From the screenwriter of Made in Dagenham, we are thrilled to be bringing William Ivory's WWII drama Bomber's Moon to Trafalgar Studios 2 this April for a 5-week run to coincide with the anniversary of VE Day. After its first London run at Park Theatre last year to rave reviews we are Crowdfunding £5,000 to complete our West End transfer budget and bring this touching, funny and heartfelt production to the West End.
About the play
Former RAF gunner Jimmy and his new care assistant David have both been through the wars. Whilst Jimmy is fighting his final battle against old age and infirmity, David is desperately trying to lay his past to rest and build a new future.
As Jimmy's memory increasingly snaps him back to the adrenaline-fuelled terror of his WWII bombing raids, David's new found faith is tested to breaking point.
Funny and touching, Bomber’s Moon is a modern day love story, and an exploration of the true nature of faith.
★ ★ ★ ★
"tender and funny"
★ ★ ★ ★
"performances of great subtlety... one of the funniest and most touching moments to be seen on the current London stage."
★ ★ ★
"A highly accomplished look at faith and wartime memories."
About the Project
Bomber's Moon is a play close to the heart of writer William Ivory, based on memories of his late father's final years and his time serving in Bomber Command. We're thrilled that we will be able to bring this tender and funny play to the West End for the 70th Anniversary of Victory in Europe Day, commemorating the end of WWII across Europe. The play is supported by an incredible cast and team behind the scenes, and we're now seeking the final injection of funding to make the production happen.
William Ivory | Writer
William Ivory was born in Southwell, Notts. After dropping out of the University of London he returned to the East Midlands as a binman, and the area continues to influence his writing. Today he's better known as one of Britain's leading television, theatre and screenplay writers.
Billy's film credits include the screenplay for Made In Dagenham (2010)
Amongst his most loved TV credits are Journey to Knock, (BBC, 1991) and Common as Muck (BBC, 1994-7). More recent Televition credits include Night Flight, (BBC, 2002), A Thing Called Love, (BBC, 2004), Truckers, (BBC 2013) and Women in Love (BBC, 2011) starring Rosamund Pike.
His theatre credits include The Retirement of Tom Stevens, (Lakeside, 2006) and Diary of a Football Nobody (Nottingham Playhouse, 2012).
James Bolam | Jimmy
James Bolam has enjoyed a career that encompasses television, film and theatre. Trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama, Bolam made his professional stage debut at the Royal Court in 1959.
Theatre includes: How to Succeed in Businesss Without Really Trying (Dir Martin Duncan, Chichester Festival Theatre), Semi Detatched (Dir Christopher Morhahan, Chichester Festival Theatre), The Fool And His Money (Nottinghm Playhouse/Birmingham Rep), Wild Oats (Dir Jeremy Sams, Royal National Theatre), Enjoy (Dir Jeremy Sams, Nottingham Playhouse), Glengarry Glenross (Dir Sam Mendes, Donmar Warehouse – nominated for Olivier Award 1995, Best Actor), Jerrey Bernard Is Unwell (Dir Ned Sherrin, Apollo Theatre), Victory! (Dir Matthew Francis - Chichester Festival Theatre), Macbeth (Dir Graham Watkins, Redgrave Theatre, Farnham), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (Birmingham Rep), Cheapside (Dir Ted Craig - Warehouse Theatre, Croydon & Half Moon, London), Run for Your Wife (Dir Ray Cooney, Criterion Theatre) and Arms And The Man (Dir Jonathan Lynne, Cambridge Theatre).
Television: His first television appearance came in an episode of the Granada detective series The Odd Man (ITV, 1963). Since then he has appeared in many popular series which include New Tricks (BBC), Born and Bred (BBC), Close and True (ITV), Pay & Display (BBC), Second Thoughts (LWT), The Beiderbecke Tapes/Affair ( YTV), Only When I Laugh (YTV), When The Boat Comes In (BBC) and The Likely Lads (BBC) and familiar to younger audiences as Grandpa in my Pocket (BBC).
Film includes: A Kind of Loving (dir John Schlesinger, 1962), The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (dir Tony Richardson, 1962), the Miss Marple thriller Murder Most Foul (1964), La Frenais and Clement's Otley (1968) and O Lucky Man! (dir Lindsey Anderson, 1973). Later films include Clockwork Mice (dir Vadim Jean, 1995), Stella Does Tricks (dir Coky Giedroyc, 1996), The End of the Affair (US/Germany, dir Neil Jordan, 1999) and To Kill a King (UK/Germany, dir Mike Barker, 2003).
Steve John Shepherd | David
Steve John Shepherd is known to many as Michael Moon in Eastenders, first coming in to the public eye in the role of Jo in two series of This Life.
