Joan Littlewood’s “musical entertainment” Oh! What a Lovely War! first saw the light of day in 1963 and 53 years later it still has the power to blow the audience away, never more so than in the Drama Studio here in the very heart of the school. Visually and aurally stunning in every sense of the word (and intellectually as well) the production did more than justice to the original, the performers singing, dancing and acting with a maturity which matched the material in an exemplary manner while the production team had every right to feel incredibly proud of the achievements of all concerned.
Such is the nature of the piece that individual performances cannot be singled out but the performance as an entity should be and rightly so. It is, after all, an ensemble piece of theatre in every sense of that word, a show where everyone’s contribution is absolutely vital to the overall effect . . . and what an effect they all achieved, a particularly poignant and fitting contribution to the school’s commemorations of the Great War.
The stunned silence which prevailed before the curtain call spoke volumes for the power of the performance of the cast and the vision of the direction and technical support. It was, quite literally, awesome.