04.09.2014

Posted on September 4, 2014

Watching Oh! What a Lovely War, directed by the late Richard Attenborough, gives a window to the creative tension that arises around the satirical representation of war. It follows the life of the Smith family through a series of music hall encounters in and around the appropriation of Brighton pier and seafront. With simple opening credits (which would have been tragically monumental on a cinema screen), alongside the gentility of whitened Edwardian seaside architecture settle comedy, sorrow and songs from the war into a very complex assembly, negotiating emotion, and choreographed politic and tuneful cultural awareness. This complexity perhaps mirrors the preoccupations of its screenplay writer and Theatre Workshop director, Joan Littlewood, who interestingly, also collaborated with architect Cedric Price in the conception of the Fun Palace. An epic place of social simultaneity and emergent spatial action…