Bio-Musical Will Follow In Wilfred Owen's Footsteps

World War I poet spent summers in Wimbledon

A bio-musical appearing in Wimbledon this summer will be following in the footsteps of Wilfred Owen.

World War I poet Owen, spent summers in Wimbledon, where his uncle John was a successful butcher.

The production of 'Bullets And Daffodils', celebrating his short life, appears at the New Wimbledon Theatre on June 9 and 10.

It will be narrated by the voice of Mark Reed, himself a member of a notable Wimbledon family (he is the son of Oliver Reed).

Dean Johnson, who wrote the bio-musical, said he was amazed to discover Wimbledon had been an old haunt of Wilfred's.

Dean said: "Owen and myself share a Birkenhead education, and even attended the same school, but Wimbledon was another touchstone in his short life.

"His relatives, the Gunstuns, had a large house in Clement Road, Wimbledon, and Wilfred spent many Christmases there. His Uncle John was a very successful butcher and also had a passion for photography. He is responsible for some of the most iconic portraits of Wilfred ever taken (see the picture on the top right).

"Summers were spent with Owen and his favourite cousin Leslie playing soldiers on the common, where they would sometimes catch a glimpse of the poet Robert Graves, another resident of the town, who found fame as a War poet.

"Coming to perform here in the summer will feel like following in Wilfred's footsteps. Just as he made the journey from Birkenhead, we will do the same and bring his timeless verse with us to where some of it may have been inspired."

April 1, 2014

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Wilfred Owen

Mark Reed

When Centre Court fell silent as war stopped play