Where and When
31st October – 3rd November 2007 @ The Tivoli Theatre, Wimborne
RC Sherriff’s ground-breaking play remains one of the most powerful and successful pieces of modern drama and one of the most acclaimed examples of literature that deals with the tragedy and horror of conflict.
Set over the course of four days leading up to a massive German attack on the British trenches in 1917, Journey’s End charts the tension and claustrophobia as the new recruit to the company, Lieutenant Raleigh, discovers that Captain Stanhope, his former childhood friend and hero, has changed almost beyond recognition.
- Captain Hardy – Paul Dodman
- Lieutenant Osborne – Stuart Glossop
- Private Mason – Graham Hawkins
- 2nd Lieutenant Raleigh – Greg Verver
- Captain Stanhope – Nick Grey
- 2nd Lieutenant Trotter – Tony Feltham
- 2nd Lieutenant Hibbert – Colin Pile
- Colonel – Jeremy Austin
- A German Soldier – Alfie Tyson-Brown
- Company Sgt. Major – Paul Dodman
- Private Broughton – Alfie Tyson-Brown
- Director – Chris Brown
- Set Designer – Jackson Ellen
- Assistant Director – Paul Dodman
- Stage Manager – Phyllis Spencer
- Properties – Carey Fern, Jan Singfield, Michaela Slatford
- Sound – Mez Tyson-Brown
- Front of House – John Bruton and Carol Bruton
- Stage Build Team – Mark Ellen, Al Dykes, Jeremy Austin, Colin Pile and Wimborne Drama Pioneer Corps
- Programme and Publicity – Richard Neal
For the Tivoli Theatre
- Stage Manager – Ashley Thorne
- Lighting and Pyrotechnics – Russell Parker
A tale of war told with Passchen
R C SHERRIFF wrote of his own experiences at Passchendaele during the First World War, so he was truly writing from the heart – and it showed.
So although during this production, performed in association with Wimborne British Legion and directed by Chris Brown, there were occasions when some of the cast spoke so quickly as to be unintelligible, and the offstage sounds of battle also drowned out speech, I can hardly think of a time when I have been so moved by a play, nor seen one so horrifyingly true to life.
We were almost there in the dug-out with the officers as battle raged above them, thanks to a brilliant set, marvellous lighting, authentic uniforms and props and some outstanding performances, especially from Stuart Glossop (Lieutenant Osborne), Greg Verver (2nd Lieutenant Raleigh), Nick Grey (Captain Stanhope), Tony Feltham (2nd Lieutenant Trotter) and, bringing a very necessary touch of humour, Graham Hawkins (Private Mason).
The final scene was shockingly moving, made more so by a dimly-lit curtain call and a projected list of Wimborne’s fallen during WW1.
As the house lights came up the entire audience continued to sit in stunned silence at the thought that what we had witnessed was once played out for real – and indeed continues to do so in other forms.
THE audience’s silence at the end of Journey’s End was a tribute not only to this powerful production but also to the young men slaughtered in the First World War.
RC Sherriff’s moving play about the appalling waste of young life in the trenches is meant to leave the audience reeling and reflective. Wimborne Drama succeeding in doing this.
The nine strong cast worked hard to portray the contrast between heroism and futility as the final days and hours of the doomed officers is played out. The audience’s empathy with the men grows throughout the play, which makes the inevitable climax and massacre even harder to bear.
The final tableau, half lit and accompanied by the names of the people of Wimborne who died in the war, was both thought provoking and tear jerking.
This is a challenging play and direct Chris Brown has to be congratulated on his success in his debut in this position.
Nick Grey expressed well the anguish felt by Stanhope, one of the most experienced company commanders on the front line but suffering from stress and haunting doubt.
Stuart Glossop won our affection as the paternal Osborne and we had sympathy for Colin Pile as the cowardly Hibbert.
Tony Feltham was well cast as the amiable Trotter with Greg Verver capturing the naivety of the youngest officer Raleigh.
The set was excellent and sound effects frighteningly realistic although at times the actors’ voices were drowned by the noise of battle.
The play was timed to coincide with Remembrance Day commemorations and the programme featured a section on war in the trenches along with cast members’ reflections on their families’ war time experiences.
All in all a production to remember and to remind us of Wilfred Owen’s lines “The old Lie: Dulce and Decorum est Pro Patria Mori”.