not about heroes

by Stephen MacDonald

Not About Heroes is an intimate play about the most public of issues: war. Through a series of flashbacks, it charts the friendship of Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon from the time of their first public meeting at Craiglockhart War Hospital. It provides a poignant context for their poetry that punctuates the drama and raises a series of questions which remain relevant. Is it more courageous to fight or to lay down arms? How can fighting be for the good of friends and family, when it is friends and family members who are being killed? Is it really better to be a survivor when memories are so painful?

In the play MacDonald gives voice to Owen's thoughts when he writes 'All a poet can do today is warn'. The beauty of Owen and Sassoon's words contradicts the barbarity of the subject matter. Similarly, the quiet evocation of a friendship forged and lost, warns that conflict comes with a price and that war is personal.

2008 marks the 90th anniversary of Wilfred Owen's death. He was killed in action, aged 25, on the Oise-Sambre Canal on the 4th November, 1918, a week before the Armistice and the end of the First World War.

Siegfried Sassoon died in 1967, a week before his 81st birthday.

the crew

  • Chris Warner

    Chris WarnerChris Warner has composed music for over 25 productions since graduating with a First Class degree in music in 1998. From theatre scores, soundtracks, songs and even a full length musical (' the desert that is musical theatre Warner is one to watch' - Time Out Magazine), he has amassed an impressive compositional output. Chris has many years of experience teaching Music Technology and counts Creative Sound Design and Music for the Moving Image as particular areas of specialist interest. Equally as proficient in composition as behind a mixing desk, his range of musical and engineering skills means he is able to meet the demands of the contemporary media industry. In addition to his work as a composer, Chris is also a highly skilled and experienced pianist, and counts performance as an important facet to his career. Chris' composition studio is built around a Mac G5 system running Logic Pro and Propellerhead Reason together with a comprehensive collection of sound libraries and self-programmed material.

  • Yvette Stockwell

    Yvette is the Director of Music at St George's School, Windsor Castle. Born and educated in Cape Town, South Africa, she moved to England to read for a Master's degree in Historical Musicology at King's College, London. She studied composition and orchestration with Peter Klatzow at Cape Town University. In addition to her work with the Choristers of the Queen's Chapel, she directs the Supers' Choir, who have recently appeared at the Royal Albert Hall and in the Windsor Festival. She has trained and performed with student and adult choirs in England, Germany, France and South Africa. Previous composition work includes the score for the production of Julian Mitchell's Francis in Italy: a work inspired by illuminated manuscripts from the Franciscan sanctuary at La Verna. Recent productions as Musical Director include My Fair Lady, Oliver, Oklahoma! and The King and I, at the Farrer Theatre, Eton College. and Gian-Carlo Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors in Windsor.

  • Robert Henderson

    Robert has created the lighting for over 100 drama, musical and dance presentations both in the UK and overseas. During six years as the resident lighting designer at the Haymarket Theatre, Basingstoke, he lit over 50 productions including world and regional premiers such as Brighton Beach Memoirs, A Christmas Truce, and Breaking The Code. Work as a freelance designer includes productions at the Haymarket Leicester, The Westminster Theatre London, Theatre Royal Winchester, The Eye Theatre and dance company Motionhouse. Notable productions include Equus, West Side Story, Death and The Maiden and Talking Heads. Education work includes teaching on the lighting design degree course at Rose Bruford College and involvement in the Shell Connections and Shakespeare For Schools festivals.

  • Philip Crawford

    Philip graduated from Queen's University with a degree in Dentistry. After 5 years in General Practice, he decided to change career and gained a place at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff. There, he completed the post-graduate course in Acting and has since directed over twenty plays including Timberlake Wertenbaker's Our Country's Good, Frank McGuinness's Someone Who'll Watch Over Me and Brian Friel's Translations. He recently directed Dancing at Lughnasa at Blair Academy, New Jersey and has just completed a 2 year project on St Francis of Assisi: directing Julian Mitchell's play Francis in Berkshire and filming an adapted promenade version of the piece in a 1000 year old Abbey near Assisi, in Umbria. Last summer, Philip worked as Assistant Director to Mark Lambert on The Interrogation of Ambrose Fogarty at the Grand Opera House, Belfast.