Tuesday, 8 July 2014

New Street Theatre Company's production of Oh What A Lovely War

There are some theatre productions you know are going to be fantastic and full of energy before you even enter the theatre space. This is due to the pedigree of the director based on the reputation they have built through previous innovative shows and near professional productions with amateur casts. Meaning that the director cast and crew work with them to produce something exceptional. 'Run of the mill' is not in their theatrical vocabulary. I have a very strong feeling that this will be the case with Martin Berry and his New Street Company in association with Lakeside at Nottingham University. They are about to launch their production of Joan Littlewood's  Oh What A Lovely War playing from Tuesday 15th to Saturday 26th of July.

Their solid reputation shows in the fact that they have secured a double page spread in the local newspaper The Nottingham Post today promoting the play and the Nottingham connections during the First World War. Plus the cast have been performing live in the city centre Victoria shopping centre to great applause and a good increase of ticket sales.

To semi - quote from the article Martin Berry says that he was happy as a director to branch out from the more obvious musicals he has done in the past such as Sweeney Todd and Into The Woods. This time this piece is a play with songs rather than a musical and offers challenges in a good way and has been strongly embraced with gusto by the director and hand picked cast. Some of his previous talent have been chosen to join the OWALW team with some new talents from the cream of Nottingham's amateur players. They are all young, energetic and have a real dedication to the piece and what it might mean to a modern audience. The cast feel that they have been dividing their time between presenting an entertainment and honouring the people who died in the war. The piece is mainly presented as a comedy but has a serious intent and the laughs reveal some ugly truths about exploitation and mismanagement of the troops leading to thousands being slaughtered on all sides.
cast rehearsing a technical rehearsal for sound

Even the audience have an opportunity to take sides. The audience seating is divided between "The War Artists" situated in the traditional auditoria and "The War Poets" situated on the opposite side of the stage facing the War Artists. Each placing has equally good viewing I'm led to believe. Regardless I look forward to reviewing the show on the 15th July. Whoops there goes a Whizzbang!
Bookings can be made through www.lakesidearts.org.uk or telephone the box office at 0115 8467777.

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