Journey's End (Penguin Modern Classics) Paperback – 26 Oct 2000
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About the Author
R.C. Sherriff (1896-1975) joined the army shortly after the outbreak of the First World War, serving as a captain in the East Surrey regiment. After the war, an interest in amateur theatricals led him to try his hand at writing. Following rejection by many theatre managements, Journey's End was given a single performance by the Incorporated Stage Society, in which Lawrence Olivier took the lead role. The play's enormous success enabled Sherriff to become a full-time writer, with plays such as Badger's Green (1930), St Helena (1935), and The Long Sunset (1955); though he is also remembered as a screenplay writer, for films such as The Invisible Man (1933), Goodbye Mr Chips (1933) and The Dam Busters (1955).
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Top customer reviews
This is a very gritty and emotional play. I decided to read the play to remind myself of the details before going to a performance. I knew it was a very emotional story but didn't realise that I would feel that straight from the page rather than from seeing it performed. I imagine the performance (this coming weekend) will be even more powerful.
When this play was written it was lauded for showing the true situation in the trenches. So much post war discussion had involved rose tinted spectacles but this did not. It talked of the dirt, the rats, the lack of food and the sheer terror that the men faced every day as they left the dugout for the trenches above.
The characters in this play are very three dimensional and I had no problem imagining the men through their conversation. There are light hearted moments, mainly concerning the food, which showed the real gallows humour which helped to get the men through.
This is a classic play which if performed well is outstanding. I hope that next week's performance shows it off at it's best.
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