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Horrors Of War Played Out in Journey's End

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
R C Sherriff
R C Sherriff

At Repertory Theatre, Kilmore Street, Christchurch Bookings at the Court Theatre Performance Season: 24th April - 2nd May (with a special matinee on ANZAC Day 25th April) Rozena Hallum directs this play for Repertory. The designer is Peter Noonan.

As ANZAC day nears, this play is a searing reminder of the horrors of war. It highlights the antitheses of war, love and friendship versus conflict and death, class differences versus camaraderie. The play is set in the trenches at Saint Quentin, France, in 1918. Journey's End focuses on the experiences of the officers of a British Army infantry company in World War 1.

The journey plays out over four days to its inevitable end. By the end of the journey we feel we know the characters. They are real people, not glorified heroes. They joke, complain, cry, drink, tell stories, yell, grieve, devise strange games, are terrified, excited and courageous.

The first half of the play is a waiting game as the German offensive comes nearer. In fact Sherriff considered calling the play "Suspense" and "Waiting", but eventually found a title in the closing line of a chapter of an unmentioned book. "It was late in the evening when we came to our journey's end".

Sherriff sent the script to George Bernard Shaw, who said that, "it was a useful (corrective) to the romantic conception of war", and that "As a slice of life" - horribly abnormal life - I should say let it be performed by all means".

Repertory's cast is epic. It is Sam Mannering, Julian Anderson, Stephen Ingwell, Greg Hynes, Andrew Bell, Sam Entwistle, Max Towle, Phillip Lee, Norman Forsey, Tynam McCulloch and Ricky Didham. The crew is equally superb.

The realities of war, portrayed powerfully and humanely by Sherriff, serve as a warning to us all.

You can view more details of Journey's End on Repertory's website - www.repertory.co.nz

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