Review: Journey’s End

David Kenworthy’s haunting production of R.C Sherriff’s Journey’s End earned a central position in the College Armistice commemoration. An exceptionally committed group of boys had worked tirelessly throughout the term to transform themselves into an utterly credible company of front-line soldiers.

For two hours we sat enthralled as the intensity and naturalism of these actors’ performances gave us a privileged insight into Sherriff’s memories – humorous, heart-breaking and every level between.

Despite working seamlessly as a company, the boys created finely tuned individual characters and displayed an impeccable attention to details of boredom, shell shock and a humbling sense of duty. The pace, rhythm and idiomatic acknowledgement of the language were consistently impressive.

Paul Cox’s outstanding set design excelled even his usual high standards and deserves special mention in its recreation of the intimacy of a dug-out whilst also managing to capture No-Man’s Land beyond with its barbed wire and abandoned helmets and weapons. The transitions between the Acts seemed to sustain the continuity of the action through Alex Arkwright’s poignant trumpet variations on the Last Post and by the time the piece reached its harrowing conclusion many a tear had been shed.

This was a tour de force and a credit to all involved.

Jane Darby

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