WWI musical to mark centenary

Buxton Drama League's latest production, Oh, What A Lovely War!
Buxton Drama League's latest production, Oh, What A Lovely War!

Buxton Drama League is to honour the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War with performances of the landmark musical entertainment, Oh, What A Lovely War!

Originally performed at the Theatre Royal Stratford East in 1963 under the direction of the legendary Joan Littlewood, Oh, What A Lovely War! combines drama, comedy and song to paint a funny, poignant, tragic and absurd portrait of The War To End All Wars.

The play was adapted into a film, directed by Richard Attenborough, and has influenced modern classics such as Blackadder Goes Fourth and Horrible Histories in its satirical approach to history.

Staged as an End of the Pier Show, it contains popular songs of the time, including Row, Row, Row, Goodbyee, Pack Up Your Troubles In Your Old Kit Bag, Roses of Picardy and Keep The Home Fires Burning.

Directed by Nicola Wright, the drama league production follows critically-acclaimed performances of Habeas Corpus, The Winter’s Tale and Breaking The Code.

The cast features David Cooper, Emma Craufurd-Stuart, Joanne Eltringham, Anthony Fitzgerald, Jim Gillespie, Barrie Goodwin, Michael Hall, Paul Harrison, Jayne Marling, Fred Rolland, Toni Saxton, Sally Shaw, Richard Silson, Peter Stubbington and Tim Warburton.

Spokesman Robbie Carnegie said: “With an ensemble cast moving from character to character, the show is full of laughter, tears and song, all combining to make Oh, What A Lovely War! a must-see addition to this year’s centenary.”

Oh, What A Lovely War! will be performed at the Pavilion Arts Centre, Buxton, on Friday May 23 at 7.30pm and Saturday May 24 at 2.30pm and 7.30pm.

Tickets, priced £11 and £13, are available on 0845 127 2190 or www.buxtonoperahouse.org.uk.