Casting announced for Birdsong

Salisbury Journal: George Banks and Coroline Stoltz in Birdsong George Banks and Coroline Stoltz in Birdsong

CASTING has been announced for the 2014 national tour of Rachel Wagstaff’s stage play Birdsong, adapted from the novel by Sebastian Faulks, which will come to Salisbury Playhouse in March.

Peter Duncan will be taking the role of Jack Firebrace.

Although perhaps best known for his time as a Blue Peter presenter, Duncan began his acting career in the 1970s when he joined the National Theatre.

His recent theatre credits include Denry Machin in The Card (for which he received an Olivier nomination for Best Actor in a Musical) and Alan Ayckbourn’s Things We Do For Love.

Duncan will be playing the role of Jack Firebrace in Birdsong.

George Banks, whose previous theatre credits include the tour of The History Boys and Hobson’s Choice at the Sheffield Crucible, and Carolin Stoltz, known for her roles in Sky 1’s The Café, Emmerdale and The Inbetweeners Movie, will play the romantic leads of Stephen Wraysford and Isabelle Azaire.

Also in the cast will be Jonny Clarke (Bart McQueen in Hollyoaks), Selma Brook (Brigitte Rousselot in The Tudors), Malcolm James (who appeared at Salisbury Playhouse in The Lady in the Van), James Staddon, Simon Lloyd and Lucy Grattan.

In pre-First World War France, a young Englishman, Stephen Wraysford, embarks on a passionate and dangerous affair with the beautiful Isabelle Azaire, which turns their worlds upside down.

As war breaks out, Stephen must lead his men through the carnage of the Battle of the Somme and through the sprawling tunnels that lie deep underground.

Faced with the unprecedented horror of the war, Stephen clings to the memory of Isabelle and the idyll of his former life as his world explodes around him.

The 2013 tour of Birdsong was hugely successful and critically acclaimed.

Faulks is thrilled the show is being remounted for 2014, the year that will mark 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War.

He said: “Both Rachel and I want this to be the definitive version of Birdsong on stage. The audience watch it and think ‘thank God I have never undergone all of this’. These experiences are far outside the lives of most people but there is something about the way the production works which makes people identify and think ‘it could be me’.”

The tour of Birdsong will continue to support Help for Heroes, after raising over £50,000 through collections and events on the 2013 tour.

* Birdsong plays at Salisbury Playhouse from March 3 to 8. Contact the box office on 01722 320333 or visit



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