Essay about Oh What A Lovely War

Essay about Oh What A Lovely War

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Oh What A Lovely War - Plot Notes.

Act 1

* The M.C. chats to the audience to get them involved in the show

* The band play an appropriate piece of music for each nationality
as stereotypical representative of each enter talking about each
countries position in the war.

* Secret police from Serbia and Austro-Hungary hear the shot which
kills the archduke Ferdinand. We are told that Austria has
declared war on Serbia and that Russia has mobilised, and everyone
is unsure as to weather France will remain neutral or not.

* We then learn that England, France and Russia have allied
themselves to "ruin" Germany.

* Slides show that men are lining up to recruit to the army and that
everyone is feeling very patriotic, waving flags and marching in
parades.

* The newspanel reveals that Belgium is holding the Germans at
Liege.

* French and German officer's talk about the enormous casualties
that both sides have suffered, which is immediately followed by
the song "are we downhearted?" showing that the general mood is
still very positive.

* We are shown that there is mounting pressure for men to enlist,
with women encouraging them.

* There is a scene in which we are shown the idiocy of the upper
classes who refuse to use an interpreter to communicate, even
though they cannot speak others language.

* This is followed shortly by a scene in the trenches showing how
down to earth, realistic and sensible the lower classes are. It is
a scene about the Christmas of 1914 when German and English
soldiers exchange presents.

* The act finishes with another optimistic, patriotic song, which is
interrupted by exploding shells.

Act 2

* Act 2 is much more cynical, opening with the sarcastic title song...


... middle of paper ...


...ermany have
five thousand.

* In the following scene we see the churches support for the war,
and two cynical songs of war a sung to the tune of two hymns.

* Amidst the burying and burning of the dead soldiers, Haig is still
talking about "a breakdown in enemy morale", though it is obvious
that there is also a breakdown in the morale of the allies.

* The scene with the Lancashire lasses personalises the losses, as
they talk about losing six members of the Arkwright family. We
also see the Australians joining the war.

* In the next scene the French soldiers attempt to mutiny, but faced
with the prospect of the firing squad, they are lead into no mans
land baaing like sheep, and are all shot down.

* The play ends with a series of songs, the newpanel reading "the
war to end wars killed ten million wounded twenty-one million
missing seven million."

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