WWI soldier poet Wilfred Owen will return to Wimbledon in musical Bullets and Daffodils at the New Wimbledon Theatre

Portrait of Wilfred Owen, by his uncle John Gunstun

Portrait of Wilfred Owen, by his uncle John Gunstun

First published in News
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This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

War poet and soldier, Wilfred Owen, spent his holidays with family in Wimbledon, the composer of a musical celebrating his life has revealed.

Bullets and Daffodils, by Dean Johnson, sets many of Owen's most famous poems to contemporary music, narrated by the WWI writer and soldier Siegfried Sassoon.

The forthcoming production, which will appear at the New Wimbledon Theatre on Monday, June 9 and Tuesday, June 10, is timed to commemorate the centenary of WWI.

Mr Johnson, who composed the bio-musical, was amazed to discover Wimbledon had been an old haunt of Owen's while he was researching for the show.

He 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 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."

Siegfried Sassoon will be played by Mark Reed, son of Oliver Reed, another prominent Wimbledon family.

Mr Johnson said: "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."

Bullets and Daffodils; New Wimbledon Theatre, 93 The Broadway; Monday, June 9 and Tuesday, June 10; £13.20; atgtickets.com

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