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Journey's End

Journey's End
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: R.C. Sheriff
Publisher: Samuel French (cover may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 94
Pub. Date: 1971
Edition: Acting
ISBN-10: 0573040036
ISBN-13: 9780573040030
Cast Size: 10 male

About the Play:

Journey's End was one of Royal National Theatre of Britain's top 100 plays of the 20th century.

Winner of the 2007 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play

Journey's End is a full-length drama by R.C. Sheriff. A group of World War I British officers in the trenches in St. Quentin, France, contemplates an impending attack. The greatest of all English war plays, Journey's End is based on the author's own experience of the Front. It shows the effect of war on a group of young officers who await their fate on the front line.

Journey's End is set on the front line in the First World War and opens in a dugout in the trenches in France, as a group of British officers await their day of reckoning. The young Captain Stanhope tries to galvanize his men as they prepare to raid the enemy across No Man's Land. Hardened and stained by three years of war, he struggles to hold himself together despite Lt. Osborne's loyal support and constant care. But when the wide-eyed young Raleigh, a new eighteen-year-old officer fresh out of English public school, joins the besieged company of his friend and boyhood cricketing hero Captain Stanhope, and finds him dramatically changed, Stanhope must reckon his golden past with their absurd, shattering present. One of the enduring masterpieces of 20th-century realist theatre, the play creates real characters, some of whom deal better than others with the stresses of warfare in the trenches, the close proximity of the enemy and the pointlessness and inevitability of dying. Journey's End is a tragic and moving piece for advanced casts. It has always been popular in Britain, where it is still widely read and performed in schools.

Journey's End premiered in 1928 at the Apollo Theatre in London starring a then unknown 21-year-old Laurence Olivier as Captain Stanhope. The play soon moved to the Savoy Theatre, where it ran for 593 performances, the longest run the West End had then seen. The play was an instant stage success and within the year was being performed in 25 languages. It premiered on Broadway in 1930 and ran for nearly 500 performances. This remarkable anti-war classic has since been revived in the West End in 2004 and 2011. The 2007 Broadway production garnered a Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play.

Cast: 10 male

What people say:

"...a much better argument against war than sentimental propaganda plays." — The Daily Mirror

"...powerfully capturing the waste and futility of the conflict." — The Daily Telegraph

"Its unrelenting tension, and its regard for human decency in a vast world of human waste are impressive and, even now, moving." — New York Post

"Iraq has given R.C. Sherriff's drama about World War I a new resonance, but that's only part of the reason for its effectiveness. It's a strong, well-written play." — The Record

About the Playwright:

R.C. Sherriff (1896-1975) was an English writer best known for his play Journey's Endhis seventh play but his first to be produced – that was based on his experiences as a captain in World War I. The play's enormous success, in both Europe and America, enabled him to become a full-time writer. He wrote several more plays and screenplays, and was nominated for an Academy award (Goodbye Mr. Chips) and two BAFTA awards (The Dam Busters and The Night My Number Came Up).