by Anthony Chase
The expression, “All Quiet on the Western Front,” has permanently entered the English language. An elegant if imprecise translation of the title of Erich Maria Remarque’s 1929 novel about a group of German soldiers during World War I, the phrase ironically refers to a kind of horrible stagnation, a deadly stalemate.
The Western Front was a wandering line of barbed wire and trenches that cut across Europe from the sea at Belgium to the French frontier with Switzerland from 1914 until 1918. Millions of men died in a series of battles along this line as war technology became more and more gruesome, but no major advances were ever made.
Robert Waterhouse’s stage adaptation of Remarque’s novel follows all of the book’s major episodes. Paul, played by Geoff Pictor, and a group of his German school friends enter the war, urged on by their fatuous schoolmaster. These young Germans engage in… Continue to read.