Oh, What A Lovely War first played at Theatre Royal Stratford East in 1963. A powerful satire of the tragedy of the ‘Great War’ and the cynicism of callous politicians, the musical is a comment against war in general and resonates strongly in today’s environment.
The harsh reality of the fate of ordinary Tommies creates a stark contrast with the jaunty music-hall tunes that run through the piece and accompany the soldiers on their route to slaughter in the trenches.
Joan Littlewood adapted the play from Charles Chilton’s work for radio through her company Theatre Workshop. An immediate hit, the show transferred to the West End in June 1963, opening on Broadway in 1964 and receiving four Tony Award nominations including Best Musical.
Looking to see some musical theatre? Find out more about London musicals.