Birdsong Actors Explored WW1 Tunnels

Posted on centenarynews.com on 02 February 2012
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It has been reported that the two main actors in the BBC's adaptation of 'Bridsong' visited the real-life tunnels of La Boisselle in France before filming started in Hungary.  Eddie Redmayne and Joseph Mawle, who play Stephen Raysford and Jack Firebrace in the two-part series, were given a tour of the tunnels by the La Boisselle Study Group.

The following is taken from LBSG's website:

"LBSG member Peter Barton was Historical Consultant for the production. Because much of the film’s action takes place on the Somme battlefields (Beaumont Hamel) he invited the producers to visit La Boisselle to gain an understanding of the environment and conditions faced by tunnellers working beneath the Picardy battlefields. 

On Eddie and Joseph’s arrival the nature of surface and subterranean warfare at the Glory Hole was explained.  Trenches were flagged out, and shafts and inclines marked. Guided by Peter, they then went underground through the crown hole that gave access to the 1915 X Incline.

We were delighted to show the actors the site and explain some of the difficulties and dangers endured by the tunnellers. The visit was filmed by LBSG member Mike Fox BSC; some of this footage may appear on the Birdsong DVD."

To read the original article, click here.

To view a BBC video of La Boisselle's tunnels on Centenary News, click here.

Images courtesy LBSG website and BBC website.