In Conversation With… MESH theatre co – watch our video with the cast

6 October 2017 | Pamela Linden

The First World War Centenary Partnership team had the chance to meet up with MESH Theatre ahead of their performance of Journey’s End at Ypres, next week. Their six week run of R. C. Sherriff’s celebrated play commences on 10th October and takes places at a historic ammunition dump (Kruitmagazijn) which survived the First World War. As well as speaking to us about their motivation for taking on this exciting project we got to watch Tom Kay (Stanhope) and Rory Fairbairn (Raleigh) rehearse a scene from the play.

Tom Kay (left), Rory Fairbairn (centre) and John Rayment (right) discuss their characters’ personalities and motivations.

Sherriff’s  ground-breaking play is the only drama about WW1 written by someone who fought in the war. When first staged in London in 1928 – for ‘one night only’ with Laurence Olivier in the lead – it broke a ten year silence around the shocking reality of trench warfare. It quickly became a global hit in 18 languages across 30 countries worldwide. A London critic said “this is less a play than a memorial to the dead.”

Set in a dugout over four days leading to a horrific attack, it charts the physical and mental ordeals experienced by a company of British officers as new recruit, Lieutenant Raleigh, discovers Captain Stanhope, his childhood friend and hero, has changed almost beyond recognition.

Meet the cast of Journey’s End and find out how the characters still speak to us today.

Find out what inspired Sally Woodcock to take war dramas to historic battlefields and stage the first production of Journey’s End at Ypres, one of the most famous sites of the First World War.

Watch Tom and Rory rehearse an emotionally charged scene between Stanhope and Rory.

Find out about Stanhope’s character and how Tom Kay interpreted and prepared for the role.

Journey’s End will run from 10th October 2017 –  12 November 2017 (15:00 daily, except Mondays, and 19:00 Tues, Thurs and Sat). Private performances are available for large groups (by arrangement). Running Time: 2hrs 5 mins (including interval)

Book tickets here or visit the MESH Theatre website for more information.