Local stars bring Wilfred Owen musical to the screen

Dean Sullivan, Dean Johnson and Billy Butler

IN August 2014, to mark the start of the Centenary of World War One, Billy Butler and Dean Sullivan headed the cast of the biggest performance yet of Bullets And Daffodils at New Brighton’s Floral Pavilion.

The Radio Merseyside veteran narrated the show, along with the former Brookside star, who also directed the musical which follows the life of war poet Wilfred Owen from his school days in Birkenhead to his tragic death in the trenches.

The WW1 Centenary performance took place 100 years to the month that Britain entered the War. The whole event was filmed for posterity and cinematic release. It will be screened later this year to mark the end of the Centenary.

“The Floral Pavilion show was also poignant in another way,” explains the writer Dean Johnson, “New Brighton was a favourite haunt of Wilfred and his family. He learnt to swim and horse ride there, so performing so close to where he actually played was very moving.”

Bullets and Daffodils premiered in 2011 at Birkenhead Central Library, and went on to enjoy runs in London’s West End, and was also the subject of a BBC documentary film.

The stage version is returning to Wirral for a farewell performance in November. This will be narrated by Nicholas Ball (star of 70’s TV show Hazell, and now to be seen in Holby City), who will joined by very special guests.

Referring to the very special Floral Pavilion performance, Dean concludes, “I was very proud to be able to have worked with Billy Butler. He is a true legend and the ‘voice’ of Merseyside. Dean Sullivan directed our first shows and it was wonderful that he was back on board for that massive performance. Taking the show around the UK has been amazing, but we always set our hearts on a big Wirral show, and it was an honour to be appearing at the Floral Pavilion to begin the WW1 Centenary years.”

Bullets and Daffodils is at West Kirby Arts Centre on Friday 19th October 2018 at 7.30 pm.
Admission is free but a donation is requested.