By: ELOISE WALTON
OH! WHAT a lovely production. The Algarveans theatre group certainly outdid themselves in their spirited rendition of the musical tragic-comedy Oh! What a Lovely War, staged in Lagoa’s municipal auditorium from Tuesday until Thursday 6.
This show, which has its roots in a 1962 radio documentary musical of World War One songs, juxtaposed with facts and statistics to highlight the ironic realities of war, was chosen by Algarveans Director, David Butler Cole.
“It is the realisation of a cherished dream of mine,” he said, adding: “The message that the show transmits is as fresh today as when it was first produced in 1963. Waging war is lunacy, and causes only suffering and deprivation to both those directly engaged and those who suffer from its effects for years after.”
The original radio show soon expanded to become a theatre adaptation by the following year and by the end of the 60’s Oh! What a Lovely War gained popular acclaim having been brought to the screen by Richard Attenborough with a star-studded cast.
Although there may not be any Hollywood stars in this cast, there are certainly some Algarve stars, including the skilled master of ceremonies, Graham Cooper.
As well as all the old favourite faces, such as Lloyd Delderfield, with his hilarious stage personalities, and the multi-faceted Paul Capper, newer members of The Algarveans put in some very spirited performances.
Generals, soldiers, suffragettes and nurses, were all wonderfully kitted out in fabulous well thought out costumes and props that added an authentic wartime feel to the show.
British residents Chris and Melanie Winstanley and young actresses Jazzmin Martin-Bruundle and Melissa Santos also made very memorable performances.
The musical part of the show included all the well known wartime songs, such as Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag, Keep the home fires burning and Good-byee, accompanied by the theatre group’s accompanist David Barker.
The proceeds from this production and the sale of raffle tickets were all donated to the Royal British Legion’s 2008 Poppy Appeal.
For more information about The Algarveans theatre group, please visit the website, available in English at www.thealgarveans.com