News: Students prepare for latest Curve and De Montfort University co-production of Oh! What A Lovely War

Rehearsals are underway for this year’s Curve and De Montfort University (DMU) co-production, with drama students set to perform Joan Littlewood’s classic war satire, Oh! What a Lovely War

Directed by Curve’s RYTDS Resident Assistant Director Lilac Yosiphon, the production will run from Thursday 19 to Saturday 21 May.

The ensemble piece will be performed by 18 Drama BA (Hons) DMU students: Amirah Alabere, Ffion Angell, Tayla Baxter, Kyron-Ellis Bryan, Charlie Evans, Will Gray, Jake Harper, Robert Hart, Alysha Hornby, Chisenga Malama, Sandija Misika, Grace Muguo, Thomas Norris, Romy Payne, Oskar Konrad Puanecki, Anna Rowbottom, Renae Samuels and Kelly Townsend.

Ben Garnett joins the company as Musical Director, with set and costume design by Eleanor Field.

First staged in 1963, Joan Littlewood’s Theatre Workshop production Oh! What a Lovely War is an epic and pioneering musical which explores the horrors and futilities of World War I. Filled with music-hall songs and wartime classics including ‘It’s A Long Way To Tipperary’, ‘Good-bye-ee’ and ‘Oh! What a Lovely War’, the production is hilarious and harrowing in equal measure.

Curve’s Chief Executive Chris Stafford and Artistic Director Nikolai Foster said:

“Joan Littlewood created the ultimate paean for peace with her mighty anti-war play Oh! What a Lovely War. With her Theatre Workshop, Littlewood’s seminal work has sadly never felt more relevant or urgent than it does today. We are thrilled our collaboration with De Montfort University continues to go from strength to strength and the talented DMU drama students will breathe new life into this work, reclaiming the play for these troubled times. And we are pleased to introduce our Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme director Lilac Yosiphon, who leads this project.”

Oh! What a Lovely War marks the first live, in-person Curve and De Montfort University co-production since the pandemic, following last year’s innovative streamed production of Federico Garcia Lorca’s Blood Wedding.

Dr Elinor Parsons, senior lecturer in Drama at DMU, said:

“This year’s co-production with Curve builds on our performance project modules and there’s an excited buzz amongst the students about performing in Curve’s studio theatre.

“The chosen text is both hard-hitting and playful, with an evenly distributed cast, allowing everyone to contribute in a rewarding way. It’s been very heartening to see the students developing such a strong bond as a group.”

As part of the production, Curve will curate an exhibition including rehearsal photography and an insight into the production, as well as support for those affected by the current war in Ukraine.

Tickets for Oh! What a Lovely War at Curve are on sale now. To find out more and book, visit www.curveonline.co.uk, call 0116 242 3595 or visit the Box Office in-person.

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