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 as April, accompanied by her two guests Pam and Tom, 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, 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 total 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 we provide vital support for emerging artists to create new work within the building. Omnibus is a current recipient of the Peter Brook/Royal Court Theatre Support Award. Notable in-house productions include Woyzeck (2013), Macbeth (2014), Colour (2015) and last year’s hit Mule, which was featured as one of The Guardian’s Edinburgh Fringe picks and received 5-stars from The Stage. This is Omnibus’ fifth production since opening three years ago. A registered charity, Omnibus is led by Artistic Director Marie McCarthy. Patrons include Sir Michael Gambon, Matthew Warchus and Sir Richard Eyre.

Need to Know:

Spring Offensive

Omnibus, 1 Clapham Common Northside, SW4 0QW

Tuesday 18th April – Sunday 30th April

Tickets: £15 (£12)