Leytonstone-based theatre company Woodhouse Players will be showcasing Allies in the Ardennes, a historical play written by author David Flanagan, who has also lived in Leytonstone all his life.

The play will explore the themes of love, loss, war and companionship against the backdrop of a wartime Europe.

In December 1944, Nazi Germany stands on the brink of defeat and launches a desperate surprise attack against the Western Allies through the frozen forests of the Ardennes.

Frank, a British solider, is stranded behind the German advance with his escape looking unlikely. As he reflects on his past to find the strength to fight on a series of unexpected encounters may hold the key to his survival.

David says he has always been interested in the Second World War and was inspired to write the play to show what people are capable of overcoming when faced with impossible situations.

The 31-year-old, who completed a history degree three years ago and is currently studying for a MA in Classics at Birkbeck University, explains why he enjoyed the challenge of writing his first play…

Can you tell readers more about Allies in the Ardennes?

It is set in Belgium towards the end of the Second World War. Lead characters Frank and Jack are two allied soldiers behind enemy lines and the play follows the physical and emotional struggle of escaping and the surprising encounters that can lead to redemption.

What can people expect if they come to the show?

Though it is set in the war, it’s not just a play about the war nor is it just another history lesson. The story is really about the characters and what we as people are capable of overcoming when up against impossible situations.

Why did you want to look at the topic of Allies in the Ardennes?

I have always been interested in the Second World War and how the future hung in the balance over those six years. What interests me more than the politics or battles of the conflict, were the lives of the individuals themselves. The battle of the Bulge was one of the final battles of the war. I decided to set it here because the end of the war was in sight allowing the story to explore the experiences of the war up to that point and the uncertain future that loomed ahead.

Have you covered similar topics like this in other shows or has it been a completely new challenge?

This is the first play I have written so it has been a completely new challenge.

Can you tell readers more about your background in theatre – how did you get into this industry?

I studied theatre at A-Level and have been in a number of productions with Leytonstone-based company The Woodhouse Players, where this play will be performed. I also study acting at Identity school of Acting, in Whitechapel.

Do you come from a creative family?

My brother and sister are both actors and are both involved in this play. My sister Sarah Flanagan is assistant director and my brother plays the part of Jack, an American soldier. My parents are from Ireland and my whole family have been creative - especially musically. Performance definitely runs in the family.

Allies in the Ardennes, Woodhouse Players, Welsh Church Hall, High Road, Leytonstone, E11 1HR, Friday June 2, 8pm, Saturday, June 3, 2.30pm and 8pm, Friday, June 9, 8pm, Saturday, June 10, 2.30pm and 8pm, details: 020 8504 3872, woodhouseplayers.co.uk