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Sunday, 10 June 2012

Review: Bullets & Daffodils at Fort Perch Rock, New Brighton

The clouds cleared and it was a fine evening for our first visit to Fort Perch Rock, the former Battery in New Brighton, Wirral.  We were there for the pre-London performance of “Bullets and Daffodils”, the musical drama about the life and works of Wilfred Owen, the World War One Poet.

This performance was very special indeed as it was held in the cellar of Fort Perch Rock and created an atmosphere that recalled Owen’s last letter to his Mother, written from the cellar of La Maison Forestiere near Ors, France.

Dean Johnson has worked extremely hard to bring Wilfred Owen to life through the eyes of Owen’s Mother, Susan.  With original music written and performed by Johnson interwoven with Owen’s own words, the Owen Family’s change in circumstance, move to Birkenhead, then to Shropshire, followed by Owen’s life in France and during World War One, comes to life before our eyes.   There were truly magnificent performances from the cast – Chloe Torpey very convincing as Susan Owen, an outstanding rendition of the poem “Dulce et Decorum Est” by Phil Gwilliam (surely this is how Owen intended it), thought-provoking “body Poetry” choreographed and performed by Charlotte Roberts, a recorded narration by Christopher Timothy, songs and music by Dean Johnson on guitar, a beautiful version of “I would fight for you” and inspired direction by Janet Holmes.

The mood felt very authentic - from where I was sitting one of the light fittings actually looked like a Zeppelin appearing grey and menacing on the horizon – and all in all this was a very moving experience indeed.

The drama is to be performed in London on 29th July at the Jermyn Street Theatre in the West End.  Other events are planned, including a walk in Meols on 25th August (booking essential), 2nd October The Falstaff Experience, Stratford Upon Avon, 17th October Heswall Arts Festival, 18th October Ace Centre, Nelson.

For more information about the show - and more tour dates, go to: