Take part in an emotional journey
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).