The White Carnation
by R. C. Sherriff

About This Project


“There have been strange rumours about this house. Although it was in a state of ruin, lights were seen in the windows every Christmas Eve: music was heard: voices and laughter…”


Christmas Eve, 1951. As Britain rebuilds itself after the war, John Greenwood has it all – a successful business, a beautiful house and an aristocratic wife. But as he bids farewell to the guests leaving his annual Christmas party, a gust of wind slams the front door shut, starting a chain of events that makes him doubt everything he has ever known…


From the writer of one of the 20th century’s most acclaimed plays, Journey’s End, The White Carnation is a ghostly tale of one man’s chance to do things differently. This rediscovery marks the first production since its premiere, starring Sir Ralph Richardson, in 1953.


Supported by the R. C. Sherriff Trust.


Reviews for The White Carnation at the Finborough Theatre:

★★★★ ‘A neglected little treasure…life-affirming.’ Dominic Cavendish, The Telegraph

★★★★ ’It is a treat to see the piece given such a fine production.’ Daisy Bowie-Sell, Time Out

‘This intriguing and strongly acted revival.’ Paul Taylor, The Independent

‘R. C. Sherriff’s 1950s ghost story is deftly handled.’ Alexander Gilmour, The Financial Times

‘Could it be the sleeper hit of the season?’ Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph


Feature on The White Carnation, BBC Radio 4 ‘Today’ Programme, 29 November 2013



Knight Mantell


Costume Designer:

Janet Hudson-Holt

Lighting Designer:

Sound Designer & Composer:

Lucinda Mason Brown


Robert Benfield, Daisy Boulton, Ashley Cook, Lynette Edwards, Aden Gillett, Harriett Hare, Josie Kidd, Bruce Panday, Joss Porter, Benjamin Whitrow, Derek Wright, Philip York

Cast changes for Jermyn Street Theatre transfer:

Annabel Mullion, Michael Praed, Thomas Richardson

Costumes at Jermyn Street Theatre:


26 November - 21 December 2013,