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Manchester theatre reviews

Oh What a Lovely War

Oh What a Lovely War

by Joan Littlewood’s Theatre Workshop

at Oldham Coliseum Theatre

Reviewed by John Waterhouse September 2017

 

Coming on the centenary of the Battle of Passchendaele, one of the most well-known of the many infamous (and seemingly pointless) episodes of the First World War, this new production of Oh What a Lovely War serves as a vibrant and graphic reminder of one of the darkest chapters in the history whilst providing a showcase of music, spectacle and comedy.

 

Over the course of two hours, the show attempts to give a broad perspective of people and events across the Western front from a British perspective, covering the whole period of 1914-18 without presenting the outcome as a victory for anyone.

 

Oh What a Lovely War was revolutionary when first performed in 1963, tackling a dark and difficult subject with humour and razzamatazz whilst ensuring that all the source material was accurate. This concept has been taken further in the Oldham Coliseum Production with a superb presentation as an actor/musician show, usual multi-media and whilst un