EastEnders star Max Bowden to appear in virtual theatre production of Birdsong

EastEnders star Max Bowden as Tipper in Birdsong

Max Bowden takes on a new role a million miles from Walford's Ben Mitchell...

EastEnders star Max Bowden will appear in a virtual theatre production of Sebastian Faulks' Birdsong with fellow soap actor Christopher Harper from Coronation Street.

Max, who is better known to soap fans as Walford's Ben Mitchell, will be appearing in the critically acclaimed production of Birdsong, which has been adapted by Rachel Wagstaff and will be specially staged in costume and with digital scenic designs.

EastEnders Ben Mitchell played by Max Bowden

Max Bowden appeared in Birdsong back in 2015, but these days he is best known to soap fans as EastEnders' Ben Mitchell (Picture: BBC) (Image credit: BBC / Jack Barnes)

From the 1st July you will be able to see Max star as Private Tipper in the stage adaptation of Sebastian Faulk's war story, along with Christopher Harper, who played Coronation Street villain Nathan Curtis.

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Soap fans will remember Christopher, who stars in Birdsong as Levi, was part of Bethany Platt's hard-hitting grooming storyline between 2016 and 2018.

Max first appeared in the stage production of Birdsong back in 2015 before he joined EastEnders.

Birdsong will be streamed online from 1st July, which is the anniversary of the Battle of the Somme.

Max Bowden

Max will star as Private Tipper in the virtual production of Birdsong (Picture: The Original Theatre Company)

The story will be told through live performance, sound design and music, all edited together to create a unique portrayal of one of the nations' favourite love stories.

Max and his fellow cast mates will be in full costume with digitally designed scenes and lighting, making this one of the most ambitious online productions yet.

The virtual performance is taking place in association with The Royal British Legion (opens in new tab), a charity which helps those serving in the British Armed Forces and their families, and a portion of ticket sales will be donated to the worthy cause.

coronation street, nathan curtis

Christopher Harper, who played Coronation Street villain Nathan Curtis, also stars in Birdsong (Picture: ITV) (Image credit: Mark Bruce)

Birdsong tells a mesmerising love story between Englishman Stephen Wraysford and the beautiful Isabelle Azaire which takes place during World War One.

Author Sebastian Faulks said of the virtual production, "This is a great initiative from The Original Theatre Company and technically very ambitious.

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"The adaptation of novel to play continues to evolve and I’m confident it has reached its best incarnation yet.  Some of the best actors in its long life have signed up and it should be enormous fun."

Birdsong will be released online at 7pm on 1st July and will be available for 72 hours. 

Tickets start from £10 and you can pre-order yours at www.birdsongonline.co.uk.

EastEnders is shown on BBC1.

Claire Crick
Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch

Claire is Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch and has been a journalist for over 15 years, writing about everything from soaps and TV to beauty, entertainment, and even the Royal Family. After starting her career at a soap magazine, she ended up staying for 13 years, and over that time she’s pulled pints in the Rovers Return, sung karaoke in the Emmerdale village hall, taken a stroll around Albert Square, and visited Summer Bay Surf Club in sunny Australia. 


After learning some tricks of the trade at websites Digital Spy, Entertainment Daily, and Woman & Home, Claire landed a role at What’s On TV and whattowatch.com writing about all things TV and film, with a particular love for Aussie soaps, Strictly Come Dancing and Bake Off


She’s interviewed everyone from June Brown — AKA Dot Cotton — to Michelle Keegan, swapped cooking tips with baking legend Mary Berry backstage at the NTAs, and danced the night away with soap stars at countless awards bashes. There’s not a lot she doesn’t know about soaps and TV and can be very handy when a soapy question comes up in a pub quiz! 


As well as all things soap-related, Claire also loves running, spa breaks, days out with her kids, and getting lost in a good book.