23-28 February 2015
Reviewed by Amy Jones
Last night What’s Good To Do have been back to the Northern Stage in Newcastle upon Tyne to watch Sebastian Faulks’s classic sorry Birdsong.
The play is based before and during the First World War where it follows the story of individuals that were affected by the war. One of the main character is a young British lieutenant, Steven, who begins a dangerous romantic affair with a young French women, Isabel, whom is already married to an abusive older man. As war breaks out Steven is left heartbroken and in charge of a battalion of soldiers to fight in the battle of the Somme. He holds dear Isabel and vows to return to her at the end of the war. It follows his journey as the true meaning and horror of war unfolds before him.
The acting of Steven played by Edmund Wiseman is fantastic. He gives a gripping portrayal of the young lieutenant and truly draws you into the story. You really see the transformation he goes through – starting out so enthusiastic for life but becoming more and more disillusioned with the war. Because of the fantastic acting by all the cast, you really do get a sense of the horrors that war brought and that the young men went through. His connection with Isabel, played by Emily Bowker, really warmed you to the two characters and you find yourself hoping that the two will work it out.
The stage production of this classic book is even better than you imagine, the use of the stage to change between pre-war France and the trenches is seamless. The sound, lighting and even the smell bring the whole production together.
Overall I would give this a definite, without s doubt, 5/5 brilliant a must see.
Tickets cost from £12 to £24.
Birdsong is at the Northern Stage in Newcastle until 28 February 2015. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 0191 230 5151.
Northern Stage, Barras Bridge,Newcastle Upon Tyne,Tyne and Wear, NE1 7RH