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"Not About Heroes"

By Feelgood Theatre Productions


National Tour

8th September - 6th December 2014

...’these poems are not about heroes, my subject is war, and the pity of war; these elegies are to this generation in no sense consolatory. They may be to the next ...!’ 
Wilfred Owen

On this unique occasion of the anniversary of the First World War, award winning Feelgood presents Stephen MacDonald’s extraordinary must see play. It is a timeless and uncompromising exploration of courage, of humanity and a moving celebration of an intense friendship forged through poetry and the power of words overshadowed by a terrible and all-consuming war. 

During the First World War, two of England’s greatest twentieth century war poets met at Craiglockhart War Hospital.  Siegfried Sassoon was a decorated war hero hospitalised after protesting against the continuing war.  Wilfred Owen was a victim of shell shock and accused of cowardice.  Returning to the front, Sassoon was shot in the head but survived.  Owen went on to win the military cross, die in the trenches seven days before Armistice Day and receive posthumous fame as England’s greatest war poet.  Weaving their great poetry, letters, and autobiographical writings this emotionally powerful and often witty play tells the moving story of the friendship that transformed them both. 

“...see it for poetry in action and you will not be disappointed” The Guardian, 2007 tour.

Alongside this great piece of theatre to inspire the next generation and validate the current we present an outstanding community and education programme in parallel with a national poetry competition, ’Whispers of War‘ with our patron JASON ISAACS. 

Whispers of War is an ambitious, nationwide competition to identify and validate the voice of amateur poets drawn from the services and civilian community inspired by the poets of the First World War. 

By building an explicit link between the experiences of the First World War and our experiences today we hope to build bridges of understanding on the issue of peace and conflict.  Whispers of War workshops across the country (and online) aim to create a unique opportunity for civilians and the military community (serving, veterans and families) to work together on a specific project that is relevant and pertinent in order to find the voices of the 21st century to create vibrant new work that is a fitting and lasting commemoration.

Feelgood Theatre Productions’ critically acclaimed production of Not About Heroes first opened in November 2005 at The Imperial War Museum North before transferring to the Cabinet War Rooms in London, followed by a national tour and run in the West End.  Feelgood’s revived production for 2014 began at Craiglockhart and then toured the UK at venues that have a real relevance to the piece as well as major theatres prior to West End in November.

Jason Isaacs
Julie Hesmondhalgh


Manchester's Feelgood Theatre bring home sell-out WW1 play 'Not About Heroes'
September 30, 2014

After a hit premiere in Edinburgh, the national tour of the Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon drama kicked off to a sell out crowd at Craiglockhart War Hospital in London, where the two poets first met during WW1.


The multi-awarding winning Feelgood Theatre Production presents a drama that charts the extraordinary friendship of two men whose poetry became the voice of a lost, scarred generation and a world changed forever. Weaving together their poetry, letters, and autobiographical writings including Anthem for Doomed Youth and Mental Cases, the work celebrates the indomitable spirit of friendship and offers an insight into courage, love and humanity in the face of war.

Composer, Ailis Ni Riain
Designer, Lara Booth
Siegfried Sassoon
Wilfred owen
National Tour
  • Craiglockhart War Hospital, Edinburgh

  • Unitarian Church, Brighton

  • Ripon Cathedral

  • Catterick Garrison

  • Georgian Theatre, Richmond

  • Scarborough Concert Hall

  • Theatr Cymr, Llandudno

  • The Customs House, South Shields

  • Selby Abbey

  • Brecon Theatre

  • The Lowry, Salford Quays

  • Kardomah 94, Hull

  • Unity Theatre, Liverpool

  • Guildhall Theatre, Derby

  • Wilfred owen memorial - Ors, Northern France

  • Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury

  • Trafalgar Studios, London West End

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