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Drama Canadian

Billy Bishop Goes to War 2nd Edition

by (author) John MacLachlan Gray

with Eric Peterson

Initial publish date
Sep 2012
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2012
    List Price

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This revised, updated edition of one of Canada’s most successful and enduring dramas, Billy Bishop Goes to War, includes the original Los Angeles Drama Critics’ Award and Governor General’s Award–winning 1982 musical play, plus the 2010 re-working of the script. In this new edition, the World War I flying ace—credited with seventy-two victories and billed as the top ace in the British Empire—appears in his later years, reflecting on his wartime exploits. Cast of two men.

About the authors

John MacLachlan Gray is a multi-talented artist. As a playwright, composer and theatre director, he has created many acclaimed productions, most notably Billy Bishop Goes to War (1978), which won the Governor General's Literary Award for Drama, was produced on and off Broadway, and was released as a feature film in 2011. As a writer, Gray has authored several books, fiction and non-fiction, including The White Angel (Douglas & McIntyre, 2017) and a series of mystery-thrillers: A Gift For The Little Master (Random House, 2000), The Fiend in Human (St. Martins/Random House, 2004), White Stone Day (Minotaur Books, 2005) and Not Quite Dead (Minotaur Books, 2007). He is an Officer of the Order of Canada. He lives in Vancouver, BC.


John MacLachlan Gray's profile page

Eric Neal Peterson, stage, film and television actor is recognized as one of the early pioneers of the collective theatre movement in Canada during the 1970s. In 1976, he began working with John Gray, a playwright/director and fellow alumnus from Tamahnous Theatre, to create his most critically successful work, Billy Bishop Goes to War, a two-man show (Gray appeared as the narrator and pianist) in which he played more than a dozen characters. He is also recognized for his roles in three major Canadian series – Street Legal, Corner Gas and This is Wonderland.

Eric Peterson's profile page


  • Winner, Jessie Richardson Award: The Sun Readers' Choice Award (Vancouver Playhouse)
  • Winner, Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama
  • Winner, The Floyd S. Chalmers Canadian Play Award

Editorial Reviews

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

“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

Other titles by John MacLachlan Gray

Other titles by Eric Peterson