BILLY BISHOP GOES TO WAR Transfers To Southwark Playhouse

BILLY BISHOP GOES TO WAR Transfers To Southwark Playhouse

Proud Haddock and Arsalan Sattari Productions today announce the transfer of Billy Bishop Goes to War to the Southwark Playhouse, following its successful run at the Jermyn Street Theatre. Charles Aitken (Younger Billy) and Oliver Beamish (Older Billy) reprise their roles. The production runs from 15 March, with previews from 13 March, until 6 April.

Billy Bishop, a failing Canadian military college student, overcomes intense prejudice and astonishing danger to receive his wings to become the most successful fighter pilot of his generation. This compelling and darkly comic drama interrogates the nature of heroism and its cost while shining a light on the often-neglected complexities of Britain's colonial past.

Billy Bishop Goes to War won the Los Angeles Drama Critics' Award in 1981, the Floyd S. Chalmers Canadian Play Award in 1982, and the Governor General's Award for English Drama in 1982. It is the most produced play in Canadian theatre.

Director Jimmy Walters today said "Billy Bishop Goes To War is a show we are incredibly proud of. Our reimagined interpretation of this renowned Canadian play-with-music, takes audiences on a journey through Billy's extraordinary life, as it allows an older and younger Billy to tell this true story together. With the remarkable performances by our cast, the script by John Gray which is as poignant as it is uplifting, and the atmospheric musical score; This results in a production that I'm so excited more people will get the chance to see."

John MacLachlan Gray is a multiple award-winning writer and composer for stage, television, film, radio and print. In his life he has been a playwright-composer-novelist-broadcaster-columnist-satirist-musician and performer. His credits include Rock and Roll, 18 Wheels, Don Messer's Jubilee were all award winners and received multiple productions nationally. His novels include A Gift for the Little Master, The Fiend Human, White Stone Day, Not Quite Dead and The White Angel. He has honorary doctorates from Mount Allison University and Dalhousie University, and is an Officer of the Order of Canada, Canada's highest civilian honour.


Eric Peterson is a veteran actor of stage, film and television. He is a recipient of the Governor General's Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement in Theatre and a Member of the Order of Canada.

Charles Aitken plays Younger Billy. His theatre credits include Coriolanus (Royal Shakespeare Company, Barbican), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Manchester Royal Exchange), All My Sons (Regent's Park Open Air Theatre), Sweet Bird of Youth (The Old Vic), Little Eagles (Royal Shakespeare Company, Hampstead Theatre), and King Lear, As You Like It, Antony and Cleopatra (Royal Shakespeare Company, Roundhouse NY). For television, his credits include The Knick and Madame Secretary. His film credits include Happy Death Day 2U, Summertime, Happy Death Day, and The Girl on the Train.

Oliver Beamish plays Older Billy. His theatre credits include War Horse (New London Theatre), Keane (Apollo Theatre), Buddy (Novello Theatre), Jolson (Victoria Palace Theatre), Blood Brothers (Lyric Theatre), A Midsummer Night's Dream, Henry IV Pt. 1, Camelot (Regents Park Open Air Theatre), Fuente Ovejuna, Ghetto (National Theatre), The Secret Rapture, Julius Caesar, All My Sons (New Vic Theatre) and Hay Fever, Twelfth Night (Queen's Theatre);. His television credits include Coronation Street and The Darling Buds of May

Jimmy Walters directs. His directing credits include The Dog Beneath The Skin (Jermyn Street Theatre), Square Rounds, The Trackers of Oxyrhynchus, A Subject of Scandal and Concern (Finborough Theatre), Mrs Orwell, A Naughty Night with Noel Coward (Old Red Lion Theatre), Julius Caesar (Saatchi Gallery and Chelsea Theatre), and I The Jury (Hen and Chickens Theatre).

Proud Haddock continues to celebrate unearthed stories from classical playwrights. Established in 2014 by Jimmy Walters and James Ahearne; the company has produced 8 London shows including Mrs Orwell, The Trackers of Oxyrhynchus and A Naughty Night with Noel Coward.

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