Set against the background of life in the trenches of the First World War, Journey's End is based on the author's own experience of the front. It follows a group of officers, behind British lines at St Quentin, France, and awaiting their fate. The play is reveals the humour shared in the face of certain tragedy.
Haig (pictured), who plays Osbourne, was seen on stage earlier this year in the Royal Court production of Hitchcock Blonde, which transferred to the West End. In addition to his many theatre credits, he's familiar from screen roles in Four Weddings and a Funeral and The Thin Blue Line. Bradley, who plays Trotter, is best known as Nigel Bates from EastEnders, while his stage credits include Noises Off and The Relapse.
The pair are joined in the cast by Phil Cornwell (Dead Ringers, I'm Alan Partridge as Mason, Christian Coulson (The Forsyte Saga, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets) as Raleigh, Ben Meyjes (Twelfth Night, Hamlet, Another Country) as Hibbert and Geoffrey Streatfeild (Henry VI on stage, The Other Boleyn Girl) as Stanhope.
The milestone production is directed by David Grindley, who last year directed the 25th anniversary revival of Mike Leigh's Abigail's Party, at the Hampstead Theatre and in the West End. Grindley's other credits include Excuses, currently playing at Soho Theatre. Journey's End is designed by Jonathan Fensom, with lighting by Jason Taylor and sound by Gregory Clarke.
The Sheriff play is presented in the West End by Background Productions, who are also behind the children's adventure story Why the Whales Came, which has just opened this week for a Christmas season to 7 January 2004 at the Comedy Theatre (See News, 24 Oct 2003).
- by Terri Paddock