Thursday, May 01, 2008

Journey's End

Dad and I had a treat this afternoon when we went to the Mercury Theatre in town to see the theatre company's production of Journey's End, a play set in the trenches in 1918 (Toni and Harriet are in Wickford with Toni's parents while she produces some craft workshops for the Guides in Rayleigh this evening). It was brilliantly written (the writer, R C Sherriff, based it on his own experiences), and executed. The claustrophobic set - the officers' quarters underground behind the trenches - was superbly designed, and the aroma of cigarettes, cigars and even bacon added to the atmosphere. The acting was brilliant too - it added up to a compelling three hours or so of entertainment and contemplation. It brilliantly brought home the futility of that war - long periods sitting around waiting punctuated by short, sharp bursts of action that left neither side closer to victory but which left its combatants traumatised, left to deal with the horrors of what they'd experienced during another long period of inactivity.

It's also obvious where the equally brilliant Blackadder Goes Forth got its inspiration from. If anyone reading this is in the Colchester area, I urge you to see this play, which runs until Saturday. I'm so glad I saw it.

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