Credit due for a thought-provoking production

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AS St George’s Community Players vividly recalled the horrors of war of a century ago, this prose is not so much a critique, but rather an appraisal of a potted history of events dating back to 1914.

It was an eerie atmosphere in St George’s Church Hall on the opening night of three performances of Oh What A Lovely War, a musical entertainment by Joan Littlewood and Theatre Workshop played as a Pierrot show throughout.

There was some comedy in the dialogue, but the overriding factors served as a chilling reminder of the sad loss of the millions of lives, which was imprinted onto the minds of the audience via a digital projector beaming a powerpoint presentation onto a screen, in the conflict known as the Great War.

For Jared Johnson, who doubled up as producer and director, this was a mammoth task with a cast of 26 in a performance lasting well over two hours.

It was an evening crammed with poignant moments encapsulating those horrific events, but the most emotional scenes came towards the end with a final chorus and reprise of Oh What A Lovely War, a pause for thought and a sharp reminder of our own existence and mortality.

Full credit to the entire cast for their re-enactment of difficult and harrowing scenes, and also to a live six-piece band led by Andrew Hamnett on keyboard.

Mr Johnson said: “The show deliberately set out to be thought-provoking and if the audience have viewed it like that then the actors and myself have done what I wanted them to do – to get folk thinking.”

BRIAN BENNETT