The 28th of July marks 100 years since the outbreak of World War One – Renegade Theatre capture the moment with their production of the classic musical show Oh! What a Lovely War. Staged at the historical Trades Hall on Lygon Street Carlton – a home for the antiwar movement during WWI, the play will blend theatre, art, politics and history while commemorating the 100-year anniversary.
“We are so excited to showcase this powerful play at such a poignant moment in time,” says Director Ben Fuller. “War is the antithesis of art and the shows’ highly stylised artistic sense is itself an attack on the culture and propaganda of war.”
“I’ve been interested in this show for years: there are many polemic plays, but Joan Littlewood and the Theatre Royal nail it with Oh! What a Lovely War.”
“From the start in 1859, the Trades Hall has been involved in bringing art to the workers of Melbourne,” said Jacob Grech, actor and spokesperson from the Trades Hall Literary Institute. “The Trades Hall played a central role in the anti-war movement during WWI, so we felt it fitting that we commemorate this by staging this famous anti-war piece of theatre.”
“The show isn’t just about WWI, but about all wars. The characters may change, but the rest remains the same: the companies that were making a killing on selling weapons in WWI are still at it, and their profits run as high as our death tolls.”
Oh! What a Lovely War was first staged by Joan Littlewood and the Theatre Workshop in 1963 as an anti-war musical pierrot show. The current production stays true to the Theatre Workshop’s original use of clowns eschewing the realism added by more recent productions.
Director: Benjamin Fuller Musical Director: Jonathan Harvey Cast: Brigid DeNeefe, Melinda Frith, Ezel Doruk, Paul Dawber, Mark Doggett, David Price, Jacob Grech, Hayley Barker, James Brennan, Chris Gaffney
Oh, What A Lovely War!
New Ballroom – Trades Hall Council, 54 Victoria Street, Carlton
Season continues to 3 August 2014
For more information, visit: www.renegadetheatre.org for details.
Image: courtesy of Renegade Theatre