Journey’s End @ The Greenwich Theatre – A Review

review journeys end greenwich theatreDirected by David Hutchinson, Journey’s End recounts the harrowing tale of a wet-behind-the-ears young officer who arrives at the trenches just as battle on the front lines of the First World War is reaching fever pitch. It explores the themes of loyalty and unquestioning obedience and looks at the different ways that men cope with the prospect of almost certain death…

The acting for the most part is spot on – David Alwyn is deeply convincing as the flawed man in charge who is very nearly overwhelmed by the crushing weight of his responsibilities and Matthew Pattimore is superb as Raleigh, the naive young lieutenant who wants nothing more than to please his CO and old school friend. However the best role in Journey’s End is reserved for Liam Smith, who commands the stage with his performance as Osborne, the unruffled and stoic old school master who exemplifies the celebrated guts and glory attitude of the ideal British soldierĀ  – a man perfectly capable of striding confidently into a hail of gunfire while maintaining a wry smile on his face…

The three main players are supported by a competent supporting cast, although I did think (and I wasn’t alone in this view) that James Hender was telegraphing his role as the stern and unreasonable Colonel – the part was played with a rather stiff and awkward style which stood apart from the rest. Despite that rather minor distraction Journey’s End proved to be an edge-of-the-seat experience, with the acting aided by some great lighting effects from Alexander Ridgers and a wonderfully atmospheric set and carefully selected costuming from designer Kemey Lafond.

Journey’s End, the latest production from the Sell A Door Theatre Company, runs at the Greenwich Theatre until this Sunday, 17 February. You’ll find tickets online here.