Saturday, February 02, 2008

Loss of Innocence

Journey's End
by R. C. Sherriff

Last night I viewed a performance of Journey's End, the classic play set during the Great War, at the Theater Building in Lakeview. The Griffin Theatre Company production is both powerful and moving. All of the actors provide focused performances making their characters come alive on the stage as the drama unfolds. I was impressed with the contrast between the the avuncular Lieutenant Osborne (Nigel Patterson, who I have seen previously in Timeline Theater's The General from America) and the broken Captain Stanhope (Hans Fleishman) who embodies the bitterness and destruction of War in his every moment on stage. The other key role is the young 2nd Lieutenant Raliegh (John Dixson), whose innocence and hero worship of Stanhope (whom he knew as a student before the War) is destroyed by the reality of the battle. The power of this play is ever present and the actors demonstrate throughout the real emotion that must have been omni-present on the battlefield. Whether in moments of forced laughter or the brief but important interjections of silence on the stage, the drama of Journey's End is brought home in excellent fashion by this production.

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