Award-winning actor Max Bowden, best known for the roles of Ben Mitchell in EastEnders and Justin Fitzgerald in Waterloo Road, will star as Jack Firebrace in Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks’s epic story of love and loss, when it arrives at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre from February 11 to February 15, 2025.

The critically acclaimed show, based on the international best-selling novel and adapted by Rachel Wagstaff and directed by Alastair Whatley, tells the story of one man’s journey through an all-consuming love affair and into the horror of the First World War.

Max Bowden said: “I’m so excited to be collaborating with Original Theatre on a project close to my heart. Birdsong highlights the tragedy of war, yet the beauty of humanity simultaneously through strong relationships under extreme circumstances, and I can’t wait to bring Jack Firebrace to life under their guidance.”

Alastair Whatley, Director of Birdsong and Artistic Director of Original Theatre, said “Max joined us to play the character of Tipper, a young soldier, in the 2016 tour of Birdsong and now the best part of a decade later returns to play the wonderful role of Jack Firebrace. I cannot wait to get back in the rehearsal room with Max to explore one of Sebastian’s most unforgettable characters.”

In pre-war France, a young Englishman, Stephen Wraysford, embarks on a passionate and dangerous affair with the beautiful Isabelle Azaire that turns their world upside down. As the war breaks out over the idyll of his former life, Stephen must lead his men through the carnage of the Battle of the Somme and through the sprawling tunnels that lie deep underground. Faced with the unprecedented horror of the war Stephen clings to the memory of Isabelle as his world explodes around him.

Birdsong, a mesmerising story of love and courage, is produced by the award-winning Original Theatre, who presented the smash hit productions of The Mirror Crack’d by Agatha Christie, Murder in the Dark, The Habit of Art and The Interview and Joshua Andrews and Stuart Galbraith of JAS Theatricals, whose current projects include Hadestown in the West End and a major UK tour of Cluedo 2.

The show will be heading to Aylesbury waterside Theatre from February 11 to Febraury 15, 2025. More details at

The producers of Birdsong are working in partnership with the Royal British Legion, and have this week released a special recording of I Would That The Wars They Were Over performed by Max Bowden and James Findlay in commemoration of the anniversary of the Battle of the Somme. Proceeds from the single’s streaming will be donated to the charity. The song video can be downloaded here. I Would That All The Wars They Were Over is now available to stream across all major digital music platforms including iTunes and Spotify, as well as Hear Now.