"A [Birdsong] film has nearly been made five times, apparently, since the novel was published in 1993. Instead, we now have a brilliant theatrical filleting by the young playwright Rachel Wagstaff” –Michael Coveney, The Independent
“Moving and stunning…[shows] the futility of war and one man’s search for love and reason” –What’s OnStage
While staying as the guest of a factory owner in pre-First World War France, Stephen Wraysford embarks on a passionate affair with Isabelle, the wife of his host. The affair changes them both for ever. A few years later Stephen finds himself back in the same part of France, but this time as a soldier in the Battle of the Somme, the bloodiest encounter in British military history. As his men die around him, Stephen turns to his enduring love for Isabelle for the strength to continue and to save something for future generations.
For the first time, this beautiful and terrible story about love, courage and the endurance of the human spirit is brought to the stage in a version by Rachel Wagstaff, directed by famed director Trevor Nunn.
Rachel Wagstaff’s adaptation of Sebastian Faulks’ bestselling novel Birdsong was staged at the Comedy Theatre, West End, 2010-11, directed by Sir Trevor Nunn. Rachel’s first play, The Soldier, was staged at the Edinburgh Festival in 2004, receiving five star reviews. Her second play, Night Sky, was staged at the Old Vic, for Index on Censorship. Rachel adapted Sebastian Faulks’ The Girl at the Lion d’Or for a five part series for Radio Four. Her play for Y Touring, Full Time, toured Britain in 2008 and 2009. Only the Brave, a musical for which she has written the book, was staged at the Edinburgh Festival in 2008, and the musical, Moonshadow, which she co-wrote with Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) was previewed at the Royal Albert Hall in 2010.