Take part in an emo­tional jour­ney

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - ON SHOW -

TO COM­MEM­O­RATE the cen­te­nary of the start of the First World War, a the­atre company is per­form­ing one of the most fa­mous plays ever writ­ten about The Great War.

Frayed Knot The­atre Company will per­form Jour­ney’s End at The Court The­atre, in Tring, at 7.30pm from Tues­day, Novem­ber 11 to Satur­day, Novem­ber 15.

Set en­tirely in an of­fi­cers’ dugout close to the front line to­wards the end of the First World War, it tells the mov­ing story of the last days of a small group of of­fi­cers as they wait to go over the top. Although this is a pro­foundly mov­ing story, there are also sur­pris­ingly comic mo­ments pro­vided by gossip, ban­ter, ear­wigs and ob­ses­sions about food.

Di­rec­tor Naomi Glasser said: “We have gone to tremen­dous ef­forts with our set-build­ing in or­der to cre­ate a re­al­is­tic dug-out so the au­di­ence can re­late to the claus­tro­pho­bic and op­pres­sive con­di­tions the sol­diers en­dured. Re­al­is­tic sound ef­fects of shells and mor­tars are to be used and along­side ex­plo­sions and mud. Our tech­ni­cal team are re­ally be­ing pushed to the limit with this show.”

Luke Tomkins, 17, who is study­ing for his A-lev­els at Sir Henry Floyd Gram­mar School, is ap­pear­ing as a sol­dier but also play­ing The Last Post on his bu­gle.

The the­atre company will be screen­ing the names of the fallen he­roes from lo­cal vil­lages as he plays.

Ms Glasser added: “We know that mil­lions of men lost their lives fight­ing for their coun­try, but we want to re­late to the lo­cal area, so by screen­ing the names of lo­cal First World War he­roes at the end of the show, we be­lieve it will help us all re­alise how dev­as­tated our small com­mu­nity was.

“So far we have the names of the fallen from Tring, Ched­ding­ton, Long Marston, Buck­land, As­ton Clin­ton, Wig­gin­ton, Northchurch and Ald­bury. We are hop­ing to in­clude more vil­lages and we will also re­joice that Put­ten­ham was one of the few ‘thank­ful vil­lages’ in the coun­try be­cause no men lost their lives there.”

The cast fea­tures sev­eral young men who are very sim­i­lar in age to their fore­bears, who signed up to fight 100 years ago.

Ben Churchill is 18 and a stu­dent at Sir Henry Floyd Gram­mar School, where he is study­ing for his A-lev­els in English and drama. In this pro­duc­tion he is tak­ing the part of Sec­ond Lieu­tenant Raleigh, who has ar­rived in France straight from school him­self.

Tom Pecorini is even younger, at 16, and will be play­ing the part of the young Ger­man sol­dier who is cap­tured in the play. Tick­ets cost £8 to £12. They are avail­able on­line, via www.courtthe­atre.co.uk, from the box of­fice on 07543 560 478 or 01442 828 812, or from Beech­wood Fine Foods, in Frog­more Street, Tring (cash only).

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