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Oh What A Lovely War
This musical premiered at the Theatre Royal, Stratford East on 19th March 1963 to rave audience reaction, and recently ended a revival run at the Theatre Royal. A musical satire on World War One (and by extension against war in general) the title is derived from the music hall song ‘Oh! It’s a Lovely War,’ which is one of the major numbers in the production. It also features World War One-era songs such as ‘It’s a Long Way to Tipperary,’ ‘Pack up Your Troubles’ and ‘Keep the Home Fires Burning.’
Between the 6th and the 12th July, Sophie, a student at Invicta Grammar School, joined the backstage crew of the Valley Park production of ‘Oh What a Lovely War’...
‘On my first day I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was immediately made to feel welcome by the teachers and students who were extremely friendly,’ wrote Sophie.
‘I was very impressed and surprised at how professional the production and the rehearsals were. The students were all very nice and I made many new friends during the week. The teachers were also incredibly friendly and were always making sure I was okay and made my week enjoyable.’
‘All seven shows went exceptionally well and the cast and crew worked seamlessly together to make sure the show was a success.‘
‘When it came to the end of my work experience I felt very sad, especially when I had to say goodbye to all the cast, crew and teachers. I enjoyed my work experience very much. ’
Postbag of Praise
Every Valley Park production brings a veritable postbag of praise, and here are just a few...
‘With seven friends I saw ‘Oh What a Lovely War’ at the Hazlitt Theatre on Friday evening. We thoroughly enjoyed a very professional performance. What talented students you have. Well done everybody for all your hard work.’
‘I would like to congratulate the staff, cast & crew of your recent production. I really didn’t know what to expect. I’m very familiar with most musical theatre, but I’d hardly heard of this one.’
‘What can I say? This show had it all: I found myself singing along to songs I wasn’t even aware that I knew, laughing out loud at the sheer genius of the satirical comedy.’
‘The dancing was fabulous, the acting amazing, and the music and singing stupendous. I find it hard to put into words how totally amazing the harmonies sounded in the whole cast numbers.’
‘I was reduced to tears at the end of both performances I attended, not only because I was reminded of the needless loss of life during the great war, but also because of the amazing young people that took part in this production. They are an absolute credit to the school.‘
‘Please pass on my thanks to everyone involved in the making of this show. I shall very much look forward to the next production at Valley Park.’