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 for ever. A few years later Stephen finds himself back in the same part of France, but this time as a soldier in 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.
For the first time, this beautiful and terrible story about love, courage and the endurance of the human spirit is brought to the stage in a version by Rachel Wagstaff, directed by famed director Trevor Nunn.
"A [Birdsong] film has nearly been made five times, apparently, since the novel was published in 1993. Instead, we now have a brilliant theatrical filleting by the young playwright Rachel Wagstaff" - Michael Coveney, The Independent
‘moving and stunning… [shows] the futility of war and one man’s search for love and reason’ – What’s On Stage
‘Wagstaff has significantly re-structured her original adaptation, improving the emotional and traumatic love story by confining it as a short historical piece with flashbacks.’ The Stage
‘The stage version of Sebastian Faulks’s bestseller is a poignant and heartbreaking mix... An epic tale highlighting the human cost of war through the eyes of two men. Be prepared to get a little weepy.’ Coventry Telegraph
‘The experience described here is such a vital one...that any well-crafted telling of it has huge value; Faulk’s story makes us feel in our bones the impossibility of ever returning fully to “normal life”, after such horror.’ Scotsman
‘Ideas of a conventional war-time romance are instantly blasted into the trenches with the emotionally complex grit of what follows.’ Herald