Boyd Gaines in Talks to Star in Broadway's Journey's End

News   Boyd Gaines in Talks to Star in Broadway's Journey's End Boyd Gaines is in talks to star in an upcoming Broadway revival of R. C. Sheriff’s 1929 World War I drama Journey’s End, Playbill.com has learned.

Boyd Gaines
Boyd Gaines Photo by Aubrey Reuben

"I'm in negotiations for Journey's End," Gaines told Playbill.com columnist Harry Haun. "It's the same production that was done on the West End about two years ago. It will have the same director, David Grindley. It's for Broadway, and they're looking for a theatre. At first, it was going in in late February, but now there's some chance it may go sooner."

Journey’s End, which received a 75th anniversary production in London's West End in early 2004, will be produced by Boyett Ostar Productions.

Sheriff's largely autobiographical World War I drama is also expected to co-star Samuel Barnett, the Tony-nominated star of The History Boy, and Hugh Dancy, the British film actor (Galahad in 2004's "King Arthur" and Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, in 2005's "Elizabeth I").

The New York Times' Ben Brantley gave the British revival a solid review on Feb. 16, 2004, calling the production "superb," and writing that the play "feels as fresh and forlorn as the evening news. Directed with an open-eyed, steady gaze by David Grindley, and performed by a perfectly assembled band of actors, this fine production is cause for both rejoicing and despair. Like the National Theater's revival of Eugene O'Neill's Mourning Becomes Electra, it finds enduring life in a play you think would be irretrievably buried in dust."

It was Journey’s End, one of the first plays about World War I to score a commercial hit, that made R. C. Sheriff’s name. Based on Sheriff’s own experiences in the Great War, the play is set in a trench in St. Quentin, France, as a group of British officers await their day of reckoning. The young Captain Stanhope tries to galvanize his men as they prepare to raid the enemy across No Man's Land. Meanwhile, his company is joined by his old schoolfriend Raleigh, who finds his one-time hero much changed. The play premiered on Broadway in 1929, with Jack Hawkins in the cast. It ran 485 performances. It was revived for a short Broadway run in 1939.

The London cast included David Haig, Phil Cornwell, Paul Bradley, Christian Coulson, Ben Meyjes, Max Berendt, Alex Grimwood, John R. Mahoney, Rupert Wickham, Guy Williams and Geoffrey Streatfield.