Not About Heroes is a play by Stephen MacDonald, about the meeting between Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon at Craiglockhart Hospital in June 1917. Sassoon had been sent there after writing a public letter denouncing the war, while Owen had been sent there suffering from shell shock. The meeting between these poets changed both of them profoundly, deeply affecting their writing.
This production by Tread the Boards Theatre Company, at the Attic Theatre, Stratford upon Avon, has been directed by Michael Rolfe. It is a simple but powerful piece, exploring the characters of both poets. Owen, played by James Tanton, is in awe of Sassoon’s bravery in the trenches and his published poetry; Sassoon, played by John-Robert Partridge in 1917 and Michael Rolfe when older, is aware of the younger poet’s profound talent and feels hugely guilty at surviving the war when Owen was killed.
This is an excellent production of a very good play, deeply moving, and timed perfectly to coincide with the anniversary of World War I.