It is 1917. Six young men from vastly different backgrounds join the Royal Flying Corp to fight the Germans in the air. William ‘Billy’ Bishop from Canada, Edward ‘Mick’ Mannock, James Mc Cudden, Albert Ball, William Bond and Arthur Rhys – Davids, are all full of brio, optimism and youthful courage.
The play follows their progress via the memoirs and diaries that they kept, the letters they sent home, and the responses they had from their loved ones.
Although they did not all serve in the same squadron at the same time, they all knew, or knew of each other. All were determined to fight for their country, to fly into the clouds and to perhaps encounter the lone German ace Werner Voss, who was universally admired by the men he fought.
Very little is made-up; almost everything in the play happened as described and is based on their own recorded experiences and memories, often written down just after the events they described while their aero – engines were still clinking as they cooled down.
Performances on 19 & 20 October take place at St John the Evangelist Church, Canton, Cardiff