War story helps us remember

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A wartime epic about love and sacrifice on the Western Front opens at the Wycombe Swan Theatre next month.

In pre-war France, Englishman Stephen Wraysford is embarking on a dangerous affair with his host’s wife.

As the war unfolds he finds himself leading a team of men during the Battle of the Somme.

The story has been adapted from a book by Sebastian Faulks, who has since been asked to sit on the board tasked with marking the centenary of the First World War.

Rachel Wagstaff, who adapted the book for the stage, said: “Birdsong is in an incredibly powerful novel.

“Through the story of Faulks’s fictional characters, we can understand what it might have been like for individuals caught up in this most extraordinary period of world history.

“Given the approaching centenary and the passing away of Harry Patch, the last surviving British army veteran to have fought in the Great War, it seems more important than ever that the courage and sacrifices of those who fought and fell for future generations are not only remembered, but understood.”

Birdsong runs at Wycombe Swan from February 12-16.

For details visit www.wycombeswan.co.uk