Gripping war drama in Northampton

Rehearsals for Journey's End
Rehearsals for Journey's End

A play set within the trenches of the First World War is being staged by the Masque Theatre.

Journey’s End by R.C. Sherriff is set in the front line trench of 1918 in St. Quentin, France. It runs from Tuesday February 14 to Saturday February 18.

It is based on the author’s own experiences during the conflict.

The plot focuses on five British officers in the lead up to Operation Michael, a German offensive that saw the beginning of the end of the war for the German Empire.

The play has been revived a number of times since it was originally produced in 1926 with Laurence Olivier in the lead.

A spokesman for the theatre said it believed that it was particularly fitting to have this production during the commemorations of the First World War.

The two main characters are Stanhope, played by Tristan Smith, and Raleigh portrayed by Devin Eadie, who were at the same public school.

They now find themselves as senior and junior officer about to a raid a German trench for information before the big push.

With a cast of nine in period costume, the other officers and men also have their own stories to tell.

The play explores a wide range of the problems that the real soldiers suffered from while at the front.

The play looks at the themes of fear, cowardice, the reliance on drink and, perhaps more telling, the losing in battle of your comrades in arms, friends and brothers.

The director, Ste Applegate was inspired to re-create the historic atmosphere of the First World War from the knowledge of his own uncle, Private Harold Applegate of the 25th. Battalion, Nova Scotia Regiment being killed during the war.

Many of the cast also have relatives who also fought or died during the conflict.

In acknowledgment of this, Masque intend giving profits from programme sales to The Royal British Legion.

The group has more than 100 members and has been performing shows since the 1930s.

Performances of Journey’s End take place at 7.30pm throughout the five-night run.

Tickets for the show are £9 for adults and £8 for concessions.

Details 07586 288793 or visit Tickets can be bought from St Giles Music in Northampton and on the door from 7pm.