British film star Ben Barnes has signed up for a stage adaptation of Sebastian Faulk’s acclaimed book Birdsong.
Running from 18 September at the Comedy Theatre, following current show La Bete, Birdsong is the harrowing First World War drama about one man’s journey through an all-consuming love affair and the brutality of the Great War.
The play will be directed by Trevor Nunn, following his current project directing Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Aspects of Love at the Menier Chocolate Factory.
Ben Barnes is best known for playing Prince Caspian in the Chronicles Of Narnia films, with the third instalment, The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader directed by Michael Apted, to be released at the end of the year. Barnes is an experienced stage performer having appeared in The History Boys, both at the National Theatre and in the West End, where he controversially pulled out of performances in order to take on the role of Prince Caspian in the Narnia films.
He has also appeared in Loving Ophelia at the Pleasance theatre, and other screen roles include Stardust, Bigga Than Ben and Dorian Gray.
Faulks’ novel, which has sold over two million copies in the UK, l has been adapted for the stage by Rachel Wagstaff.
While staying as the guest of a factory owner in pre-First World War France, Stephen Wraysford (Ben Barnes) embarks on a passionate affair with Isabelle, the wife of his host, changing both their lives forever. A few years later Stephen finds himself back in the same part of France, but this time as a soldier at 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.