of the age of the child.
- Due to fire regulations, all patrons, including babes in arms, must be in possession of a valid ticket before entering the auditorium.
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- Latecomers will not be admitted, (prior to the show or after the interval) until a suitable break in the performance. Latecomers if admitted, may be required to occupy alternative seats.
- The Management may alter or vary the programme, artistes and timings without consultation or compensation.
- The performance may be cancelled for reasons beyond the control of the Management without notice and without the Theatre being liable to pay any person any compensation whatsoever other than a possible percentage or maximum refund to the ticket holder of the value of the ticket.
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