COME AND SEE OUR NEXT PRODUCTION
This play was born out of letters from the front line in 1918, opened in the West End in 1928 and is now being brilliantly revived in the centenary year 2018, catch it now! It’s a lifetime experience
Our Next Production is:
by R.C. Sherriff
Thursday August 2nd to Sunday August 5th 2018 in Leatherhead
“A sublime play … a corkscrew of tension, emotion and drama”, Matilda Battersby, The independent.
This is our biggest production yet, and we’re creating an amazing ambience in the Theatre with music of the era, battle sounds, visits from ‘The Trench Experience’, Reservists, Veterans, Combat Stress, SSAFA and the Royal British Legion …. You’ll have to experience it to believe it!
An extraordinary, gripping production of a great anti-war classic, full of beautifully observed humanity: Set in the trenches during the First World War, this story plays out in a dugout over four days, from 18th March to 21st March 1918, during the run-up to the last major German offensive of the War.
About Journey’s End
Five British officers are preparing apprehensively for the upcoming attack. Raleigh, an eighteen-year-old officer fresh out of English public school, joins the company of his friend and cricketing hero Captain Stanhope and finds him dramatically changed. Osborne, the 2nd in command, is a middle-aged public school teacher and father figure. Trotter, who has worked his way up through the ranks, has a drily humorous response to the officers’ situation, whilst Hibbert reveals a ‘less than British’ attitude to their predicament.
Hailed by George Bernard Shaw as a ‘useful corrective to the romantic conception of war’, the play had its first performance in December 1928, with Laurence Olivier as Stanhope and was an instant West End success. R. C. Sherriff drew on his own experiences as a Captain serving in the East Surrey Regiment in the trenches, and it is this first-hand authenticity, as well as its humanity, that has kept the play a triumph for a full ninety years and a remarkable anti-war classic.
This production commemorates the centenary of the end of hostilities in the Great War and recalls the sacrifices of those who never returned, lest we forget.
Directors idea for the set ..
About RC Sheriff
R. C. Sherriff was born on 6th June 1896 in Hampton Wick. He was educated at Kingston Grammar School from 1905-1913 and considered going up to Oxford but decided he could not afford to, and instead began employment at the Sun Insurance Company, where his father and grandfather had worked.
At the outbreak of war, Sherriff volunteered to be an officer, but was turned down and returned to his job. He tried again in November 1915 and was successful with the Artists Rifles Regiment (in which Wilfred Owen also served), and in September 1916 was commissioned into The East Surrey Regiment. He finally arrived on the Western Front to join the 9th Battalion in early October, serving in the Vimy Ridge and Messines areas.
On 27th January 1917, he was wounded at Bracquemont, and spent two weeks at an Ambulance Dressing Station before returning to his unit. Later that year he moved up to the Passchendaele area to take part in the initial offensive, which took place on terrain resembling a sea of glutinous mud, due to the wettest summer on record. He later recalled the events of the 31st July 1917 in his book ‘No Leading Lady’.
At dawn, he assembled his platoon and went through the usual inspection, noting how grey, drawn and haggard his men looked, twisting their shoulders and torsos in an attempt to get some respite from the lice that filled their filthy clothing. Looking out over the barren landscape ahead, he briefly considered the benefits of being wounded in the attack before reality kicked in to tell him that there would be no way off the battlefield in such foul conditions.
As he advanced with his men on August 2nd, a shell exploded on a concrete bunker beside him with a deafening and stupefying crash, showering him with debris. He put his hand to his bloody face and as he could feel nothing, concluded much of his face must have been blown away. It was indeed the wound he had thought about, and his time in battle was over.
After a spell at the Casualty Clearing Station at Abele, he was taken back to 14 Base Hospital at Wimereux where no less than 52 pieces of concrete were extracted from his body. Transferred to a hospital at Netley in Hampshire, he remained there until November when he was posted to a Home Service battalion of the regiment where he served until discharged in March 1919. At a time when the life expectancy of a junior officer was six weeks, Sherriff had lasted ten months and had participated in some of the heaviest fighting in key areas of the Western Front. He was awarded the Military Cross for gallantry.
Who Are We?
We’re a young, professional Theatre Company from Leatherhead, Surrey (just off Jct9 on the M25).
We serve the local area with revivals of popular, entertaining and thought-provoking theatre!
We use local talent back-stage and on-stage and we’re bringing back into the community an opportunity for audiences to enjoy seasonal, affordable theatre productions, close to home.
Come and see our exciting shows!
We are a not-for-profit, professional Theatre Company, serving the local community with popular, entertaining and thought-provoking theatre. Through our association with LAUNCHPAD, we offer young people work experience and a chance to build up confidence. We also use local talent backstage and on-stage, and are bringing seasonal repertory theatre back into fashion! You’ll have a great evening!