Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Review: Oh What A Lovely War (UK Tour) at the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre



Oh What A Lovely War (UK Tour) 
Aylesbury Waterside Theatre
Reviewed on Tuesday 28th April 2015
★★★

Terry Johnson’s revival of Oh What A Lovely War is touring the UK following successful runs at the Theatre Royal Stratford East. A satirical musical about World War I, the inclusion of old war songs allows many to reminisce whilst the show's message about the horrors of war remains frighteningly relevant today.

Numbers performed include ‘It's a Long Way to Tipperary’, ‘Pack up Your Troubles’ and ‘Keep the Home Fires Burning’. It was quite touching to hear people softly singing along at various points throughout the evening; I’m still humming a couple of the tunes.

Oh What A Lovely War has a beautiful spirit and creates an inclusive, welcoming atmosphere which draws in its audience. The ensemble cast give bold and vibrant performances, creating both hugely funny and deeply poignant moments.

The stand out performance comes from Wendi Peters who takes to the stage with old school charm and glamour. She throws herself into every moment, stealing scenes and owning her big numbers. 

The show's structure is all over the place. Scenes are disconnected, some sections feel out of place and sometimes it became challenging to keep up as clear focus is lacking throughout. The audience are certainly kept on their toes!

With a powerful anti-war message, Oh What A Lovely War is a piece of theatre with a point to make. The ending is undeniably moving, but I feel the show lacks fluidity and could go further. Oh What A Lovely War makes a nice change to other musicals touring at the moment; it’s real, it’s eye opening and it’s important. 

Reviewed by Andrew Tomlins (Editor)

Oh What A Lovely War runs at the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre until Saturday 2nd May and tours the UK until Saturday 30th May 2015. Please visit www.stratfordeast.com for further information, full tour dates and tickets.

Photo Credit: Alastair Muir

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