Billy Bishop Goes to War ranks as one of Canada’s most successful and endearing musical dramas in history. The Governor General’s Award-winning musical documents the glorious World War I exploits of Canadian flying ace Billy Bishop.
John Gray is the author of a novel, many magazine articles, and several stage musicals, a book on tattoos, Lost in North America: The Imaginary Canadian in the American Dream (1994), Local Boy Makes Good (1987) and the internationally acclaimed Billy Bishop Goes to War (1982) with Eric Peterson. He has contributed sixty-five satirical pieces for The Journal on CBC Television, and is a frequent speaker on cultural issues. Among his many awards are the Governor General’s Award, the Canadian Authors Association Award and the National Magazine Award.
?Billy Bishop is a high-flying ace of a show, capturing the humour, the hellfire and the derring-do of an extraordinary career ? The score is filled with vintage replicas of the kind of songs that sent men rushing in?and out?of battle. There are martial airs, barracksroom ditties, Kiplingesque tunes of glory, Gilbert and Sullivan-like patter songs and also a bitter brew of Brecht-Weill.”
? New York Times
?Billy Bishop Goes to War is a delightful?and cunningly wrought?work of art.”
? New Yorker
?A landmark of the Canadian theatre ? John Gray’s success with Billy Bishop lies in the universality of the human individual?a universality that works precisely because Gray has kept the show on one-individual terms. He creates and deflates the hero myth in the same gesture.”
? Vancouver Sun