Where: Omnibus, 1 Clapham Common Northside, London SW4 0QW
£: Tickets cost £15 and £12 for concessions
What is it?
Spring Offensive is a dark comedy about war, lost boys and fighting for survival, on at the Omnibus in Clapham this April.
Welcome to the best Bed & Breakfast on the Somme…
Expat April runs a quality establishment on the site of some of the bloodiest battles of the First World War. Death surrounds it. And sheep, lots of sheep.
There’s dinner to be served and history to pay tribute to. The guests are coming, the sheep are closing in. The table is set for an evening they’ll all remember.
This Easter, step into Omnibus to find the theatre entirely transformed, the audience sit as if inside the dining room of April’s Bed & Breakfast, in the midst of a surreal world where the action takes place over one Spring evening. Watch April, accompanied by her two guests Pam and Tom, as she prepares for the imminent arrival of a band of young men looking for a place to stay.
We learn of Pam’s search for the grave of her great-grandfather and her love of taking photographs of cemeteries. We learn of Tom’s love of the army and his job as a peddler of helmet-shaped chocolates. And, we watch April, a sixty-year old woman still wanting excitement, attention and vitality, at the very age when she is deemed invisible.
Spring Offensive takes a wry look at the First World War tourism industry and those making a buck from it. The soldiers’ DNA still lies in the soil, which to this day spews out shells and shrapnel.
Inspired by her trips to the WW1 sites dotted across the Western Front, Victoria Willing was struck by the atmosphere and sparseness of the countryside, and how one hundred years had not been long enough to cover up the nightmare of warfare. She felt moved to write about the legacy of war through a character-driven narrative, which in the aftermath of some of the more traditional commemorations of the centenary of WW1, seeks to tell the story of a pivotal moment in history in a different way.
Omnibus is a theatre housed in an old Victorian library in South London. Inspired by the building’s literary heritage, they provide vital support for emerging artists to create new work within the building. This is Omnibus’ fifth production since opening three years ago.
Victoria Willing grew up in London and Portugal. She staged her first play aged 14 (whilst attending the Anna Scher children’s theatre), starring a 13-year-old Martin Kemp.
More info: omnibus-clapham.org