Theatre includes: Piaf (dir Jamie Lloyd, Donmar Warehouse & West End), Five Wives of Maurice Pinder (dir Sarah Frankcom National Theatre), Sing Yer Heart Out For The Lads (dir Paul Miller, National Theatre), Original Sin (dir Peter Gill), Twelfth Night (dir Michael Thomas), Dangerous Corner (dir Laurie Sampson).
Television includes: Michael Moon in Eastenders (BBC), Walking The Dead – Care (BBC), Danny in Lunch Monkeys (series 1 & 2, BBC3), Taggart (ITV), On Expenses (BBC), Being Human II (BBC 3), Material Girl (BBC), Plus One (pilot and series, Channel 4), Cold Blood (Granada Television Ltd), Bonkers (Series 1, BBC), Lilies (Series 1, BBC), Daiziel & Pascoe (BBC), New Tricks (BBC), George Kyprainou in Maisie Raine (Series 1 & 2, BBC 1), Jo in This Life (Series 1 & 2, BBC2).
Film includes: Romance (Short), The Best Man, Too Much Too Young, Layer Cake,(dir Matthew Vaughan) Boudicca, Spy Hole (Short), Star Wards Episode II – Attack of the Clones (dir George Lucas), Now You See Her, Me Without You, From Hell, Greenwich Mean Time, Virtually Sexuality, RPM, I Want You (dir Michael Winterbottom).
Matt Aston | Director
Matt has enjoyed a varied career as a freelance director and creative director of Engine House Theatre. Working on plays in Nottingham, London and touring productions throughout the UK, his most recent credits include Engine House productions of Oleanna by David Mamet starring Alistair McGowan and Clare Foster, Red Riding Hood, Beauty and the Beast, Two Little Boys and Flat Stanley (all adapted for the stage by Mike Kenny, Lakeside Arts Centre). As a freelance director Matt directed A Day in the Death of Joe Egg by Peter Nichols, (Nottingham Playhouse); Zero by Chris O’Connell for Theatre Absolute (national tour); Seance on A Sunday Afternoon by Stephen Lowe (Nottingham Lakeside Arts); and Diary of a Football Nobody by William Ivory (Nottingham Playhouse).
His other credits whilst Producer and Programmer at Lakeside Arts include include Krapp’s Last Tape by Samuel Beckett; A Different Way Home by Jimmy Chinn; A Visit From Miss Prothero by Alan Bennett; A Who’s Who of Flapland by David Halliwell; The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde (adapted by Annie Wood); The Retirement of Tom Stevens by William Ivory, The Kiss by Glyn Cannon; Smile by Stephen Lowe; Twinkle Little Star by Phillip Meeks (Co-Production with York Theatre Royal) and Empty Bed Blues by Stephen Lowe.
Why we need your help
Many small and independent production companies struggle to stage plays in the West End due to the high costs. The backing of Crowdfunders means a great deal to us, and helping us to reach our £5,000 target will mean we can cover a significant part of our project budget.
Along with money from private investment, the money that we raise will contribute towards resources to make sure that the production is as good as it can be, and reaches the levels of professionalism expected by our excellent team and venue.
These will include:
- Alterations to the set so that it will fit on to the Trafalgar Studios 2 stage
- Producing marketing materials to promote the play in print and online
- Paying Trafalgar Studios and their staff for the use of their theatre for our 5 week run
- Lighting and sound equipment
How you can help
We appreciate the support of anyone who has taken the time to visit our Crowdfunding page, and would love to reward anyone who can pledge towards our cause with a number of different rewards, including tickets, signed programmes, and exclusive access to Q&As and behind the scenes visits. Here's some more detail about them:
For £10, we are incredibly grateful, and would love to thank you on all our social media platforms.
For £25 you will receive a ticket to a Crowdfunder Specific performance* and a thank you on all our social media platforms and in the Bomber's Moon programme.
If you are able to pledge £50, this means a huge amount to us, and we would love to offer a pair of tickets for you AND a guest to see Bomber's moon at a Crowdfunder specific performance*, as well as a thank you on social media and in our programme.
(* Crowdfunder Specific performances include previews, Mondays and Tuesdays. Some restrictions apply, for more details please see FAQs below)
Pledgers in the £75 bracket will receive two tickets for you AND a guest to join us at an EXCLUSIVE performance in the opening week of the run that will be followed by a Q&A with Bomber's Moon director Matt Aston**. You will also receive a SIGNED copy of our programme at the performance and a complimentary drink for you and your guest in the interval.
(**For specific dates, please see FAQs below)
If you are able to pledge £100 we can't thank you enough. You will of course receive a thank you on all our social media platforms and in our programme as above; but AS WELL AS THIS we would love for you and a guest to join us behind the scenes at our final dress rehearsal*** followed by a Q&A with our director. On top of that, we would love for you to see the finished show, but not just at any performance... You and a guest are invited to join us at EITHER our glittering Press Night on Friday 24th April or our Gala evening on 8th May to commemorate the 70th anniversay of Victory in Europe Day.
