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Saturday, 4 October 2014

Preview: Not About Heroes from Blackeyed Theatre



Blackeyed Theatre, in association with South Hill Park presents
Not About Heroes
By Stephen MacDonald

24 October      Middlesbrough Theatre
25 October      The Maltings Theatre, Berwick-upon-Tweed  
26 October      Alnwick Playhouse
3 November     Gala, Durham                
4 November     Pocklington Arts Centre
4 December     Queen’s Hall Arts Centre, Hexham    
5 December     Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal              


In Autumn 2014 Blackeyed Theatre Company tours Stephen MacDonald’s Not About Heroes to over forty theatres across the UK. Marking the centenary of the beginning of The First World War, this major revival of MacDonald’s play, about the poets Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen, performs from 10 September until 6 December 2014.


Photo: Alex Harvey-Brown
Stephen MacDonald's beautifully written play chronicles the unique and deepening friendship that developed between Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen, from their first meeting in 1917 at the Craiglockhart War hospital where both were being treated for 'war neurosis', to their final meeting in August 1918, shortly before Owen's return to active duty.


Photo: Alex Harvey-Brown
Seen through the eyes of the older Sassoon - who is remembering events from fourteen years previously - the play interweaves extracts from their real diaries, letters and poems and suggests that their intensefriendship was key to unlocking Owen's genius as a poet and liberating him as a man. The playwright Stephen MacDonald wanted to understand how this relationship, "could leave such an indelible mark on the literature of their war and so on our understanding of war itself', and hoped that the play "might refresh the memory of who these men were and what it was they had to tell us".


Photo: Alex Harvey-Brown
One hundred years on from the beginning of the First World War, Not About Heroes is both exhilarating and uncompromising in its exploration of love, war and a friendship that changed the face of British poetry. Eliot Giuralarocca directs James Howard, whose credits include the Donmar Warehouse and Royal Shakespeare Company, and Ben Ashton, who has recently worked with the Watermill in Newbury as well as the RSC, in a production that features music composed by Tom Neill, set design by Victoria
Spearing, costume design by Jenny Little and lighting design by Charlotte McClelland.

Director, Eliot Giuralarocca, said The friendship between Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon was forged 100 years ago, in the unique circumstances of the First World War and left us poetry that still burns brightly today. I hope my production of Not About Heroes will give the audience a visceral and sensual theatrical experience that brings their moving story to life”.

On The Web:


Director Eliot Giuralarocca
Composer Tom Neill
Designer Victoria Spearing
Cast: James Howard, Ben Ashton

On Tour:

October                      

6          Roxburgh Theatre, Stowe - 7.30pm                                     01280 818012  
7          Forum Theatre, Malvern - 7pm                                            01684 892277   
8-9        Courtyard Theatre, Hereford - 7.30pm                              01432 340555   
10-11    Queen's Theatre, Barnstaple - 7.30pm                              01271 324242
14 - 15  Layard Theatre, Wimborne - 7.30pm                                 01202 847525   
16         Octagon Theatre, Yeovil - 7.30pm                                     01935 422884   
17 - 18  ConnaughtTheatre, Worthing - 7.30pm (+2pm Sat)       01903 206206   
20         Theatre Royal, Margate - 7.30pm                                      01843 292795   
21 - 22  Playhouse, Norwich - 7.30pm (Tue), 1pm (Wed)             01603 598598   
24         Middlesbrough Theatre - 7.30pm                                      01642 815181  
25         The Maltings Theatre, Berwick-upon-Tweed - 7.30pm    01289 330999   
26         Alnwick Playhouse - 7.30pm                                             01665 510785   
28         Gaiety Theatre, Ayr - 7.30pm                                             01292 288235   
29         Macrobert, Stirling - 7.30pm                                               01786 466666   
30 - 31  Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy - 7.30pm (+10am Fri)    01592 583302   

November                  

1          Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh - 7.30pm                            0131 665 2240  
3          Gala, Durham - 7.30pm                                                      03000 266600   
4          Pocklington Arts Centre - 7.30pm                                     01759 301547   
7-8        The Atkinson, Southport - 7.30pm (+2pm Fri)                   01704 533 333  
10-11    Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton - 7.30pm (+1.30pm Tue) 01902 321321   
12         Cornerstone, Didcot - 7.30pm                                          01235 515144   
13 - 14  Arlington Arts, Newbury - 7.30pm (+1.30pm Fri)             01635 244246  
17         Stahl Theatre, Oundle - 7.45pm                                       01832 273930  
18         Buxton Opera House - 7.30pm                                         0845 127 2190  
19         Stantonbury Theatre, Milton Keynes - 7.30pm                01908 324466   
20         Mansfield Palace Theatre - 7.30pm                                 01623 633133   
21         The Civic, Barnsley - 7.30pm                                             01226 327000   
25 - 27  DevonshirePark, Eastbourne - 7.45pm (+2.30pm Wed)  01323 412000
28         Harrow Arts Centre - 7.30pm                                            020 8416 8989  
29         Trinity Theatre, Tunbridge Wells - 8pm                             01892 678678   

December                  

1-2        Mumford Theatre, Cambridge - 7.30pm                        0845 1962320   
4          Queen’s Hall Arts Centre, Hexham - 7.30pm                 01434 652477   
5          Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal - 8pm                                01539 725133   
6          Stafford Gatehouse Theatre - 7.30pm                            01785 254653   

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