Billy Bishop Goes to War - Jermyn Street Theatre

London theatre news: Saturday 22 September 2018

Off-West End - Seasons - Shows

Charles Aitken and Oliver Beamish will star in Proud Haddock's revival of Billy Bishop Goes To War, due at Jermyn Street Theatre from 31 October to 24 November 2018.
Billy Bishop Goes to War at Jermyn Street Theatre

Image: Jermyn Street Theatre

Premiered in Vancouver back in 1978, Billy Bishop Goes to War gets a revival from Proud Haddock as part of their War Season and coinciding with the centenary of the end of World War I.

The show will play as part of Jermyn Street's 'Rebels Season' from 31 October to 24 November.

This striking drama is based upon the true story of young Billy Bishop, a failing military college student who became Canada's indomitable flying ace, 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 - he also plays a further 17 parts as he recounts this extraordinary tale.

Oliver Beamish (Coronation Street, ITV; Blood Brothers, Lyric Theatre; War Horse, The New London Theatre), as the Older Billy Bishop, will also provide the piano and musical accompaniment.

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.

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.

Written by John MacLachlan Gray in collaboration with Eric Peterson, the play returns to London for the first time in over 35 years.

Billy Bishop Goes To War is the deceptively moving and totally gripping account of one man's life in World War I.

Director Jimmy Walters comments ...

"Proud Haddock's War Season continues with Billy Bishop Goes To War.

This is a true story with lots of heart.

Billy wasn't the most academic student, was bullied at school and faced prejudice when he arrived in England during the First World War yet he overcame all of this to become the greatest fighter pilot of his generation.

It's an inspiring story that is a privilege to revive."

About the company

Proud Haddock celebrate unearthed stories from classical playwrights.

Previous productions include Square Rounds (Finborough Theatre), The Dog Beneath the Skin (Jermyn Street Theatre), the sold-out hit Mrs Orwell starring Cressida Bonas and Peter Hamilton-Dyer (Old Red Lion Theatre, Southwark Playhouse) and The Trackers of Oxyrhynchus and A Subject of Scandal and Concern (Finborough Theatre).

Show listing information


Canada 1914.

Billy Bishop signs up to fight in Europe and is soon in a military training camp.

But one day, he spots a single-seater plane circling overhead.

Overcoming intense prejudice and astonishing danger, Billy becomes the most successful fighter pilot of his generation.

A deceptively simple and totally gripping theatrical experience.


Billy Bishop - Charles Aitken

Older Billy Bishop - Oliver Beamish


Author: John MacLachlan Gray in collaboration with Eric Peterson
Director: Jimmy Walters
Designer: Daisy Blower
Musical direction: Adam Gerber
Lighting: Armin Friess
Sound: Dinah Mullen
Production: Jermyn Street Theatre


Jermyn Street Theatre
16b Jermyn Street


From: Wednesday 31 October 2018

Closed: Saturday 24 November 2018


Previews: £15.00

Standard: £30

Concessions: £20 (£10 for under-30s - limited number)

Links for this news item

Show website
ActDrop full listing for Billy Bishop Goes to War

Billy Bishop Goes to War - Wikipedia

Proud Haddock

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