PREVIEW: Birdsong, Durham Gala theatre

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THE cast who will bring to life the classic novel Birdsong in Durham has been announced.

Peter Duncan, George Banks and Caroline Stoltz will be heading the cast of the 2014 national tour of Rachel Wagstaff’s stage play Birdsong, adapted from the novel by Sebastian Faulks, which will be at Gala Theatre, Durham, from March 10-15.

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

He will be playing the role of Jack Firebrace.

George Banks, whose previous theatre credits include the tour of The History Boys and Hobson’s Choice at the Sheffield Crucible, and Caroline 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, James Staddon, Simon Lloyd and Lucy Grattan.

Birdsong is set in pre-war France when a young Englishman, Stephen Wraysford, embarks on a passionate and dangerous affair with the beautiful Isabelle Azaire that turns their worlds upside down.

As the 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.

Tickets for Birdsong are £25 or £23 concessions. They are available from the Durham Gala box office on Tel. 03000 266600.