World War One poets take to the Bognor Regis stage
World War One drama Not About Heroes makes its debut at the Alexandra Theatre, Bognor Regis this October.
A cast of just two actors, James Etheridge (Owen) and William Hackett (Sasoon), will bring to life a play that is intimate and tender, Will says – and “a powerful example of the importance of human connection, emotional strength and personal resilience in very difficult times.”
Will explained: “More than 100 years on from the beginning of the First World War, Stephen MacDonald’s Not About Heroes is both exhilarating and uncompromising in its exploration of love, war and a friendship that changed the face of British poetry.
“Told by means of letters and poetry, with an original score by Stephen Hackshaw and directed by renowned local director Jonathan Goodwin, this unforgettable story paints a vivid picture of the Great War and the poetic life and relationship between two of its finest poets – Wilfrid Owen and Siegfried Sassoon. It’s our first drama production in nearly two years. It’s been postponed twice since last October. It’s a really beautiful two-hander that’s been re-imagined for this production and there are lots of parallels between this story and what we’ve all been through over the last 18 months.”
James added: “The timing of the play, as we slowly come out of lockdown and look optimistically towards the future, is quite significant after a turbulent 18 months where we’ve all been forced to separate from loved ones and denied that essential human contact we all need.”
Director Jonathan Goodwin, said: “Many people may know some of the poems of these great WWI poets, but nothing about the men themselves. Our unique adaptation explores the secrets in their lives and reveals what drove them to write and inspire each other.
“The audience is allowed to see the growth of a beautiful and private side to these men. Love and friendship is something that connects us all. I am so excited that we have the opportunity to share this untold story.
Not About Heroes runs from Thursday-Saturday, October 14-16 with performances at 7.30pm nightly, including a 2.30pm matinee on Saturday. Tickets start from £10 on 01243 861010 or via www.alexandratheatre.co.uk.