Cover page design by Betty Nisbet of a souvenir programme for A Hitch in the Proceedings, 1921 (SHC ref 2332/8/12/10/1)

Cover page design by Betty Nisbet of a souvenir programme for A Hitch in the Proceedings, 1921 (SHC ref 2332/8/12/10/1)

Play scripts and programmes dating from the early to mid 1920s show that Sherriff had begunlearning the art of writing plays several years prior to Journey’s End. He wrote at least six plays on an amateur basis, often as a means to raise funds for local causes and organisations, including Kingston Rowing Club. His first play, a one-act farce called A Hitch in the Proceedings, premiered at the Gables Theatre in Surbiton in 1921. In this play a motley crew of would-be day trippers fuss and argue while they wait for their motor coach to leave.

The cast of The Woods of Meadowside, c.1922. Sherriff is sat on the far right (SHC ref 2332/6/10/1/2; photograph by Chaplin Jones)

The cast of The Woods of Meadowside, c.1922. Sherriff is sat on the far right
(SHC ref 2332/6/10/1/2;
photograph by Chaplin Jones)

Surviving cast lists indicate that Sherriff acted in several of these early plays, including a turn as the bumbling Reverend Cuthbert Muffitt in The Woods of Meadowside, first performed in 1922. Muffitt plans to bring two wealthy college friends to a picnic, at which the ambitious Mrs Pepper hopes to matchmake her daughter with the two men. These plans go awry when Muffitt bumps into three fugitive racecourse thieves who easily manipulate him into letting them impersonate his friends. Chaos ensues, and one of Mrs Pepper’s daughters falls in love with one of the thieves.

Download a pdf (PDF) copy of the original exhibition panel.

Click on the links below to see the exhibition text and images:

To Journey’s End and Beyond: The Exhibition

The Man Behind Journey’s End

R C Sherriff’s Family Background

Sherriff and Kingston Grammar School

Sherriff and the Artists Rifles

Sherriff with the 9th East Surreys

The Genesis of Journey’s End

A Star is Born

The 1930s: Sherriff’s Golden Decade

Man of Letters: Sherriff’s Later Career

The Curtain Comes Down