If you are visiting Montreal and not sure what to do after dinner, this iconic, Governor General’s Award-winning play is a must. Held at the Segal Centre, one of Montreal’s finest English theatres, from February 13 to March 6, Billy Bishop Goes to War is a heart-warming, wartime classic…
Written, composed and performed by John Gray with Eric Peterson, the piece has played to critical acclaim in sold-out houses across the country. The story is classic. This latest revival finds Peterson’s Bishop as an old man rummaging through memories, reflecting on the choices and events that have shaped him. William Avery “Billy” Bishop was a trouble-maker and military academy failure who went on to become a legendary WWI flying ace, darling of the British Empire and colonial hero. Inspired partly by Bishop’s memoir Winged Warfare, John Gray wrote the play as an intimate first-person reflection of Bishop’s wartime rise. Eric Peterson stars as Bishop and over a dozen other characters with Gray as his piano-playing sidekick.
In the 33 years since its premiere, Billy Bishop has played every major theatre in Canada, toured worldwide, including on and off Broadway and London’s West End and won numerous awards, among them the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle award. The play’s poignancy and staying power stems from Gray and Peterson’s heartfelt storytelling, keen exploration of personal and cultural identity and the meaning of survival through the lens of war. Funny and moving, Gray and Peterson’s portrait of Bishop is not simply a story of an unlikely hero in one of the world’s bloodiest wars, but a story of survival in all its forms.
Billy Bishop Goes to War is presented in association with the Montreal High Lights Festival.
(Tip: On Monday nights following the play, some of the actors and designers will remain on stage to take questions from the audience – an intimate opportunity for audiences to engage up close and personal with the professionals.)
Billy Bishop Goes to War, February 13 – March 6, 2011
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