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All Saints Operatic Society will perform Oh What A Lovely War

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: January 22, 2014

By Belinda Hargreaves

  • Some of the cast of All Saints Operatic Society's 'Oh, What A Lovely War' in rehearsals. From the left; Gordon Wainwright, Brian Martin, Richard Lowe, John Mason, and Mike Egan.

  • Some of the cast of All Saints Operatic Society's 'Oh, What A Lovely War' in rehearsals. From the left; Gordon Wainwright, Brian Martin, Richard Lowe, John Mason, and Mike Egan.

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THE Prime Minister has said that he wishes everybody to be involved in events to commemorate the start of the 1914-18 war and to acknowledge the sacrifice made by so many in that conflict.

Well Leek's All Saints Operatic Society are doing just that by performing the musical "Oh What a Lovely War".

The show was originally created by Joan Littlewood and her Theatre Workshop with the first production at the Theatre Royal, Stratford East, in 1963.

It is a scathing indictment of the follies of the generals and a moving celebration of the common humanity of the soldiers on both sides.

While it is most definitely anti-war it acknowledges the bravery and the sense of duty that sustained the ordinary soldiers and enabled them to continue fighting in the most appalling physical conditions and loss of life.

Although the underlying theme of the show is a serious one it does have touches of humour and incorporates many of the well-known songs of the period such as Roses of Picardy, Keep the Home Fires Burning, The Bells of Hell, I'll Make a Man of You together with parodies of other well-known songs.

There are no principal parts in the show but everyone who takes part plays a number of small roles. It is based on the idea of a pierrot show and is a true ensemble piece.

Director Ian Wilson said: "It is quite a complex show to put on with everyone having lots of different roles to play.

"There are also around 70 different pieces of music in the show.

"Yes it is going to be a challenging show for All Saints but I am confident that our production is going to be great."

The company ranging in age from 17 to 74, is a mix of singers and actors and includes many whose faces are well known to local theatre goers.

First performed in Leek in 1985 by the then St. Luke's Players the 2014 production will give Leek people an opportunity to see this poignant, innovative and entertaining piece of theatre.

Oh What a Lovely War will be performed from April 30 until to May 3 at St. Edward's Academy, Westwood Road, Leek. Evening performances start at 7.30pm, with a matinee on Saturday, May 3 at 2.30pm.

Ticket prices are £10 for evening performances and £9 for the matinee and 50p from each ticket sold will be donated to Help For Heroes.

Tickets are available from Westwood Post Office, in Westwood Road, Leek; or Over the Rainbow in Sheepmarket, Leek.

Alternatively go online to www.leekoperatics.org.uk or call 01538 382546.

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