New World Theatre Club presents an ambitious production of WWI music hall satire “Oh What A Lovely War!”
Julie Fraser directs the latest production by New World Theatre Club, an adaptation of Oh What A Lovely War!
Devised by Joan Littlewood in 1963, the satire based on old music hall songs and authentic texts from the period, the play was a mainstay of the 1960s theatre in the UK. It was in 1963 that the first government documents pertaining to WWI were released under the UK’s 50 year rule.
The text is composed of authentic reports, soldiers’ letters and other documents, which gives it real resonance. As Fraser says, “It is a powerful piece, there is huge detail in every single line because they were actually said, and that really brings it alive. It is a very exciting thing to work with.”
The show also employs popular songs from the 1914-18 era, complete with new lyrics. As well as the title number, the songs include ‘It’s a Long Way To Tipperary’, ‘Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit-Bag’ and ‘Keep The Home Fires Burning’. Robin Alder and Liz Turner are in charge of the music for the NWTC production.
Critical of the conduct of the war, as well as geopolitical and economic pursuits leading to the unconscionable loss of lives, Oh What A Lovely War! honours the sacrifices of the victims.
It exposes the differences in perception of the war between civilians at home and soldiers on the front lines and how the media helped create this disparity of opinion. Thus retaining its relevance to this day.
Mierscher Kulturhaus, rue Grande-Duchesse Charlotte, Mersch