All Quiet On The Western Front
By Erich Maria Remarque
Adapted and directed by Robert Waterhouse
Developed and performed by Cameron Garrity, Jimi Konidis, Nick Lama, Geoffrey Pictor and Guy Wagner
THE BUFFALO NEWS
'A year ago, The New Phoenix Theatre – Richard Lambert, Robert Waterhouse and company – “developed and performed” an adaptation of the classic story of the sea, “The Mutiny on the Bounty.” A year later, for an encore, they’re back with a retelling of another literary benchmark, Eric Maria Remarque’s relentless 1929 anti-war novel, “All Quiet on the Western Front.”
These guys are becoming awfully good.'
The Buffalo News
To mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War One, The New Phoenix Theatre premieres a new, company-developed version of ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT, the great anti-war classic about life behind German lines during the “war to end all wars.”
“This is to be neither an accusation nor a confession, and least of all an adventure, for death is not an adventure to those who stand face to face with it. It will simply try to tell of a generation of men who were destroyed by the war.”
So begins ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT, Erich Maria Remarque’s poetic and harrowing account of service in Belgium between 1914 and 1918, during a war that claimed an average of 5,000 men a day.
Geoffrey Pictor plays Paul Baumer, Remarque’s narrator, who tells how he and his classmates joined the German army at the urging of his school teacher and fell one by one on the Western Front in France and Belgium. Like the classic novel, the New Phoenix Theatre’s adaptation evokes the tedium, horror, and grim humor the young recruits found behind the lines. Nick Lama, Jimi Konidis, and Guy Wagner complete the cast, while Cameron Garrity manipulates puppets created for the production by Michele Costa.
The New Phoenix Theatre production also features sets by Michael Lodick, sound by Tom Makar, light by Chris Cavanagh, costumes by Katherine Pizzuto and projections by Jim Bush.
Director Robert Waterhouse has long been fascinated by World War One: his own great grandfather fell in France in 1917, and Waterhouse spent part of this summer researching the adaptation in Langemark, where Remarque served. Waterhouse directed JOURNEY’S END for the Kavinoky Theatre.
ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT also marks a transition for Waterhouse at the New Phoenix Theatre. After 13 years in the pro bono post of artistic director, he steps down to concentrate on his duties at Daemen College, where he is an Associate Professor of Theatre.
Photo of Geoffrey Pictor by Jim Bush