Witty musical reveals injustices of The Great War in Henfield

From left: Sylvie Ashthorpe, Tony Westwood (back), Helen Fyles and Ian Henham. Picture by Lyn Sheppard
From left: Sylvie Ashthorpe, Tony Westwood (back), Helen Fyles and Ian Henham. Picture by Lyn Sheppard
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The next production from the Henfield Theatre Company will be the classic Oh! What a Lovely War, conceived in the early 1960s by Joan Littlewood’s Theatre Workshop.

Spokesman Martin Love said: “The show is a theatrical masterpiece, which brings home the injustices of the Great War while emphasising the enormous strength of spirit of the ordinary soldiers who had to do their duty.

“It takes the form of a series of songs and sketches as if performed on a seaside pier, and it is a most entertaining and amusing as well as thought provoking, piece of theatre. Items of factual information are periodically shown on the stage to add context to the scenes being portrayed. The facts are still hard to believe, even for those who have seen the film or the stage show before. The many musical numbers that feature in the show are either from the time of the Great War or parodied from songs of that period.”

“For Henfield Theatre Company the show has special significance because of its links with the 1969 film version, directed by Richard Attenborough and filmed mainly in Sussex. One of the cast of that film, Jean Reeve, has been a member of Henfield Theatre company for many years, as has her daughter, Helen Fyles, who will be performing in the Henfield production.

“The stage show is directed by Peter Ingledew, musical direction is by David Barnett and the choreographer is Alice Forward.”

Performances are on Wednesday to Saturday, May 17-20, at The Henfield Hall (7.30pm). The box office is at Henfield Furnishings, Henfield High Street (01273 490080). Tickets are priced £10 and £12. For more information visit www.henfieldtheatrecompany.com.

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