This stage version of the best-selling 1993 novel by Sebastian Faulks will begin performances, as previously announced, Sept. 18 at the Comedy Theatre, prior to an official opening Sept. 28. It will be directed by Trevor Nunn, and the book is adapted by Rachel Wagstaff. It is produced by CMP Ltd (Nick Frankfort and Tobias Round) and Becky Barber. Barnes was last seen on the London stage in The History Boys at Wyndham’s Theatre, a run he had to curtail when he was offered the first “Narnia” film. His other stage credits include Sex, Chips and Rock ‘n’ Roll at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre, and Loving Ophelia at London’s Pleasance Theatre. In addition to his Narnia films, he has appeared in the title role of Oliver Parker’s film “Dorian Gray” and has had roles in “Stardust” and “Easy Virtue.” He also has roles in “Locked in” and “Killing Bono,” both of which are to be released next year.
“Birdsong,” which has sold more than two million copies in the United Kingdom and more than three million worldwide, tells the story of one man’s journey through an all-consuming love affair and into the horror of the First World War. While staying as the guest of a factory owner in pre-First World War France, Stephen Wraysford embarks on a passionate affair with Isabelle, the wife of his host. The affair changes them both forever. A few years later Stephen finds himself back in the same part of France, but this time as a soldier at the Battle of the Somme, the bloodiest encounter in British military history. As his men die around him, Stephen turns to his enduring love for Isabelle for the strength to continue and to save something for future generations.
Further casting is still to be announced. To book tickets, contact the box office on 0844 871 2118, or visit www.birdsongtheplay.co.uk.