The Royal National Theatre will embark on a unique educational experience this year when it takes a seven hundred seat circus tent on tour across the UK with a new production of Oh What a Lovely War. The musical, on tour from 19 Mar. to 20 June, is directed by Fiona Laird, designed by Tom Piper with lighting by Ian Scott and musical direction and arrangements by Neil McArthur.
In 1914, millions of new recruits left home for a war experience from which many would never return. Following the fortunes of Private Shorthouse, Harry Hotlips and Sister Susie, Oh What a Lovely War is a vibrant and touching account of World War I, featuring now well-known songs such as "It's a Long Way to Tipperary"and "Keep the Home Fires Burning". The production will encompass a company of 19 actors and five musicians.
The tour has been produced by RNT Education in conjunction with Mamaloucos Circus Company who are responsible for designing and managing the original, custom-built, circus-style tent. The tent will tour as part of a small self-contained village which includes two smaller tents with foyer and bar facilities.
RNT Education is currently touring a production of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night to 50 schools across the nation. The show, which sets off this week, is an interactive, promenade production complete with specially designed classroom packs and a teaching video. The aim is to de-mystify Shakespeare for students. The cast features some bright stars from the RNT's stable including Katy Secombe who starred recently in Sir Richard Eyre's smash production of Guys and Dolls.