Thursday, October 04, 2007

Hope Mary will pull through the next few days ok. She got tix for us to LaSalle's "Oh! What a Lovely War!" but while driving to meet us, she knocked over a motorcyclist. The guy hurt his arm and was shaken up, but fortunately, nothing worse. Now she's going through the necessary reporting stages, investigation, and whatever else.

Meantime, our dinner and show plans carried on as usual. We met Jen and Adrian at Sketches for a quick pasta meal. Jen generously shared her voluptuously juicy sausage that went with her spaghetti.

"OWLW!" was quite a slick, professional production by the students of the drama school. The house opened with the chorus streaming out into the lobby area to personally invite the audience in. There was no opening curtain as the cast was already performing a selection of WW1 songs while the audience was still finding their seats. With such high energy from the outset, I knew we were in for a great show.

It was quite the history lesson on the First World War, seen from the viewpoints of the various European nations involved. We got an insight into the political and industrial leadership's motivations for the war, as well as look into the lives and attitudes the commoners at home, and the soldiers in the trenches.

It was uncomfortable as the sober realities of the horror that was WW1 were brought home to us through comic sketches, songs of the period, a backdrop slideshow of old b&w photographs, and simple mass dance movements. I was thinking that if anyone was studying up on WW1, this show would provide a nice, broad overview.

The use of the different European accents might make it a little inaccessible to our local audience though, especially if they're not used to 'Allo 'Allo. The tech was also a little off, with some of the action taking place in the dark, and occasionally the lights came on late.

Regardless, there is a lot of talent in these students. They ensemble cast played well together, to deliver a highly polished production. The guy with the megaphone had me scratching my head a bit, though. What exactly was his role, being cast so anomalously in relation to the period and the other characters? Both in and out of the ensemble, my best guess is that he is the audience's anchor to that distant conflagration so long ago.

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