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Bomber’s Moon

Published 27 April 2015

What’s it all about?

Bomber’s Moon is a moving ‘unlikely friendship story’ following elderly former World War II rear gunner Jimmy, who now barely moves from armchair to commode and back again, and new care worker with his own past David. Through their relationship, it delves into questions of faith, love and forgiveness.

Who’s in it?

Former Likely Lad and New Tricks star James Bolam brings spark and wit to the aging Jimmy, whose mind is sharp(ish) despite his body’s frailties and failures. He effortlessly carries years of prejudice and wisdom in a character who’s faced his fair share of terrors but found a way to survive.

Steve John Shepherd, best known for EastEnders and last seen on stage in the Bush Theatre’s Albion, brings nervous fervour to new boy David, desperate not to fail on his first day, gradually revealing more of a soul tormented for different reasons.

What should I look out for?

Writer William Ivory (Common As Muck, Made In Dagenham) shattering any preconceptions of the polite elderly within a couple of impactful lines. And the lines he continues to deliver to the mouth of Bolam, who gives them the exquisite comic treatment they deserve. Going into the Traf 2, no-one expected that much talk about a particularly inactive body part.

In a nutshell

Poignant, witty, touching and fun, Bomber’s Moon hits the mark with its tale of friendship and faith.

What’s being said on Twitter?

@Joshbeaumont92 Love #Bombersmoon @TrafStudios last night! Fantastic performances and the best design I have seen in #traf2

@SaucepanG  #bombersmoon what a good play! Some old ghosts haunted me too! On my way home listening to a creepy howling noise at the back of my head!

Will I like it?

There is much to enjoy in Bomber’s Moon from the easy chemistry between Bolam and Shepherd to the detail in Laura McEwen’s sheltered housing/care home set and Damian Coldwell’s sound design that draws the audience back to Jimmy’s bombing raids. Ivory’s script is full of irreverent humour as it dances with ideas of love and how we survive trauma. While David’s personal suffering is exposed in dramatic fashion, the piece is often best when dealing with the simple moments of tension and friendship up close and personal in the Trafalgar Studio2.


Bomber’s Moon plays at the Trafalgar Studio 2 until 23 May. You can book tickets through the theatre’s website.


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