9 November 2011 WOS Rating: Average Reader Rating: Reader Reviews: View and add to our user reviews R.C. Sheriff’s poignant play, Journey’s End, offers a touching insight into the devastating reality of the First World War. Set in an underground trench, the story follows a group of soldiers through their shared experiences on the front line in France. With just one set, no lighting changes, and very few props, this is a piece of theatre reliant on strong dialogue and engaging delivery - both of which are worthy of significant praise.The words, which are at once informative and cutting, are cleverly tinged with humour, and are brought to life with authenticity by the actors. There are moments in the middle of the piece when a change in pace would add some zing to the piece, and there are segments that could easily be dropped, but on the whole this popular play captivates its audience with its honesty and sheer simplicity. The most charming characterisation comes from Graham Butler as 2nd Lieutenant Raleigh - his Michael Crawford-esque delivery perfectly fitting his role as a fresh-faced recruit, undamaged by the effects of shell-shock or alcoholism. And Simon Dutton (Lieutenant Osborne), and Nick Hendrix (Captain Hendrix) also show real flair, as their portrayal of character is both believable and enthralling. If there is one real criticism, it was the fact that the production’s intimate nature could at times be lost in the realms of the Lowry’s large Lyric Theatre. For even more effect, and for spectators to feel even more embedded in the action, the Lowry’s Quays Theatre would have been more ideal - however, due to demand, it is clear why the alternative choice has been made. This is a production whose journey won’t be ending any time soon - informative and powerful, Journey’s End will continue to move audiences around the world for many years to come. - Rebecca Cohen Related Content
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