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Oh What A Lovely War

3.49  ·  Rating Details ·  175 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
This pioneering work is a theatrical chronicle of the First World War, told through the songs and documents of the period, was created in 1963 by Joan Littlewood's London-based group,Theatre Workshop. It was ground-breaking, not only for its blatant denounciation of the incompetence of political leaders during World War I, but also for its unusual theatrical style and deve ...more
Paperback, 95 pages
Published March 1st 1967 by Methuen Drama (first published January 1st 1967)
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(showing 1-30 of 310)
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Jul 25, 2016 Richard rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
Apart from the poems of Wilfred Owen et al from the Great War nothing has moved me more than the film and later the play of 'Oh What a Lovely War'.
It was a joy therefore to find this theatre workshop Bloomsbury edition - Original version and edited and introduced by Joan Littlewood. Reading it brought back the productions I have seen and it had me humming the songs.
No-one can really explain to us who have lived with peace during our lifetimes and we owe it in our act of remembrance to understand
Mar 03, 2015 Emily added it
Shelves: seen-performed
I saw this at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in Spring 2015. It was an incredibly powerful depiction of WWI.
Feb 23, 2015 Berenice rated it it was ok
Shelves: uni-books
Maybe if I see the play perform on stage I'd appreciate it much better...
Too many songs.
Izzi Seale
Apr 13, 2014 Izzi Seale rated it liked it
Decent play. Hard to tell completely what is happening when reading a play though. Would like to see it live
Simon Fletcher
Aug 28, 2016 Simon Fletcher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays, filmed
I have always loved reading plays. Their sparceness has always been their power in that as a reader you always have to do mor to make the story work. You have to act the play out in your own mind; more so than with a novel.
This though is not the easiest of plays to read as there is so much that is visual, newsreels, slides etc and relies on some knowledge of the songs being sung.
I would recommend this wholeheartedly though especially in this the centenary commemoration of the start of WWI.
Dec 31, 2015 Nick rated it really liked it
Shelves: plays
A play well written by a troupe about WWI! The characters feel real, and the play is very easy to follow, even though some small parts are written in a foreign language; not more than a few lines here and there. This play definitely goes from subtle humor to dark quickly, and never comes back up. If you enjoy a good read and a not so happy ending, but well ended play give this one a shot.
Dec 06, 2014 Ela rated it liked it
A biting satire chock full of historical references. The frantic delivery adds to the chaotic, sometimes unintelligible mood. While the irony is a little obvious in places, this is still a good read and serves pretty well as a summary of WWI.

(Think Blackadder's explanation of why WW1 started)
Mar 14, 2016 Helen rated it really liked it
Love the fact that when reading this play a friend was also reading it and they where completely different. A harrowing story of the war and a brave attempt to get the truth to the masses
Feb 12, 2015 Lizzie rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
I'm performing some of this in my A Level performing arts. I'm finding it a very fun play to perform and as I love Blackadder, the similarities between the two make it a win win situation!
Rachel Taylor
Mar 21, 2012 Rachel Taylor rated it it was ok
I have seen the play too, which I preferred, I think it was just more moving and created an emotion-intense performance, something I just think the play didn't convey so well.
Aug 22, 2009 Salli added it
I couldn't put it down once I had started, I could jsut see it and how painful it would be to watch, a really moving piece of writing I would love to direct
Feb 27, 2016 Milka rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013, 2014, plays
Had to read again for uni... I liked this much more the second time around.
Maria Shury-Smith
Maria Shury-Smith rated it it was amazing
Sep 12, 2016
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Jul 23, 2016
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Jul 02, 2016
Matthew rated it it was amazing
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May 11, 2016
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Sian Howell rated it really liked it
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