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Devastating effects of war examined in new Wilfred Owen musical
THE devastating effects of war on families are examined in a new musical about tragic First World War poet Wilfred Owen.
Vilomah will be premiered at the Lantern Theatre in Blundell Street, Liverpool, on March 6 and 7.
Written by Dean Johnson, it is the sequel to his hugely successful Wilfred Owen musical Bullets And Daffodils.
Set after the First World War, it looks at the effect Owen's death had on his mother Susan, played by newcomer Jodie Forshaw.
The show also features Liverpool actor and musician Davy Edge as narrator.
Liverpool-born Davy starred in the original cast of Blood Brothers with Barbara Dickson and went on to feature in the comedy Brick Up The Mersey Tunnel, staged at the Royal Court.
Davy, who now teaches acting, has a lifetime love of Owen's work and was tempted back to the stage by the power of Wilfred's poetry, which features as songs in the piece.
Born in Oswestry in 1893, Wilfred Owen was brought up in Birkenhead and is recognised as one of the greatest voices of the First World War.
He also has a road named after him, on the former site of Birkenhead Institute, which is now a housing estate.
In 1915, he enlisted in the British Army and was killed, aged 25, on November 4, 1918, during the battle to cross the Sambre-Oise canal at Ors in Northern France.
At the time of his death he was virtually unknown.
Only four of his poems were published during his lifetime. But he had always been determined to be a poet and had experimented with verse from an early age.
Among his 62 poems are 1914, Dulce et decorum est and Anthem For Doomed Youth.
Oxton-based writer Dean Johnson told the Globe: "I've been doing Bullets and Daffodils for three years now.
"What initially was a concept of setting his poems to music has grown beyond that.
"The pivotal thing is the war affects familes left at home. Vilomah pulls Bullets and Daffodils in and makes it a much more personal piece.
"Every memorial day there are families who have lost someone through conflict. Vilomah is for them.
"When soldiers go to war, their families are left at home.
"Bullets And Daffodils featured some very high profile names such as Dean Sullivan and John Gorman.
"Willy Russell saw Davy's potential very early on in his career, and cast him in many great roles.
"It is amazing that Davy has agreed to narrate my new production."
The voices of Christopher Timothy and Oliver Reed's son Mark also feature, and the script contains contributions from Dr Who writer David Quantick.
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