To coincide with the centenary of the end of World War I, Proud Haddock Theatre Co. is reviving Billy Bishop Goes To War as part of its War Season and Jermyn Street Theatre’s Rebels Season.
This compelling and darkly comic drama interrogates the nature of heroism and its cost while shining a light on the often-neglected complexities of Britain’s colonial past during the War.
The story is based upon the true tale of young Billy Bishop, a failing military college student who became an indomitable flying ace for the Canadian Air Force, and the most successful pilot of his generation.
Billy Bishop Goes To War will star Charles Aitken (The Knick, Cinemax; Happy Death Day, Universal Pictures; King Lear, Royal Shakespeare Company) as Billy Bishop.
Oliver Beamish (Coronation Street, ITV; Blood Brothers, Lyric Theatre; War Horse, The New London Theatre) will play the Older Billy Bishop, who will also provide the piano and musical accompaniment.
Between them they will play a further 17 parts as they recount this extraordinary tale.
In 1914, Billy Bishop, aged only 20, signed up to fight in the Great War. A failing and bullied student, he overcame intense prejudice and astonishing danger to receive his wings and become the top fighter pilot.
Through a combination of bravery and sheer luck, Billy was able to find his place and prove his worth. He became a true Canadian hero.
Brought to life with songs of the period, Billy Bishop Goes To War vividly transports the audience across the landscape of World War I, from the thick mud of No Man’s Land to the drawing rooms of the British aristocracy.
Billy Bishop Goes To War runs at Jermyn Street Theatre, from October 31 – November 24.