A slice of wartime life

Halifax Thespians - Oh! What a Lovely War
Halifax Thespians - Oh! What a Lovely War

Joan Littlewood’s classic piece of drama ‘Oh! What a Lovely War’ has been described as ‘one of the 20th century’s most significant plays’.

Funny, hard-hitting and often poignant, it is a theatrical chronicle of the First World War through sketches, songs and music - and it made a controversial journey to the stage.

Littlewood originally hated the idea of staging the play for her Theatre Workshop in London but was persuaded by Charles Chilton who wrote it for radio. The show opened in 1963 and was a big hit with audiences though it received mixed reviews from the press. It took the intervention of Princess Margaret before permission was granted for a transfer to the West End.

Now Halifax Thespians are to stage ‘Oh! What a Lovely War’ at Halifax Playhouse from Saturday, October 11 to 18. Derek Smith directs a cast of 15 that includes experienced actors including Julie Johnston, Polly Bryan, Christine Noble-Doyle, Hannah Head and Carole Greenwood alongside several newcomers. The music is performed by Yvonne Kniveton, Richard Farrar and Amy Harrop and the choreographer is James Buckley.

Performances are at 7.30pm with a Saturday matinee at 2.30pm. Call 01422 365998.

l Halifax Film Society is showing ‘Sunshine on Leith’ at Halifax Playhouse on Sunday, September 28 at 7.30pm. For information contact 01422 355990/348863.