(***For specific date, please see FAQs below)
For pledgers in the £250 & £500 bracket we are so grateful, and as well receiving all of the rewards in the £100 bracket, we would also like to offer you signed copies of the production programme, and tickets for your friends and family to also see the show.
(Some dates are subject to availability, please see FAQs below)
Thank you for taking the time to visit our Crowdfunding page
The Bomber's Moon Team
I have pledged £25 or £50 and it says I can attend a 'Crowdfunder specific' performance, and that restrictions apply. What does this mean?
Pledgers in the £25 and £50 bands are welcome at performances of Bomber's Moon on the following dates:
Monday 20th April
Tuesday 21st April
Wednesday 22nd April
Monday 27th April
Tuesday 28th April
Monday 4th May
Tuesday 5th May
Monday 11th May
Tuesday 12th May
All performances start at 7.45pm
I have pledged £75 and it says that some restrictions apply to the performances I can attend. What are the details?
If you have pledged £75 you can attend any of the performances listed above in the £25-£50 bracket as well as the matinee performances listed below:
Thursday 23rd April
Saturday 25th April
Thursday 30th April
Saturday 2nd May
Thursday 7th May
Saturday 9th May
Thursday 14th May
Saturday 16th May
All Matinee performances begin at 3.00pm
I have pledged in the £75 bracket and am invited to an exclusive performance followed by a Q&A with the director. When is this taking place?
The exclusive performances of Bomber's Moon followed by a Q&A with the director in this pledge bracket will be taking place on:
Thursday 23rd April at 3.00pm
Thursday 23rd April at 7.45pm
I have pledged in the £100 bracket and am invited to a Q&A with the director at an open dress rehearsal. When is this taking place?
The open dress rehearsal will be taking place on:
Saturday 18th April at 3.00pm
The open dress rehearsal will take place at Trafalgar Studios 2
Unfortunately this date is fixed and we are not able to make any exceptions.
I have pledged £100 and am told I can attend the Gala Night or Press night with a guest. When are these?
The Press Night will be on Friday 24th April and the VE Commemoration Gala Night will be on 8th May. Unfortunately these dates cannot be moved around individual requirements so we do hope that you can join us at one of these evenings.
The £100 reward includes a pair of tickets to the Press Night OR Gala Night. Unfortunately pledgers cannot attend both.
I have pledged in the £250 and £500 brackets, but it says dates are subject to availability?
Pledgers in the £250 bracket will receive 2 extra tickets for friends and family to anywhere in the run, and pledgers in the £500 bracket will receive 4 extra tickets to anywhere in the run. However, please be aware that there are some performances we already anticipate will be busy, and so are excluded from this offer. These dates are:
Thursday 24th April at 7.00pm
Friday 8th May at 8.00pm
When will I receive my rewards?
Your tickets will be reserved through Engine House Theatre via Crowdfunder and you will be able to pick them up from the box office at Trafalgar Studios. Any signed programmes can be collected at your performance.
What age group is Bomber's Moon appropriate for?
15+. The play does contain strong language and some sexual references.
Are you paying your team?
We are not a charity or community production. We are a professional team working on a play that we believe can go on to be a great success. We hope you think so to, and can help us to get there.
Who is Engine House Theatre?
Engine House Theatre was founded by Director Matt Aston in September 2010 to inspire and challenge audiences through a commitment to produce and tour new work, adaptations and contemporary plays. The company works from an East Midlands base to develop partnerships through co-producing and touring productions regionally and nationally reaching out to audiences of all ages.
To date this has resulted in 3 successful collaborations with the University of Nottingham at Lakeside Arts Centre with Oleanna (2011) starring Alistair McGowan and Claire Foster and new commissions of Red Riding Hood (2011) and Two Little Boys (2012) from award winning children’s writer Mike Kenny. Red Riding Hood enjoyed a 40 date run as the Christmas 2011 production at Nottingham’s Lakeside Arts Centre, followed by a further 28 dates touring the UK in spring 2012 plus 2 week run at Polka Children’s Theatre and two performances as part of the TakeOff Festival at Darlington Civic Theatre and the Gala, Durham.
Two Little Boys premiered at Lakeside Arts Centre on 7 December 2012, immediately followed by the opening a new musical version of Beauty And The Beast at Lawrence Batley Theatre on 13 December 2012. Red Riding Hood ran at Curve Studio from 11 Dec 2013 - 4 Jan 2014, followed by performances at West Yorkshire Playhouse and Polka Theatre in February 2014 and Barnsley Civic Theatre hosted Beauty And The Beast from 16 – 29 December 2013.