Changing the perceptions of the First World War – students enlisted for Redbridge Drama Centre show

Chloe Roberts (left) and Georgia Carnaby appear in Oh What a Lovely War at the Redbridge Drama Centr

Chloe Roberts (left) and Georgia Carnaby appear in Oh What a Lovely War at the Redbridge Drama Centre - Credit: Archant

The hidden side of the First World War, originally brought to life in an east London musical during the 1960s, will be performed for the first time in South Woodford by a cast of youngsters.

The Organised Crime Theatre Company and students from Trinity Catholic High School, Mornington Road, Woodford Green, will present Oh What a Lovely War, a show which helped to change public perceptions of the conflict.

‘Front line’

The landmark satirical musical, first directed by Joan Littlewood in 1963, depicts the lives of soldiers on the Western Front and what was happening at home.

Director Catherine Lynch, a recent graduate of Warwick University, said: “This is the company’s second project so we were eager to do a musical for the first time.

“We have a young cast of 22 alongside nine older performers who can offer help and advice with the production.

“The story shines light on the viewpoints of those on the front line during the First World War and delves below the surface to uncover their thoughts and feelings. This can vary from them thinking about their next visit to the pub to the death of someone close to them.”

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Fifty years after its premiere at Theatre Royal Stratford East, the show continues to amuse audiences with the shameless mocking of the politicians and generals of the era.

Miss Lynch added: “The musical combines fact and fiction, as well as the traditional songs sung by soldiers of the day.

“This is an enjoyable, family show which will hopefully make audiences think about the war and the impact it had on the lives of those involved.”

n Oh What a Lovely War is at the Redbridge Drama Centre, Churchfields, South Woodford, from Wednesday until July 20. To book call 020 8708 8803. Tickets are £9 for adults and £6 for children.