Staged by Clwyd Theatr Cymru in Mold to commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, Not About Heroes is about the friendship between two of the Great War poets, Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon.
In 1917 both Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon were patients in Craiglockhart Hospital in Edinburgh.
Owen was suffering from shell-shock. Sassoon, a decorated war hero, was now a public dissenter, totally disillusioned by the futility and catastrophic slaughter of the trenches.
Sassoon survived the war. Owen was killed just one week before the Armistice in November 1918.
His mother, back home in Shropshire, received a telegram notifying her of her son’s death just as the church bells were ringing out to celebrate the cessation of hostilities.
Not About Heroes tells of Wilfred Owen’s journey to become a war poet, destined for posthumous greatness, through his relationship with Sassoon, their mutual hatred of war and belief in the power of poetry.
The play is directed by Tim Baker, following his production of Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog, based on the prose writings of Dylan Thomas, last season.
Tim’s adaptation of Sky Hawk by Gill Lewis is currently on tour in Wales, produced by Clwyd Theatr Cymru Theatre for Young People.
Daniel Llewelyn-Williams, a Clwyd Theatr Cymru associate, plays Siegfried Sassoon. His recent work for the company includes the roles of Major Sergius Saranoff in Arms and the Man by Bernard Shaw, directed by Emma Lucia and John Watherstone in the hit Clwyd production of The Winslow Boy by Terence Rattigan, directed by Terry Hands.
Daniel’s own one-man show A Regular Little Houdini is touring in Wales and England until the end of 2015.
Owain Gwynn plays Wilfred Owen. He has appeared as Osvald Alving in the sell-out Clwyd production of Ghosts by Henrik Ibsen this season. In London he has been seen in The Light Princess and War Horse at the National Theatre and Porgy and Bess in Regent’s Park.
Not About Heroes had its première at the Edinburgh Festival in 1982 where it won a Fringe First. It has toured the UK and North America, played in London and New York and been adapted for TV and radio.
Playwright Stephen MacDonald, who died in 2009, was a director, actor and novelist.
The play can be seen in the Emlyn Willims Theatre at Clwyd Theatr Cymru in Mold until November 29. Call 01352 701521 or visit www.clwyd-theatr-cymru.co.uk .