Journey's End

  • Date:
    February 1, 2007

    What the press had to say.....

    BEN BRANTLEY of the NEW YORK TIMES: �Though it hasn�t been seen on Broadway in more than six decades, �Journey�s End� turns out to be no quaint curiosity from an age of innocence, dusted off and spruced up for our ironic inspection. It is instead that theatrical rarity, an uncompromising, cleareyed play about war � and not war as it echoes on the home front or in chambers of government, but war as a daily phenomenon for those who fight it." & "Waiting is the dynamic of �Journey�s End.� But with a fine, largely American cast that keeps its characters� anxieties on a taut leash, watching the waiting is anything but tedious."

    JOE DZIEMIANOWICZ of the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: "War is hell, but the new production of R.C. Sherriff's World War I drama "Journey's End" is as heavenly as it is haunting." & "The 12-actor cast rates praise from top to bottom." & "The production's design matches the outstanding acting."

    CLIVE BARNES of THE NEW YORK POST: "Director David Grindly has done a spectacular job. The acting is truly remarkable - a terrific ensemble as fine as Broadway has seen in many a year. Dancy's whiskey-doused Stanhope, as nervy as a volcano, as taut as bowstring ready to twang, is a layered and complex picture of a war-drained leader, but all in the company go beyond the playwright's simplistics. And the production is enormously helped by the splendidly atmospheric, all-but-tangible scenic design of Jonathan Fensom, the lighting of Jason Taylor and the sound design of Gregory Clarke."

    MICHAEL SOMMERS of STAR-LEDGER: "David Grindley's well-calibrated production -- a London success -- combines admirable design and understated yet vital performances to make the dramatic most of 'Journey's End.' " & "Despite the production's excellence and heartfelt acting, 'Journey's End' creaks a bit. Future Tony Award nominations are written all over the show, but it will be interesting to see whether the play again strikes a responsive chord with Broadway audiences."

    JACQUES LE SOURD of THE JOURNAL NEWS " 'Journey's End' is the stealth bomber of this Broadway season. The drama, set in the trenches of World War I, flew in from London under the radar and landed at the Belasco Theatre last night. If any show has the emotional impact to match it this season, we'll be lucky." & "Perhaps for the second time in its life, a show that has come in with virtually no fanfare may become a Broadway hit. It certainly deserves to be."

    LINDA WINER of NEWSDAY: "A virtuosic all-male company that, for all its credentials, understands the power of a real ensemble." & "Even the old-fashioned curtain crackles with drama."

    ROBERT FELDBERG of THE RECORD: "Returning to Broadway after nearly 70 years, 'Journey's End' turns out -- surprise -- to be one of the most powerful, engrossing and emotionally immediate plays to arrive in some time. Iraq has given R.C. Sherriff's drama about World War I a new resonance, but that's only part of the reason for its effectiveness. It's a strong, well-written play, and it's been given a superb, heartfelt revival by British director David Grindley and an admirable ensemble cast."

    ERIC GRODE of the NEW YORK SUN: "Well, I certainly didn't see this coming. From out of nowhere, a British director named David Grindley has exhumed R.C. Sherriff's 1929 World War I drama 'Journey's End' and turned it into a profoundly moving evocation of life during wartime." & "Mr. Grindley leaves the upper twothirds of the Belasco Theatre stage unused until a devastating coup de theatre at the play's conclusion."

    JOHN SIMON of BLOOMBERG: "Who says perfection is not within human reach? Go see 'Journey's End' and learn otherwise." & "Every bit of the masterly dialogue rings as true as the bombs, cannons and machine guns outside. Experiencing 'Journey's End' is more than mere theatergoing; it is living a life you haven't had, while making the one you have incomparably richer."

    MICHAEL KUCHWARA of ASSOCIATED PRESS: "An affecting evening of theater for today's audiences, a potent reminder of the human cost of conflict." & "The staggering sense of loss depicted by 'Journey's End' in this sterling revival will continue to haunt theatergoers for a long, long time."

    FRANK SCHECK of the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: "This revival of the little-seen (at least in America) 'Journey's End' demonstrates that this 1929 World War I play by R.C. Sherriff, rather than being a museum piece, has lost none of its power or immediacy." & "Everything about this deeply stirring production, including the final visual tableaux and even the somber curtain call, has been rendered with a sensitivity and craftsmanship that represents theater at its finest."

    PETER MARKS of the WASHINGTON POST: "The gripping effect of 'Journey's End' is not merely akin to watching an old war movie. At times, it's like being in one. That's how realistically the terrifying sounds of the front-line bombardments are re-created in the exceptional revival of R.C. Sherriff's World War I drama. Set in a dank, candlelit officers' dugout in a British trench line in France, the play is a jarring slice of life on the precipice of violent death."

    DAVID ROONEY of VARIETY: "Grindley�s methodically follows the playwright�s careful blueprint, secure in the knowledge that when the drama�s inactivity detonates into emotional rawness, the effect will be devastating." & "Rarely does a play that initially seems so phlegmatic acquire such visceral power as it progresses -- crescendoing in a stunning final tableau."

    External links to full reviews from newspapers

    New York Times
    New York Daily News
    New York Post
    Journal News
    The Record
    New York Sun
    Associated Press
    Hollywood Reporter
    Washington Post