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Shaw Festival's OH WHAT A LOVELY WAR Explores Canadian Voices

Niagara-on-the-Lake's World War I connections - from residents who enlisted to the garrisoned troops being entertained in the Royal George Theatre - are highlighted in director Peter Hinton's re-improvised Oh What a Lovely War. With music direction by Paul Sportelli and movement direction by Alexis Milligan, this provocative production about the theatre of war begins previews at the Royal George Theatre on July 14.

Specifically created for The Shaw to include the Canadian wartime perspective, this refashioning of Oh What a Lovely War stays true to the spirit of Joan Littlewood's ground-breaking musical. Archival images and footage present a dark and horrific contrast to the musical numbers and onstage levity. Completing the Canadian narrative are the voices of Indigenous soldiers, members of the all-black No. 2 Construction Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF); the women at home and the Front; and those who conscientiously objected to the fight. Oh What a Lovely War features the talents of David Ball, Ryan Cunningham, James Daly, Kristi Frank, Jeff Irving, Allan Louis, Marla McLean, Kiera Sangster, Jacqueline Thair and Jenny L. Wright.

Designer Teresa Przybylski's set and costumes combined with lighting design by Bonnie Beecher and projections by Howard J. Davis create a hauntingly, yet poignant canvas for this satirical World War I-era musical.

Oh What a Lovely War is on stage at the Royal George Theatre (85 Queen Street, Niagara-on-the-Lake) from July 14 to October 13 (Media Premiere August 1). This Shaw Festival production is proudly sponsored by the William and Nona Macdonald Heaslip Foundation.

This production has an age recommendation of 14+.

Cast: (in alphabetical order)

David Ball
Ryan Cunningham
James Daly
Kristi Frank
Jeff Irving
Allan Louis
Marla McLean
Kiera Sangster
Jacqueline Thair
Jenny L. Wright

Creative & Production:

Peter Hinton
Paul Sportelli
Teresa Przybylski
Bonnie Beecher
Howard J. Davis
Alexis Milligan
Diane Konkin
Leigh McClymont
Music Director
Lighting Designer
Projection Designer
Movement Director
Stage Manager
Assistant Stage Manager

About Oh What a Lovely War
Book by Joan Littlewood, Theatre Workshop and Charles Chilton
Research by Gerry Raffles
After treatments by Ted Allan and others

The Shaw Festival's 2018 season is on stage with a playbill that features The Magician's Nephew, Grand Hotel, Mythos: A Trilogy - Gods. Heroes. Men., The Hound of the Baskervilles, Stage Kiss, Of Marriage and Men: A Comedy Double-Bill, O'Flaherty V.C., Oh What a Lovely War, The Orchard (After Chekhov), The Baroness and the Pig, Henry V, Secret Theatre and A Christmas Carol (on stage November 14 - December 23).

Direct bus service from Toronto to Niagara-on-the-Lake on the Shaw Express began April 4. Patrons can choose to come for a day or stay for the weekend with a round trip costing $25. New this season: the Shaw Express will stay for two performances on some Saturdays - departing Toronto at 10 a.m. and leaving The Shaw at 11 p.m. Schedule is subject to change. Please confirm dates and times with the Shaw Festival Box Office. A ticket to a 2018 Shaw Festival performance is required to access this service.

To purchase tickets for the 2018 Festival season and Shaw Express, please contact the Shaw Festival Box Office at 1-800-511-SHAW and online at

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