British playwright R.C. Sherriff’s drama JOURNEY’S END presents a detailed and harrowing account of the hell that is war fought in the trenches.
A classic of its genre, Sherriff’s play was wrought out of his experiences as an officer in the trenches during the First World War. The play was first performed on the 9th December 1928 at London’s Apollo Theatre, in a production by the Incorporated Stage Society, and starred a very young Laurence Olivier.
The setting is Saint-Quentin, Aisne, France, at a British Army infantry officers’ dugout located just 75 yards from enemy trenches during four days, between the 18th March and the 21st March, 1918, poised very close to the end of the War. It focuses on the interactions between five officers and the Colonel, and depicts the camaraderie between the officers with poignancy. Continue reading Journey’s End→
There’s a line in R.C.Sherriff’s powerful play JOURNEY’S END where the Colonel says to Osborne “I’m certain you’ll put up a good show.”
That line has an added resonance when The Theatre Troupe’s production opens at the Reginald at the Seymour Centre in October, as Osborne is played by Will Usic, who is also directing the show.
Will was also a cast member of The Theatre Troupe’s 2012 production of Breaker Morant, which was also staged at the Reginald.
For JOURNEY’S END, he’ll be directing Andrew George in the starring role of Stanhope. Andrew played the title role in Breaker Morant, so there’s a solid working relationship already forged.
Like Breaker Morant, JOURNEY’S END is a coruscating drama about men in war, this time in the trenches of World War One.
Playwright R.C.Sherriff served as a captain in the East Surrey Regiment from the outbreak of the First World War and so his writing has the ring of verisimilitude.
JOURNEY’S END has become a classic, as has many of Sherriff’s other work, including the Academy Award nominated screenplay for Goodbye Mr. Chipps and Mrs. Miniver.
Rising stars Jack Douglas as Raleigh, Jeremy Bridie as Hibbert and Ian Bezzina doubling as Mason and the German soldier, are indicative of the youth that were catapulted from the playing fields of Eton and the like to the hell holes of Flanders Fields, the Western Front and the like.
Like the characters they play, they’re keen, strong and brave chaps who should deliver the very good show this company promises.
Coinciding with the centenary commemorations of the commencement of the First World War, JOURNEY’S END stands as a tribute and a remembrance of a conflict that devastated one generation impacted those that followed.
JOURNEY’S END plays The Reginald Theatre, Seymour Centre, Broadway, October 22- November 15.
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