Remembering Darius in From Here to Eternity 2013

“This is the army soldier – fighting is a sort of prerequisite here!”

 Captain Holmes

Darius Campbell as First Sergeant Warden and Rebecca Thornhill as Karen Holmesh (Photo: Johan Persson)

From Here to Eternity had a huge following for the movie but not too many of today’s audience will have seen the film in its original cinema showing with “that kiss” on the Hawaiian beach between Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr.  Frank Sinatra’s performance won him an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor as Angelo Maggio, the soldier who is always in trouble. James Jones wrote the original novel and Bill Oakes claims his “book” for the musical is truer to the novel than would have been allowed on celluloid in 1953. With a heavyweight lyricist like Tim Rice, away from the stage for 13 years, we expect the words to be both pertinent and intelligent.  

It is a tall challenge for the English actor-singers to measure up to the likes of Burt Lancaster and Montgomery Clift, but their singing is wonderful.  The spoiler in the opening scene where Lorene (Siubhan Harrison) tells Karen (Rebecca Thornhill) that her fiancé Robert E Lee Prewitt has been killed makes sure that we don’t expect happy endings for this musical.  It is this grittiness which I liked in the production. 

There is no shying away from why the Commander’s wife Karen Holmes miscarried and set her on a life of marital infidelity.  Her husband whines that she won’t forgive him for one little mistake, but this philanderer (Martin Marquez) gave his wife gonorrhoea and caused her not only to miscarry their child but left her unable to have children at all.  

Sergeant Milt Warden who awakens Karen’s love is played by Darius Campbell who has a magnificent voice with a good range into a deepening baritone. Darius may not be Burt Lancaster but he is tall and imposing and attractive.  

The writer and director wanted to remind us that this wasn’t a tropical beach holiday but a full military setting and this is conveyed with an artistic blend of drill exercises and imaginative choreography from Javier de Frutos.  He has the men exercising in the bunk room and then sliding on and over and under the beds in an exciting dance showing us both military discipline and sexuality in “G Company Blues.” 

The storyline too takes in the military as Prewitt (Robert Lonsdale) and Maggio (Ryan Sampson), trying to make a fast buck, are caught by military police in a gay bar, the Waikiki Lounge and Maggio is sentenced to prison in the stockade breaking rocks and worse. Prewitt, a career soldier or “Thirty Year Man” is a talented boxer and bugler but he refuses on transfer to Hawaii to take part in boxing or bugling. He meets a girl, a hostess Lorene who is trying to make enough money to “retire” in middle America in respectability and normality.  

The scene when Sergeant Warden first meets Karen is direct and to the point. He tells her directly that he wants to go to bed with her and in seconds she is standing on the table in her underwear! This doesn’t seem to be the woman whose husband describes her as 8 years of frigidity!

Another military exercise is carried out with ropes set like a cats cradle; fluid, clever and beautifully executed.  The New Congress Club shows the girls in “Don’cha Like Hawaii” and “You Got The Money.” In “Fight the Fight” Prewitt sings while the other soldiers fight. “A Man is on his own until he dies” is the plaintiff lyric. After an interlude in the gay bar, the first act closes on the beach with Warden and Karen singing “More Than America” to the backdrop of a postcard with animated waves crashing on the shore and of course “that kiss”.  

Act Two starts with a reprise of “Thirty Year Man” and Prewitt and Lorene sing the ironic “Love Me Forever Today” the irony in the juxtaposition of Forever and Today.  Maggio is seen being cruelly treated on prison duties and sings “I Love The Army” with lyrics like “I love my country” ending with the bitter but more realistic, “I hate the army”. This is a heart breaking performance from Ryan Sampson. A change of rhythm for “Ain’t Where I Want To Be Blues” Prewitt and Warden regret their lot. The boxing ring is created by men holding ropes and when they move, the excitement is heightened and Bruno Poet’s lighting raises the intensity.  

The four lovers sing the title number, a show stopping ballad before we are reminded of the date, 6 December 1941 and goes into the melodic “The Boys of 41” and a spectacular recreation of the terrible bombing raid on Pearl Harbour. Instead of a strobe, the cast go into slow motion through the lighting effects, the smoke and the bangs of the explosions.  The remarkable finale transcends theatrical realism.  

These characters are not perfect but real personalities with human flaws and idiosyncrasies. The tunes are good, fit with the 1940s and I am sure will grow as you hear them. The erotic choreography is to die for and hopefully word of mouth will encourage people to make the trek to the far end of Shaftesbury Avenue to see this exciting, evocative wartime musical with its realistic edge. 

Musical Numbers

Act One


G Company Blues  

 Another Language  

 Thirty Year Man  

 Marking Time  

 Don’cha Like

 You Got The Money

 The Treatment  

 Marking Time  

 Fight The

 Run Along Joe

 You Got The Money  (reprise)

 Fight The Fight  (reprise)

From Here To Eternity  

Act Two

 Thirty Year Man  (reprise)

 Love Me Forever Today  

 I Love The Army  

 I Ain’t Where I Wanna Be

 G Company Blues  (reprise)


 Something In Return  

 Fight The Fight  (reprise)

 From Here To Eternity  (reprise)

 The Boys of ’41

 Run Along Joe  (reprise)

 Almost Perfect Lie


Production Notes

From Here to Eternity

Music by Stuart Brayson
Lyrics by Tim Rice
Book by Bill Oakes
Based on the novel by James Jones
Directed by Tamara Harvey



Darius Campbell

Ryan Sampson

Robert Lonsdale

Siubhan Harrison,

Rebecca Thornhill

Martin Marquez

David Stoller


Christine Allado

Keisha Amponsa Banson

Marc Antolin

Julie Armstron

James Ballanger

John Brannoch

Abigail Climer

Brian Doherty

Jessica Ellen

Dale Evans

Shimi Goodman

Kirby Hughes

Lauren Ingram

Dean John-Wilson

Joshua Lacey

Carolyn Maitland

Viftach Mizrahi

Nuno Queimado

Lucinda Shaw

Warren Sollars

Rebecca Sutherland

Laura Tyrer

Lauren Varnham

Adam Vaughan

Stephen Webb

Matthew Wesley


Director: Tamara Harvey

Choreographer: Javier de Frutos

Designer: Soutra Gilmour

Musical Supervision: Catherine Jayes

Orchestrations: Brian Morales

Lighting Designer: Bruno Poet

Sound Designer: Mick Potter

Projection Design: Jon Driscoll

Orchestrations and Music Supervisor: David White 

Fight Director: Kate Waters

Musical Director: Tom Deering


Running Time: Two hours and 50 minutes with an interval

Closed on 29th March 2014


The Shaftesbury Theatre

210 Shaftesbury Avenue

London WC2H 8DP

Phone: 020 7379 5399

Tube: Tottenham Court Road

Reviewed by Lizzie Loveridge at the Shaftesbury

on 23rd November 2013


A new production of

From Here to Eternity 

will open at the Charing Cross Theatre on 29th October 2022

Telephone: 08444 930 650