In the West End, David Grindley’s revival of RC Sheriff's classic 1920s anti-war piece Journey's End has added a month to its booking period, taking it up to 3 April 2004. The production - which features David Haig, Paul Bradley and Geoffrey Streatfeild in an ensemble cast – opened to Comedy Theatre on 21 January 2004 (previews from 15 January), 75 years (to the day) since its first West End season at the Savoy (See News, 12 Dec 2003). Based on the author's own experience in the trenches of the First World War, the play follows a group of officers, positioned behind British lines at St Quentin, France, and awaiting their fate.
Meanwhile at the West End’s Criterion Theatre, the Reduced Shakespeare Company has extended its booking by another three months. The American troupe's signature production, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), which celebrates its eighth birthday in March, is the West End's longest running comedy. Last year, the RSC's The Bible - The Complete Word of God (abridged) joined it and The Complete History of America (abridged) at the Criterion.
All three comedies continue to run in repertory with America playing on Tuesday evenings and The Bible on Thursday evenings and Shakespeare running all other nights of the week. They are now taking bookings up to 29 August 2004.
And, on the fringe, Justin Butcher’s A Weapons Inspector Calls, a satirical sequel to last year’s The Madness of George Dubya, has extended its season at Islington’s Pleasance Theatre by a month to 28 February 2004. It transferred to the Pleasance following a limited run at the nearby Theatro Technis (See News, 3 Dec 2003).
- by Terri Paddock