Casting: Birdsong starring Ben Barnes
The full cast has been announced for Birdsong at the Comedy Theatre in London.
Rehearsals start today, 9 August, for a new stage adaptation of Sebastian Faulks’ acclaimed novel Birdsong.
The play will starts previews at the Comedy Theatre in London on 18 September, adapted by Rachel Wagstaff and directed by Trevor Nunn.
The cast for the play includes Hollywood star Ben Barnes (Prince Caspian in the Chronicles of Narnia films), Nicholas Farrell (Chariots of Fire, Stuff Happens), Iain Mitchell (La Cage Aux Folles, Edmond), Genevieve O’Reilly (Spooks, The Weir), Lee Ross (Eastenders, The Catherine Tate Show) and Zoe Waites (Mrs Klein, The Other Boleyn Girl).
The moving play recounts the story of a man’s all-consuming love affair, set against the horror of the First World War:
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 (Genevieve O’Reilly), the wife of his host. The affair changes them both 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.
This beautiful and haunting story about love, courage and the endurance of the human spirit will be brought to the stage in a new version by Rachel Wagstaff (The Soldier, Only The Brave) and directed by the multi-award winning Trevor Nunn, whose recent productions include A Little Night Music and Aspects of Love.
Ben Barnes as Stephen Wraysford: Prince Caspian in the Narnia films including the forthcoming The Voyage of the Dawn Treader; Oliver Parker’s Dorian Gray; Stardust; Easy Virtue; Stage credits include Sex, Chips & Rock’n’Roll (Royal Exchange, Manchester), Loving Ophelia (Pleasance, London) and The History Boys (West End, National Theatre).
Nicholas Farrell as René Azaire: Film includes Aubrey Montague in Chariots of Fire; Amazing Grace, Bloody Sunday, Charlotte Gray, and Pearl Harbour, while his television credits include Torchwood, Persuasion, Spooks and Jewel in the Crown. Stage includes David Hare’s Stuff Happens (National Theatre); Kenneth Branagh’s RSC Hamlet; the Old Vic, the Royal Court.
Iain Mitchell’s as Bérard: Stage includes the Menier Chocolate Factory’s La Cage Aux Folles; Stuff Happens, His Dark Materials, Edmond, Mother Clapp’s Molly House, The Invention of Love and The Madness of George III at the National Theatre. Films include The Other Boleyn Girl and The History Boys. TV includes Prime Suspect 7, Poirot and Trial & Retribution.
Genevieve O’Reilly as Isabelle: Sarah Caulfield in Spooks. Film includes Star Wars Episode III – Revenge of The Sith; The Matrix Revolutions and The Matrix Reloaded. Stage includes The Weir (Gate Theatre, Dublin) and Richard II (Old Vic).
Lee Ross as Jack Firebrace: Stage includes Bugsy Malone; The Neighbour (National Theatre); Whipping it Up (West End transfer). TV includes Owen Turner in Eastenders; The Catherine Tate Show; Ashes to Ashes; Life on Mars.
Zoe Waites as Jeanne: Stage includes Thea Sharrock’s Mrs Klein (Almeida; Hedda Gabler (Theatre Royal Bath); Nicholas Nickleby (West End / UK Tour).
Full cast: Ben Barnes, Nicholas Farrell, Iain Mitchell, Genevieve O’Reilly, Lee Ross, Zoe Waites, Owain Arthur, Billy Carter, Florence Hall, Paul Hawkyard, Gregg Lowe, Joe Coen, Jack Hawkins, James Staddon and Annabel Topham.