Number 60 to the Somme, a play with music celebrating the ‘only and best’ B-Type London bus by Greg Mosse and Carol Godsmark, has its world premiere at Riverside Theatre, Chichester College, West Sussex, on 3rd November and runs until 7th November.
Based on a storyline from Carol Godsmark’s novel, Ghost Army, Number 60 to the Somme tells the story of a London double decker bus driver who, against his family’s wishes, enlists to drive his bus to the front during World War I.
The Great War was an extraordinary mobilisation of men, women, animals and machines. The B-Type bus – open-topped, steel-wheeled, solid, and dependable – was dispatched in huge numbers to serve in Belgium and France. The vehicles became troop transports, mobile hospitals and pigeon lofts; they were put to any and every perilous use on the rough roads and tracks. This unknown story is brought to life by Chichester Community Theatre with bus driver Jim Swift played by Brighton-based actor Ben Cassan under the direction of Roger Redfarn.
Winston Churchill Fellow Roger Redfarn has a professional career boasting 22 London productions including Dad’s Army with the original cast, Barry Manilow’s world premiere of Copacabana and What a Performance with David Suchet plus Chichester Festival Theatre’s Underneath the Arches and Song of Singapore. Roger was also responsible for national tours as well as productions in America, Australia, Canada, the Far East and Europe. He was the artistic director of the Theatre Royal Plymouth for 10 years, Cameron Macintosh commenting: “There is no other theatre in the country that has the range of high quality theatre across its stages than this city enjoys.”
Greg Mosse is a creative writing teacher and author. Carol Godsmark is a journalist and author. Both live in Chichester and will be in conversation with Roger about the play’s research and writing on 4 November, 6.30 pm, prior to that evening’s performance.
Katy of Chichester Copywriter will be going along to the play on Wednesday 4th November and she hopes to see you there! You can purchase tickets priced £12/£10 here. For interviews (director, actor, co-authors) and photography email Carol or call: 01243 538810 or 0771 7777 478.