Oh! What a Lovely War

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Oh! What A Lovely War began life in 1963 as a stage musical by Joan Littlewood and her London Theatre Workshop based on a book by the historian Alan Clark.

This satire on World War I (and by extension against war in general), was a surprise hit. It was adapted by the BBC for radio, and in 1969, Richard Attenborough transformed it into a film. His star-studded cast included Dirk Bogarde, John Gielgud, John Mills, Kenneth More, Laurence Olivier, Corin Redgrave, Michael Redgrave, Vanessa Redgrave, Ralph Richardson, and Maggie Smith.

The stage show is traditionally performed in pierrot costumes, and features such World War I era songs as "It's A Long Way To Tipperary", "Pack Up Your Troubles" and "Keep The Home Fires Burning". However, harsh images of war and shocking statistics are usually projected onto the backdrop, providing a stark contrast with the comedy of the action taking place before it.

In recent years, it has faced criticism as being a one-sided portrayal of the events of the Great War and, in particular, its leaders, such as Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig.

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