Oh What a Lovely War!

November 1979

by Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop, directed by Anne Bacon


The Players: -

- Angela Beney

- Marie Berry

- Margaret Butt

- Fenella Gill

- Alison Ley

- Diana Lucas

- Jane Spree

- Lynn Trout

- Gillian Yates

- Dick Dann

- David Gill

- Gordon Halliday

- Mike Jeans

- Philip Jones

- Steve Langfield

- Anthony Morris

- Jim Orford

- James Pettit

- John Spree

- Richard Thorne

- Roy Wheeler

Musicians: -

Musical Director and Pianist - Don Rutter

Trumpet and guitar - Gerry Swainger

Bass - George Dyson

Drums - Cyril Narramore

Production Team:

Producer - Anne Bacon

Stage Manager - Mike Trout

Stage Construction - Mike Trout, Barry Matthews, Roy Wheeler & Richard Price

Prompt - Alison Ley

Stage Props - Anne Atkinson, Angela Day, Jenny Gardner, Janet Matthews & Pat Rutter

Costumes - Made by the cast under the direction of Diana Lucas, Lynn Trout & Angela Beney. Thanks also to Veronica Coe & Shirley Webber

Sound Effects - Mary Jones

Lighting - Tony Blake & Kevin Gardner

Front of House Manager - Robert Fynn

Printing & Poster Design - Don Badger


From Express & Echo - Thu. 15 Nov 79:

The large and enthusiastic cast should be awarded medals....

Tears Behind the Laughter

For an amateur theatrical group to stage a play as complex as Oh What a Lovely War takes a great deal of courage, but the Estuary Players of Topsham have produced a winner.

The large and enthusiastic cast should be awarded medals for performing above and beyond the call of duty.

At the first night yesterday they proved themselves ready, willing and able to belt out wartime songs, practise military drills, highkick their way around the stage and generally keep the full-house audience happy.

The action starts as soon as the doors open, with scantily clad hostesses waltzing between the tables in Matthews Hall, which has been transformed to look and feel like a cabaret music hall of the beginning of the century, complete with freely flowing wine.

The vivacious Players, under the versatile direction of Anne Bacon, keep well in step with fast-moving satire from then on, performing rapid changes of costume and character.

The play is one to make you laugh from the belly, but cry from the heart, for while the actors and actresses fool about on the stage, a screen above it projects figures of those who have died, towns and cities that have fallen to the enemy and old photographs of the horrific conditions in the trenches.

It has a message of man's inhumanity to man and the terrible foolishness of war, which is cleverly brought home in this production.

- Reviewed by: Anon