28 April 2015

Oh What A Lovely Show!

I considered using a little bit o' funny wordplay in the title of this post, to show the strengths of the WW1 musical "Oh What A Lovely War!", but then I realised - THERE WERE TOO MANY STRENGTHS! I could have had "Oh What A Lovely Set", "Oh What A Lovely Cast", "Oh What A Lovely Use Of Costume" or "Oh What A Lovely Lighting Design" plus many more but then I realised - there were too many to just choose one! (So I settled for 'show'!)
'Oh What A Lovely War' is a satirical musical about the First World War, focusing mainly on propaganda and politics as well as trench warfare itself. It features songs from around the time it is set, with some changes to make them suit the show! 
I'm going to split the following sections into two parts (one part for each half of the show), simply because they were SO different! 
The first half mainly focused on the failure of the Schlieffen Plan, and the 'over by Christmas' propaganda at the beginning of the war. As much as I enjoyed the first half, there was one moment that struck me as... Well, irritating! Allow me to compare it to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, for example. There are numerous prolonged periods of silence throughout the Curious Incident, but they are always filled with such an incredible amount of emotion and stage presence that you barely notice that nobody's talking! In Oh What A Lovely War, there were a couple of moments where it was completely silent, but in a way that made the audience feel just a little bit uncomfortable! I did, however, love the fact that the Schlieffen plan was the main feature of the first half, yet the words "Schlieffen Plan" we're not uttered ONCE! 
Watching the second half was like watching another show altogether - they were SO different! Personally, I found the second half MUCH funnier, and there was clearly much more energy onstage! I loved the use of props in the second half, and the way the death numbers were going across the top of the stage served as a constant and humbling reminder of what we were laughing about. 
Oh What A Lovely War is gut-bustingly funny and well worth a watch - I would definitely encourage you to check it out if you get the oppurtunity! 

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