Journey’s End, written in 1928 and set in WW2, is regarded as one of the finest war plays ever written. The play focuses on the officer class but it is universal in the impacts of war on all involved. The psychology, the tragedy, the mortality no matter rank or class. Director Samantha Young’s production from creatives to actors ensure we see it at its best.
Samantha Young‘s direction is tight. Scenes flow quickly from intimate moments to raucous, crowded celibrations. The characters are all clearly defined and motivated and the real threat of what lies beyond the door pervades the mood.
Isabel Hudson’s set, the officers’ bunker, is detailed and realistic and Alistair Wallace‘s soundscape with its distant guns keeps us firmly in the reality of the situation. Christopher Page‘s lighting is moody and intimate. The success of these combined creatives is highlighted in the plays moving final moments.
There were quite a few standout performances. Jack Crumlin‘s detailed work in the crumbling officer was precise. As the burden of leadership and the emotional toll of the war widened the cracks in his facade, Crumlin perfectly pitched and grounded the extreme emotions. Also impressive was Sam O’Sullivan. His loyal and stoic Osbourne gave the play its gravitas. His final scene was achingly real. Another outstanding performance was Alex Chalwell. His niave and energetic Raleigh was the perfect contrast to both Crumlin and O’Sullivan in the early scenes and in the later he showed a well controlled response as reality came crashing around him. Luke Carson‘s Hardy who sets the context of the play had some lovely details. His comic moments were just right.
Acting was uniformly good with most of the cast giving excellent performances. The ensemble scenes were noisy and seemigly chaotic but each actor knew the level they were to play, why they were there and at no time did the moments get out of control. Aaron Tsindos, Michael Wood, Deab Mason, Govinda Roser, Patrick Cullen, George Kemp, Alex Beauman and Oliver Crump all gave solid performances.
The only aspect of this production that jarred was the obviously well padded Trotter. The costume created an element of farce to an otherwise precise production. Casting of a slightly larger actor for the role would have avoided this misstep.
Journey’s End is a powerful, personal insight into the tragedy of war and this company lives up to the play’s lofty reputation.
You don’t have many more performances left so clear the diary and go.
Lynden Jones – Theatre Now and Talking Arts
12 – 22 October
Wed – Sat 7PM
Fri 14, Wed 19, Fri 21 11:30AM
Theatre Company: Cross Pollinate Productions
Young, under-trained, and fed on the propaganda of his British homeland, Raleigh is unready for the horror of the Western Front. On arrival, his comfort is that he will enter under the command of Captain Stanhope, an old idol from school. But three years on the front line have left Stanhope a volatile alcoholic and a shadow of his former self. As Raleigh adapts to a new world of mud and gunpowder, and Stanhope controls his terror and his nervous company, the artillery guns rumble ever closer…
Cross Pollinate Productions in association with Norton Crumlin and Associates present Journey’s End by R.C. Sheriff, directed by Samantha Young (Resident Director Sport for Jove 2016, Affiliate Director Griffin Theatre Company 2015, Phillip Parsons Award Finalist 2013). Featuring a cast of young Australian talent, and coinciding with the ANZAC Centenary, Journey’s End delves deep into the trenches of World War One, where a group of conscripted soldiers find themselves at the mercy of unseen colonels and senseless orders, surrounded by a quiet that could erupt at any moment.
Earlybird $20 (Book by 5PM, 28 Sept)