Rehearsing hard for wartime play

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Members of Mansfield Palace Community Theatre are gearing up for their production of a wartime drama which will appear on stage next month.

Oh What A Lovely War was written in 1963 and uses songs of the time to entertain and educate audiences about the First World War.

With three weeks to go until the show, the company is pulling all the various elements together – the humour, songs and dances of the music hall which run side by side with the darker elements of the play focusing on war.

Current cast members who were involved in putting on Brassed Off last year have been drawing parallels between the two productions.

Andy Vjestica, who plays the satirised Kaiser, said: “The combination of music and comedy is a powerful tool in engaging the audience in a thought-provoking subject. When you get the timing right it is a fantastic feeling.

“Brassed Off and Oh What A Lovely War do that in equal measure.

“As the Kaiser might say, “We will make you laugh. We will make you cry!”

The Master of Ceremonies, Hayley Pownall, is loving creating a Music Hall atmosphere.

She said: “It is fantastic preparing to engage and work the crowd. The bad jokes and innuendo, the fun and banter with the crowd and the overall energy of our Pierrot ensemble will make for a good night in the Palace.”

The audience will be able to sing-a-long with songs from yesteryear - from Pack Up Your Troubles to Goodbye-ee and The Long, Long Trail to the title song, Oh It’s A Lovely War.

To book tickets to see Oh What A Lovely War, which runs from 3rd to 5th July, call the box office on Mansfield 633133 or visit www.mansfield.gov.uk/palacetheatre.