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Oh What a Lovely War Theatre Royal Stratford East and on Tour

Stratford East Oh What a Lovely WarFollowing a sold-out run in spring 2014, Terry Johnson’s hit revival of Oh What A Lovely War will return to its spiritual home, the Theatre Royal Stratford East,  arriving in the new year in January 2015, before commencing on a national tour. It will be produced by Judy Lloyd and Matthew Mitchell.

Oh What A Lovely War, a satirical musical about World War I, originally premiered at Theatre Royal Stratford East in 1963. Joan Littlewood adapted the play from Charles Chilton’s work for radio through her company Theatre Workshop. It was an immediate hit, transferring to the West End in June 1963, opening on Broadway in 1964 and receiving four Tony Award nominations including Best Musical.

This production, directed by Terry Johnson, opened at Theatre Royal Stratford East in February 2014, to public and critical acclaim. Such is the demand, it will return again in 2015, little more than a hundred years since the outbreak of the First World War.

Kerry Michael, Artistic Director of Theatre Royal Stratford East said, “We’re delighted that following a sell-out success earlier this year, Oh What A Lovely War will be returning to us before heading out on a national tour. It’s a hugely important show that everyone should see.

After Theatre Royal Stratford East, the production will embark upon a UK tour.

Venues and casting to be announced.

The musical is packed with familiar songs from the World War I era including ‘It’s a Long Way to Tipperary’, ‘Pack up Your Troubles’ and ‘Keep the Home Fires Burning’. The songs are performed against a projected backdrop of images and shocking statistics conveying the harsh realities of war.

This revival was made possible by producer Christopher Malcolm, who passed away shortly after it opened at Theatre Royal Stratford East in February 2014.

Terry Johnson has won nine British Theatre awards including Olivier Awards for Best Comedy and Playwright of the Year. In 2010 he won the Tony Award for Best Director of a Musical for La Cage aux Folles. His theatre credits as both director and writer are prolific including End of the Rainbow (2010-11) which was nominated for three Olivier Awards, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice (2009) and most recently Hysteria (2012) with Antony Sher.

Joan Littlewood, born in 1914, was an English theatre director noted for her work in developing the left-wing Theatre Workshop, which became permanently based at Theatre Royal Stratford East in 1953. The company was based at Theatre Royal Stratford East and gained a reputation for hard-hitting theatrical productions touring Europe and the Soviet Union. She directed and starred in the British premiere of Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children (1955) and is best remembered for her critically acclaimed production of Shelagh Delaney’s A Taste of Honey (1958) and the satirical musical Oh What A Lovely War (1963).

Theatre Royal Stratford East presents
Joan Littlewood’s Musical Entertainment
by Theatre Workshop, Charles Chilton, Gerry Raffles and Members of the Original Cast.
Title suggested by Ted Allen.
Military Adviser Raymond Fletcher
Directed by Terry Johnson
Designed by Lez Brotherston
Theatre Royal Stratford East
Thu 29 Jan – Saturday 7 Feb 2015
Mon-Sat 7.30pm
Mats: Tue & Thu 2pm, Sat 3pm
£8.50 – £34.50 (Schools £7.50/£10)
Booking opens to friends: Thursday 3 July, midday
General sale: Monday 7 July, 10am
Box Office: 020 8534 0310
Book Online at www.stratfordeast.com

Thursday 3rd July 2014


  • Neil Cheesman

    First becoming involved in an online theatre business in 2005 and launching londontheatre1.com in September 2013. Neil writes reviews and news articles, and has interviewed over 150 actors and actresses from the West End, Broadway, film, television, and theatre. Follow Neil on Twitter @LondonTheatre1

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