A MUSICAL about the life of tragic First World War poet Wilfred Owen heads to London's West End later this year. Written by Oxton-based musician Dean Johnson, Bullets and Daffodils chronicles the life of one-time Wirral resident Wilfred, who was killed in action at the end of the First World War.
The play, which deals with his life before and during the conflict, will be staged at the Jermyn Street Theatre near Covent Garden in July.
For anyone unable to make it to London, there will be a preview of the full production at Fort Perch Rock in New Brighton on June 9.
X-Factor and Eton Road star Danny Morris stars as the doomed poet who spent is formative years in Birkenhead.
Danny is joined by the rising star of the Wirral acting scene Chloe Torpey who has been described as the next 'Glenda Jackson'.
The production explores Wilfred's relationship with his mother through his letters, poetry and his life's events.
A lifelong fan of Wilfred's work, Dean attended the same school as the poet. The play has two characters, Wilfred and his mother Susan. It is set in a Victorian sitting room.
The dialogue is interspersed with songs written and performed by Dean. The play has the full support of the Wilfred Owen Association.
It also features actor Christopher Timothy - who appeared in classic BBC drama All Creatures Great And Small - as the narrator.
Looking forward to taking the show to the West End, Dean told the Globe: "It's development has been really fast and I'm delighted that we’ve made it to London.
"Jermyn Street is quite an intimate theatre, which is very well known for staging premieres, so to have the chance to appear there is a huge honour."
The original production premiered in Birkenhead Central Library in 2010 and has since been staged at a number of Wirral venues.
A host of well known actors including ex-Brookside actor Dean Sullivan and Hoylake-based writer/producer John Gorman have appeared in the show.
But, as Dean Johnson explained, the West End show promises some changes. He said: "The production is almost unrecognisable from how it was in the early days.
"There's a lot more choreography, by local dancer Charlotte Roberts, which gives the songs a real physicality."
Born in Oswestry in 1893, Wilfred 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.
The performance at Fort Perch Rock on June 9 starts at 7.30pm. Tickets are from the Floral Pavilion box office on 666 0000.