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Sebastian Faulks�s 1993 novel is one of Britain�s best-loved books. It has sold more than two million copies in the United Kingdom and more than three million worldwide; and still regularly appears in the best-seller lists.

In September 2010 a stage version by Rachel Wagstaff, directed by Trevor Nunn, will open at the Comedy Theatre, London running until January 2011. This will be the first stage production of one of Faulks�s works and has been developed by the playwright Rachel Wagstaff whose previous work has included The Soldier and Only The Brave. Wagstaff is a participant of Old Vic New Voices and her work has been performed at the annual 24 Hour Plays. She has previously adapted Faulks�s The Girl at Lion d�Or for BBC Radio 4. The play tells the story of one man�s journey through an all-consuming love affair and into the horror of the First World War:

While staying as the guest of a factory owner in pre-First World War France, Stephen Wraysford embarks on a passionate affair with Isabelle, the wife of his host. The affair changes them both for ever. 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.

For the first time, this beautiful and terrible story about love, courage and the endurance of the human spirit is brought to the stage in a version by Rachel Wagstaff.

The world premiere of this production is directed by Trevor Nunn.

Casting will be announced soon.

www.birdsongtheplay.co.uk Box Office: 0844 871 2118 Public on-sale: Friday 28 May 2010

Sebastian Faulks Author (novel)
Sebastian Faulks is one of Britain's best-loved novelists. Birdsong is regularly voted one of the country's favourite novels and is widely taught in schools and universities. His 2005 novel Human Traces was described by Sir Trevor Nunn in The Independent as 'a masterpiece of this or any other century'. Faulks was appointed CBE for services to Literature in 2002 and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. His other novels include Charlotte Gray (filmed with Cate Blanchett in the title role) and most recently the controversial A Week in December, currently in development as a Channel 4 mini-series. He is a regular panellist on the BBC Radio 4 quiz show The Write Stuff and has just completed a four-part series about characters in novels for BBC 2 called Faulks on Fiction, due to be shown in January 2011. In 2008, at the invitation of the Fleming family, he wrote Devil May Care, a new James Bond novel, to celebrate the centenary of Ian Fleming's birth. Faulks was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Tavistock Clinic for his contribution to the understanding of psychiatry in Human Traces and is an Honorary Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge.

Rachel Wagstaff Author (play)
Rachel Wagstaff recently adapted Sebastian Faulks� novel The Girl at the Lion D�or for BBC Radio 4 as a five-part series for Woman�s Hour. She is currently working on a full-length musical of Only the Brave, the smash-hit from the Edinburgh Festival 2008, and co-writing the musical Moonshadow with Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens). Rachel's first play, The Soldier, received five-star reviews at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2004, before a sell-out transfer to RADA. Her second play, Night Sky, was performed in 2005 at the Old Vic for Index on Censorship, starring Christopher Eccleston, Saffron Burrows, David Warner and David Baddiel. Rachel adapted Paulo Coehlo's Veronika Decides to Die for the Hobbs Factory, which transferred to the Arcola, as part of their Shortcuts Festival. Her play for Y Touring, Full Time, toured in 2007 and 2008, and she is currently commissioned to write a new play for them, inspired by Susie Orbach�s book Bodies.

Trevor Nunn Director
From 1968 to 1986 he was the longest-serving Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the RSC. During that time he directed most of the Shakespeare canon, as well as Nicholas Nickleby (5 Tony Awards) and Les Mis�rables, the longest-running musical in the world. He recently returned to the RSC to direct King Lear and The Seagull. From 1997 to 2003 he was director of the National Theatre, where his 21 productions included award-winning revivals of Troilus and Cressida, The Merchant of Venice, Summerfolk and The Cherry Orchard, as well as Oklahoma!, My Fair Lady, and Anything Goes. He has directed the world premieres of Arcadia, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, The Coast of Utopia and Rock �n� Roll by Tom Stoppard, and of Cats, Starlight Express, Aspects of Love, Sunset Boulevard and The Woman in White by Andrew Lloyd Webber. More recent theatre work includes Hamlet, Richard II (Old Vic); Timon of Athens, Skellig (Young Vic); The Lady From the Sea (Almeida); Scenes from a Marriage (Belgrade, Coventry); A Little Night Music (Menier Chocolate Factory, West End and Broadway); Cyrano de Bergerac (Chichester Festival Theatre), and Inherit the Wind (Old Vic). Opera includes Idomeneo, Porgy and Bess, Cosi Fan Tutte, Peter Grimes (Glyndebourne); Katya Kabanova, and Sophie�s Choice (Royal Opera House). Television includes Antony and Cleopatra, The Comedy of Errors, Macbeth, Three Sisters, Othello and King Lear. Film includes Hedda, Lady Jane and Twelfth Night.

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