About the Legion
03 November 2010
The West End stage production of Sebastian Faulks' much-loved First World War novel BIRDSONG will be donating £2 per ticket to The Royal British Legion's Poppy Appeal for each ticket sold for performances in the first two weeks of November.
The contribution will assist the invaluable work of The Royal British Legion, not just in keeping alive the memory of those who fought in the First World War, but in all the work they do today to provide help and welfare to the serving and ex-Service community and their families.
Ben Barnes, who plays lead character Stephen Wraysford, will also be reading two poems as part of The Royal British Legion's official Silence in the Square event in Trafalgar Square on 11 November.
The cast and company of BIRDSONG will also be supporting The Royal British Legion's campaign to get their specially released single "Two Minute Silence" to Number One for Remembrance Sunday, by downloading the single from www.silentsingle.com.
The Royal British Legion was founded to support the Service men returning from WWI. Its work is as vital today in providing care and campaigning to support serving men and women and their families, as well as veterans of all conflicts. The Legion's 2010 Poppy Appeal is highlighting its support for the injured, wounded and bereaved of the British Armed Forces serving in Afghanistan.
Sebastian Faulks' 1993 novel Birdsong is one of Britain's most popular books. It has sold more than two million copies in the United Kingdom and more than three million worldwide and still regularly appears in the best-seller lists.
The play 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.
For the first time, this beautiful and haunting story about love, courage and the endurance of the human spirit has been brought to the stage in a version by Rachel Wagstaff, whose previous work has included The Soldier and Only The Brave. Wagstaff is a participant of Old Vic New Voices and her work has been performed at the annual 24 Hour Plays. She has previously adapted Faulks' The Girl at Lion d'Or for BBC Radio 4.
Alongside Ben Barnes, who plays Stephen Wraysford, the cast also includes Nicholas Farrell (Chariots of Fire, Stuff Happens), Iain Mitchell (La Cage Aux Folles, Edmond), Genevieve O'Reilly (Spooks, The Weir), Lee Ross (Eastenders, The Catherine Tate Show) and Zoe Waites (Mrs Klein, The Other Boleyn Girl).
For more information visit www.birdsongtheplay.co.uk and order tickets from Box Office on 0844 871 2118.
BIRDSONG is produced by CMP Ltd (Nick Frankfort and Tobias Round), Becky Barber and Act Productions.