Stage Door News

Cambridge: Casting announced for “Billy Bishop Goes to War” in St. Jacobs

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Happy Birthday Billy Bishop! Canadian WWI flying ace William Avery Bishop was born 126 years ago today on February 8, 1894. His incredible life story comes alive on stage at the intimate St. Jacobs Schoolhouse Theatre for three weeks only from April 8 to April 26. Although it is usually only open in the fall, this quaint 100-seat venue in the heart of St. Jacobs village will be open this spring for this exciting musical memoir.

Winner of the Governor General's Literary Award for Drama, Billy Bishop Goes To War is a powerful historical production about one of Canada's most irreverent heroes.

Accomplished actor Jacob James stars as the famous fighter pilot. Jacob is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada, Stratford Birmingham Conservatory and Second City Toronto Conservatory. James has appeared in a number of productions for Drayton Entertainment including Twelve Angry Men, The Foursome and Annie, among others.

Renowned musician Jim Hodgkinson tickles the ivories as The Piano Player, an onstage role that accompanies Billy Bishop throughout his songs and storytelling. Hodgkinson has worked with theatres across Canada and was the Music Director for You'll Get Used To It ... The War Show! last season. He was a soloist at the official opening of Canada’s Modern Embassy to the United States in 1999, and appeared with jazz vibraphonist Ted Piltzecker at Carnegie Recital Hall in New York City.

Billy Bishop Goes To War

April 8 – April 26

St. Jacobs Schoolhouse Theatre

Written and composed by John MacLachlan Gray in collaboration with Eric Peterson

Directed by Max Reimer

Music Direction by Jim Hodgkinson

Underachiever extraordinaire William Avery Bishop is the Royal Military College's worst   student ever. But before he can be expelled, he enlists for service in the miserable trenches of the First World War. One day, the brash recruit spots a single-seater plane circling overhead, igniting his passion for flight. Defying intense prejudice and astonishing danger, he rises through the Royal Canadian Air Force ranks and transforms from a rebellious young man into the most successful fighter pilot of his generation.

For tickets, visit

Photo: James Jacobs.