Review: Oh! What A Lovely War, Woolpit Drama Club, Woolpit Village Hall

Woolpit Drama Club's production of 'Oh! What a Lovely War'

Woolpit Drama Club's production of 'Oh! What a Lovely War' - Credit: Archant

Dark, moody, nostalgic, tragic ... and even comical.

They were just some of the ingredients for the Woolpit Drama Club’s latest production which played to packed audience, last night, at the village hall.

It was particularly poignant that the musical, which contained a raft of familiar tunes that had those watching singing along, was performed to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War.

Many were joining in with “It’s A Long Way To Tipperary”, “Pack Up Your Troubles”,

“Keep The Home Fires Burning” and “Goodbye-ee.”

And for every ticket sold for the shows £1 was donated to the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal. A wonderful gesture by the drama club.

Director David Cordon must get a huge pat on the back for pulling together a marvellous portrayal of the musical which the club first performed some 14 years ago.

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It featured a wonderful combination of music hall songs, cast dressed as pierrots all counterbalanced by the horrors of trench warfare complete with the terrifying and realistic sound effects of gunfire, bombs and exploding shells.

Add to that was the detailed information and warfare photos regularly flashed on the backdrop of the stage of the number of casualties during the fighting and the tragic loss of millions of lives, bringing the futility of war into sharp perspective.

The 14-strong cast were superb in every aspect with their pathos, humour and harmonies which was all backed up by the creative and technical teams.

And a special mention to the six-piece orchestra from County Upper School under the direction of Julian Jarvis who played faultlessly.

The Woolpit Drama Club has a long and distinguished career and a huge band of dedicated followers who would not have been disappointed with this latest production.

It was a major triumph and many will be looking forward to their next stage presentation on March 26, 27 and 28, of Black Comedy, at the village hall.

Oh! What A Lovely War, which began its run last night, ends today with performances at 2.30pm and 7.30pm.

Russell Cook

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