Review: Birdsong, Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds, until Saturday, February 3

Birdsong visits the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds. Picture: THEATRE ROYAL

Birdsong visits the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds. Picture: THEATRE ROYAL - Credit: Archant

The intimate horrors of the First World War are bought sharply into focus with this wonderful production.

The cast are magnificent throughout with exceptional performances particularly from Tim Treloar as the cockney tunneller “sewer rat” Jack Firebrace and the passionate lovers Tom Kay, as Stephen Wraysford, and Madeleine Knight, as Isabelle Azaire.

The play marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the bloody conflict and in between the shell explosions, gunfire (and the birdsong during the lull in the fighting) it tells the poignant tale of the young officer from Lincolnshire, Stephen Wraysford, and his passionate and dangerous affair with the beautiful Isabelle that turns their world upside down.

As war breaks out he must lead his men through the carnage of the Battle of the Somme. But he yearns for the arms and comfort of his lover.

There’s many a twist and turn but it’s a mesmerising story of love, downright courage and bravery in the face of death and heartache.

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