That Quiet Earth combines a heartbreaking love story with a
stunningly accurate portrait of life as a pilot during the Great
War. George Bridge has a secret that he doesn't want to carry to
his grave; a wrong he did a lifetime ago that he must confess. A
newspaper story about the sale of the Victoria Cross won by his
friend Billy Love in 1918 sends him back to the time when any
moment could have been his last; when he lived life at a pitch he
never again experienced; the time when he flew in France with the
RAF. That Quiet Earth gives a stunning portrait of the life led by
pilots of single-seater scout aircraft on the Western Front and of
the physical and psychological stresses they suffered. Daily,
George and Billy climb into their wood and canvas biplanes and
without oxygen fly up to two thirds the height of Everest. There
are no parachutes and therefore no escape from a burning or
crippled aeroplane and death might appear around any cloud or at
any moment announce its presence with bullets from an unseen enemy.
Back on earth, their next flight into danger is always threatening.
George (Grammar school) and Billy (Eton) have entirely different
backgrounds but both are scout pilots and both are absurdly young
for the job they are doing. Back home, their families wait for them
and Jessica waits for Billy. Then Billy flies into history to
become a hero and everything changes. That Quiet Earth is about
fear, betrayal and guilt, but above all it is a love story. Bruce
Fellows lives in Bristol. He has written many pieces for
performance and his play Rabbit Ears, about army wives and the
Afghan War, was produced by Theatre West in 2010. He has had a
lifelong interest in early aviation. That Quiet Earth is his first
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