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REVIEW: Birdsong at The Wyvern Theatre
Tuesday saw the opening night of the Birdsong tour dates at the the heart of Swindon’s drama scene, The Wyvern Theatre. The moment you step into the auditorium, the set takes your breath away and you immediately have an idea of the tone of the impending story.
Birdsong being an adaptation of an incredibly popular book by Sebastian Faulks, is a story set during and in the run-up to some of the most difficult moments of World War 1. Spanning periods of time from trench warfare in the Somme to the many difficult days in Amiens.
The story follows an aging tunnel digger Jack and a young Lieutenant Stephen Wraysford. As Jack struggles with life away from home and family along with the distressing letters from across the channel. Stephen follows a journey of self discovery, heartache and forbidden love. A good man, doing all that is right in world that struggles with the decisions of life and love before the war all the while enduring the horrors of trench warfare. Jack and Stephen’s paths cross a number of times during the show and the culmination of events lead to a conclusion that will bring many a tear to the eye.
A haunting reminder of the horrors of war both at home and on the frontline, with tension from the first few minutes to the final curtain, Birdsong delivers on so many levels. It is a rollercoaster of emotions especially in the closing moments of the first act, leaving the auditorium for the break in stunned silence as you reflect on the realism of the Somme which portrayed incredibly realistically. A skillful production, superbly performed which I will certainly reflect upon for a very long time. It was definitely deserving of the closing standing ovation.