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Oh, What a Lovely War! (1963)

Compositeur: *** Divers

Parolier: *** Divers

Librettiste: *** Divers

Oh What A Lovely War, a satirical musical about World War I, is a comment against war in general and remains relevant in today’s environment.

Généralités: Histoire, thèmes et particularités

Résumé

A chronicle of the horrors of the First World War, told through songs and original material from the time. The Master of Ceremonies leads a colourful cast through a series of darkly humourous and often moving scenes with songs including 'Keep the Home Fires Burning', 'It's a Long Way to Tipperary', and 'Goodbye-ee'.

Synopsis complet

 

Historique du musical

Génèse du musical

The play originated with Charles Chilton's radio musical The Long Long Trail, composed of World War I songs and named for the popular music hall song "There's A Long Long Trail A-Winding." The piece was a radio documentary that used facts and statistics, juxtaposed with songs of the time, as an ironic critique of the reality of the war.

The musical premiered at the Theatre Royal Stratford East on 19 March 1963; according to Charles Chilton, Joan Littlewood was unconvinced until the show actually opened.[citation needed] The official censor did not grant permission for performance in the West End until Princess Margaret attended a performance and commented to the Lord Chamberlain, Lord Cobbold, that "What you've said here tonight should have been said long ago, don't you agree, Lord Cobbold?"; at this point the transfer was more or less assured despite the objections of the family of Field Marshal Haig. It was an ensemble production featuring members of the theatre's regular company, which included Brian Murphy, Victor Spinetti and Glynn Edwards, all of whom played several roles. The sets were designed by John Bury. The production subsequently transferred to Wyndham's Theatre in June of the same year. The production was a surprise hit, and the musical was adapted by the BBC for radio several times.

The musical premiered in the United States on Broadway at the Broadhurst Theatre on 30 September 1964 and closed on 16 January 1965 after 125 performances. It was seen there by actor and former subaltern Basil Rathbone, who wrote to Charles Chilton that "we were duped, it was a disgusting war".[citation needed] Directed by Littlewood, the cast featured Spinetti and Murphy, plus Barbara Windsor. It received four Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical, and Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical (for Windsor). Spinetti won the Theatre World Award.

 

Détails

Liste des chansons

Act 1
"Row, Row, Row" (lyrics by William Jerome, music by James Monaco) – The Ensemble
"We Don't Want to Lose You (Your King and Country Want You)" (music and lyrics by Paul Rubens) – The Ladies
"Belgium Put the Kibosh on the Kaiser" (music and lyrics by Paddy Ellerton) – Valerie Walsh
"Are We Downhearted" – The Men
"It's a Long Way to Tipperary" (music and lyrics by Jack Judge and Harry Williams) – The Men
"Hold Your Hand Out Naughty Boy" (music and lyrics by Murphy and David) – The Men
"I'll Make a Man of You" (music and lyrics by Arthur Wimperis and Herman Finck) – Barbara Windsor
"Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit-Bag" (lyrics by George Asaf) – The Men
"Hitchykoo" (lyrics by L. Wolfe Gilbert, music by Lewis F. Muir and Maurice Abrahams) – Fanny Carby
"Heilige Nacht" – Colin Kemball
"Goodbye...ee" (lyrics by R. P. Weston, music by Bert Lee) – Victor Spinetti

Act 2
"Oh What a Lovely War" – The Ensemble
"Gassed Last Night" – The Men
"Roses of Picardy" (music by Haydn Wood) – Linda Loftus and Ian Paterson
"Hush Here Comes a Whizzbang" – The Men
"There's a Long Long Trail" (lyrics by Stoddard King) – Ian Paterson
"I Don't Want to Be a Soldier" – The Men
"Kaiser Bill" – The Men
"They Were Only Playing Leapfrog" – The Men
"Old Soldiers Never Die" – Murray Melvin
"Far Far from Wipers" (music and lyrics by Bingham and Greene) – Colin Kemball
"If the Sergeant Steals Your Rum" – The Men
"I Wore a Tunic (When You Wore a Tulip)" – Ian Paterson
"Forward Joe Soap's Army" – The Men
"Fred Karno's Army" – The Men
"When This Lousy War is Over" – Colin Kembal
"Wash Me in the Water" – The Men
"I Want to Go Home" – The Men
"The Bells Of Hell Go Ting-a-ling-a-ling" – The Men
"Keep the Home Fires Burning" (lyrics by Lena Gulibert Ford, music by Ivor Novello) – Myvanwy Jenn
"Sister Susie's Sewing Shirts" (lyrics by R. P. Weston, music by Herman Darewski) – Barbara Windsor
"La Chanson de Craonne" (music and lyrics by Valliant and Couturier) – The Ensemble
"Don't Want to Be a Soldier" – The Ensemble
"And When They Asked Us" (music and lyrics by Jerome Kern) – The Ensemble

Textes disponibles on-line

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Versions du musical

Versions majeures de Oh, What a Lovely War!

Version 1

Oh, What a Lovely War! (1998-08-Roundhouse-London) (Revival)
Durée : 2 mois
Nombre :
Première Preview : jeudi 06 août 1998
Première : mercredi 12 août 1998
Dernière : dimanche 11 octobre 1998
Mise en scène : Fiona Laird
Chorégraphie : Peter Darling
Avec : David Arneil, Clive Hayward, Richard Henders, Dean Lennox Kelly, Rebecca Lock, Paul J. Medford, Karl Morgan, Jackie Morrison, Dominic McHale, Mark Oxotby, Elizabeth Renihan, Rachel Spry, Kraig Thomber, Nicholas Tigg, Luke Williams
Commentaires :
This was a touring production in a circus-type tent, designed to take the production around the UK especially to places where there was no permanent theatre. It had begun its tour in Milton Keynes:
> 6 Aug 98 to 11 Oct 98: Roundhouse, West End
> 16 Jun 98 to 20 Jun 98 Playhouse, Nottingham
> 2 Jun 98 to 6 Jun 98 Richmond Theatre, Outer London
> 25 May 98 to 30 May 98 Forum Studio Theatre
> 12 May 98 to 16 May 98 Wrekin College Sports Hall, Telford
> 31 Mar 98 to 4 Apr 98 Stantonbury Campus Theatre, Milton Keynes
> 24 Mar 98 to 28 Mar 98 Thameside Theatre, Grays
En savoir plus sur cette version

Version 2

Oh, What a Lovely War! (2002-07-Open Air Theatre Regent's Park-London) (Revival)
Durée : 1 mois 1 semaine
Nombre :
Première Preview : mardi 23 juillet 2002
Première : jeudi 25 juillet 2002
Dernière : Inconnu
Mise en scène : Ian Talbot
Chorégraphie : Gillian Gregory
Avec : Jon Cartwright, John Conroy, Daniel Crossley, Benedict Cumberbatch, Audrey Palmer, Harry Peacock, Michael Sadler, Liza Sadovy, Guy Vincent
Commentaires :
With a cast of 17, this open-air production was generally felt to lack the anger and rage that should underlie the surface jollity, and to have lost some of its bite by being played in the open-air. However, it was still recognised as having a message as relevant today as ever.
En savoir plus sur cette version

Version 3

Oh, What a Lovely War! (2014-02-Theatre Royal Stratford East-London) (Revival)
Durée : 1 mois 1 semaine
Nombre :
Première Preview : samedi 01 février 2014
Première : samedi 01 février 2014
Dernière : samedi 15 mars 2014
Mise en scène : Terry Johnson
Chorégraphie :
Avec :
En savoir plus sur cette version

Mais aussi, quelques versions régionales ou mineures, ... de Oh, What a Lovely War!

 

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