Birdsong (tour - Basingstoke Haymarket Theatre)
The actors who carry the show are Jonathan Smith as Stephen Wraysford, and Tim Treloar as the “sewer rat” tunneller Jack Firebrace and the story follows the pair as the war takes away whatever they hold dear. Sarah Jayne Dunn is a reserved and tortured Isabelle Azaire and the relationship of Isabelle with Wraysford comes across as a sensuous one. The rest of the cast play a variety of characters and many have their moments, including Charlie G Hawkins as Tipper nervously singing a song whilst waiting to go over the top at the Somme.
The set shows the devastation of No Man’s Land, and the production team does well to show a tranquil Amiens of 1910 amongst the rubble of war. The constant transitions between the two periods create the feeling that Stephens is shifting between a dream and reality.
Taken together, the story and the strong cast mean that I wholeheartedly recommend that you see this fantastic production.