Although the play will close at London’s Comedy Theatre on May 1, it will re open at the Playhouse two days later with the same cast. Apart, that is, from David Haig (rumors in the British press indicate Haig will co-star in the forthcoming Cameron Mackintosh/Disney production of Mary Poppins as the father), who will be replaced in the role of Osborne by Philip Franks.
It was Journey’s End, the first play about World War One to score a commercial hit, that made R. C. Sheriff’s name. From there he decamped to Hollywood and wrote the screenplays for classic movies, including “Goodbye Mr. Chips,” “The Invisible Man” and “The Dambusters.”
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.
As well as Franks, the cast includes popular comic Phil Cornwell and Paul Bradley (a household face, if not name, in the U.K. because of his long running role on the TV soap “Eastenders”). Alongside them are Christian Coulson, Ben Meyjes, Max Berendt, Alex Grimwood, John R.Mahoney, Rupert Wickham, Guy Williams and Geoffrey Streatfield. David Grindley directs.
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