Verse and music help tell the story of friendship between famed WW1 poets Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon in this touching theatrical revival.
In May 1918, Wilfred Owen drafted a preface for a collection of his war poetry, which he hoped to publish the following year. “This book is not about heroes. English poetry is not yet fit to speak of them. Nor is it about deeds or lands, nor anything about glory, honour, might, majesty, dominion, or power, except War... My subject is War and the pity of War.” He was killed six months later, one week before the war ended.
When both Owen and fellow poet Siegfried Sassoon were sent to Craiglockhart War Hospital— the former diagnosed with shell shock and the latter considered ‘unfit for service’ due to his vehement anti-war protests— they became firm friends. Writer Stephen Macdonald has dramatised this meeting in Not about Heroes drawing from the pair's letters and poems. His aim was to show that these were two ordinary men subjected to unthinkable horrors, and not fearless soldiers dying in their country’s name. And the touching two-hander weaves together normal life and war by spanning almost the entire lives of both men.
The play premiered at the Edinburgh Festival in 1982 and has since been performed around the world. One recent revival in the playwright’s home country of Scotland, was commended by The Telegraph for “its fascinating characters and their enduringly powerful (and relevant) verse.”
It stars Alasdair Craig (Propeller Theatre Company, BBC’s Doctors) as Sassoon and recent Manchester School of Theatre graduate Simon Jenkins as Wilfred Owen. They are accompanied by beautiful cello music by Irish composer Ailís Ní Ríain.
Before coming to London, the production will tour the UK, including places that were significant to the protagonists’ lives such as Craiglockhart itself and Owen’s hometown of Shrewsbury.
|What||Not about Heroes, Trafalgar Studios|
|Where||Trafalgar Studios, 14 Whitehall, London, SW1A 2DY | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Charing Cross (underground)|
10 Nov 14 – 06 Dec 14, 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM
|Website||Click here to book via ATG Tickets|