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Oh What a Lovely War by Theatre Workshop

31st January 2014

On Wednesday 5th and Thursday 6th February BA Performance Arts students will be performing Oh What a Lovely War by Theatre Workshop in the Empty Space Theatre at the College at 7pm.

Michael Gove recently described Oh What a Lovely War as an example of a leftwing attempt to peddle unpatriotic myths, and the DfE's defence of its boss implies that this universally acclaimed show "denigrates the patriotism, humour and courage demonstrated by ordinary British soldiers in the first world war"

This is a calumny of the work of Joan Littlewood, Gerry Raffles and all those artists in Theatre Workshop who created the show at Theatre Royal Stratford East in the early 1960s. The opposite is the truth. A vital part of the show’s success lies in the fact that it told the story of the first world war from the point of view of the men in the trenches.

Not long ago the respected playwright Peter Nichols said of its original production; "Joan Littlewood's masterpiece remains for me the most compelling theatre experience in my life. The supreme tragic event of our century was told with a gaiety that, by using their own songs, showed what spirit had been crushed out of the glorious dead by four years of machine guns, poison gas and shells."

Come and see it and judge for yourself.

Written by Neil Horsefield, Course Leader.

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