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Sebastian Faulks to Make Cameo in BIRDSONG at Richmond Theatre

Novelist Sebastian Faulks will be treading the boards in a cameo acting role in Rachel Wagstaff's adaptation of his play BIRDSONG at Richmond Theatre this summer.

Audiences will be able to see Sebastian Faulks playing the role of a sapper (tunneler) called Wheeler, at evening performances on Monday 29 June, Wednesday 1 and Thursday 2 July (the run continues until 4 July).

The producers of BIRDSONG offered Sebastian Faulks the contract of a paid acting job, having seen his performance when he tried out the role for two nights at Bristol Old Vic in May. Sebastian was keen to recreate the role for a final time as he enjoyed himself so much in Bristol, where he delivered all of his lines perfectly to an outstanding response.

Sebastian's fellow cast members include Peter Duncan, Edmund Wiseman and Emily Bowker who head the cast of BIRDSONG. Also in the cast are Emily Altneu, Max Bowden (most recently seen as Justin Fitzgerald in BBC One's Waterloo Road), Selma Brook, James Findlay (winner of the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award 2010), Roger Martin, Liam McCormick, James Staddon, Cloudia Swann and Alastair Whatley.

Richmond Theatre is the final venue for BIRDSONG, which has been on a critically acclaimed tour since February.

Touring during the 100th anniversary of the First World War, BIRDSONG tells a mesmerising story of love and courage, before and during the war. In pre-war France, a young Englishman, Stephen Wraysford, embarks on a passionate and dangerous affair with the beautiful Isabelle Azaire that turns their worlds upside down. As the war breaks out, Stephen must lead his men through the carnage of the Battle of the Somme and through the sprawling tunnels that lie deep underground. Faced with the unprecedented horror of the war, Stephen clings to the memory of Isabelle and the idyll of his former life as his world explodes around him.

The 2013 and 2014 tours were hugely successful and critically acclaimed, seen by over 130,000 people and receiving 4- and 5-star reviews, with audiences calling the show 'simply stunning'. Sebastian Faulks was thrilled the show was re-mounted to tour again, and has previously stated: "Both Rachel and I want this to be the definitive version of Birdsong on stage. The audience watch it and think, thank God I have never undergone all of this. These experiences are far outside the lives of most people but there is something about the way the production works which makes people identify and think, it could be me..."

Rachel Wagstaff is currently co-writing two screenplays with Sebastian Faulks, one for Eleventh Hour Productions, and one for Bob & Co. She is also under commission to write a new musical for Vicky Graham Productions/Old Vic Productions, and writing a stage play for The Original Theatre Company. Rachel adapted Sebastian Faulks's novel, The Girl at the Lion d'Or, for Radio Four (Woman's Hour), and When I Lost You, an Afternoon Play for Radio Four, co-written with Duncan Abel, was featured on Pick of the Week last year.

BIRDSONG is again directed by Alastair Whatley, with set design by Victoria Spearing, lighting by Alex Wardle for Charcoalblue and sound by Dom Bilkey.

BIRDSONG is produced on tour by Alastair Whatley for The Original Theatre Company and Anne-Marie Woodley and Jon Woodley for Birdsong Productions Ltd.


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