The UK tour will mark the 60th anniversary of Joan Littlewood’s musical.

It has been announced that Blackeyed Theatre’s revival of Oh What a Lovely War will embark on a UK tour from this September, opening at the Wilde Theatre, Bracknell on the 14th September and will feature a three week run at the Southwark Playhouse Borough from the 21st November until the 9th December, with dates for 2024 to be confirmed.

This new revival of the musical is directed by Nicky Allpress (The Shape of Things, Park Theatre; The Walworth Farce, Southwark Playhouse Elephant; My Brilliant Friend, National Theatre) and is set to star: Christopher Arkeston (Only Fools and Horses: The Musical, Theatre Royal Haymarket; Revolting Women, Mikron Theatre Company; Much Ado About Nothing, Cambridge Shakespeare Festival), 2023 Rose Bruford graduate Tom Crabtree, Harry Curley (Once, Barn Theatre; Summer in the City, The Gatehouse; Caligari, Underbelly), Alice E Mayer (Frankenstein, Blackeyed Theatre; The Chronicles of Wild Hollow, Audible; Y Mabinogi, Welsh tour), Chioma Uma (Brief Encounter, New Wolsey and UK tour; Kiss Me Kate, Watermill Theatre; Cinderella The Rockin’ Panto!, New Wolsey Theatre) and Euan Wilson (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Vienna English Theatre; The Great Gatsby, Immersive London; Stick Man, UK tour).

Wildly satirical, visually stunning and deeply moving, it’s the musical that revolutionised modern theatre; an exhilarating, no-holds-barred assault on the military incompetence and inconceivable disregard for human life the First World War has come to represent.

Brimming with timeless songs, razor-sharp satire and high jinks, Oh What A Lovely War is a hilarious, heart-breaking snapshot of life for those caught in the crossfire of conflict, a unanimous voice from the trenches and a timely warning from the theatre of war itself. Now, more than ever, it holds a mirror up to the world and speaks to us all.

Talking about the news of the production, Nicky Allpress commented, “I’m so thrilled to be directing this unique piece of theatrical history, having followed Blackeyed Theatre and their extraordinary work for many years. One of the most exciting things about Oh What a Lovely War is how universal, timeless, and ever relevant it is, and testament to the brilliance of the work is how it can bear endless reinterpretation. Our concept will explore the idea of war as a circus, with an incredibly talented company of actor-musicians bringing Joan Littlewood’s ground-breaking classic to life with music, comedy, and stories.”

The creative team behind the production will include: musical direction by Ellie Verkerk (Burnt City, Punchdrunk; The Color Purple, UK tour; SIX, West End and UK tour) andmovement direction by Adam Haigh (The Mikado, Theatre Royal Bath and UK tour; Ruddigore, Wilton’s Music Hall; Kiss Me Kate, Leicester Curve), set design by Victoria Spearing, costume design by Naomi Gibbs, lighting design by Alan Valentine and is produced by Adrian McDougall.

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