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Oh What A Lovely War - Plot Notes.

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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?" ...read more.


They talk about their shooting which is an unsubtle code for each countries position in the war. Switzerland is making money, as is America. Scotland is suffering great losses for Britain. Germany is firing on everyone and no one wants peace. * This act has many sarcastic songs, original from the time of the war. The next one used is "gassed last night" which is sung as slides of the damage caused by a gas attack are shown. * The next scene takes place in the trenches, where a commanding officer has come to talk to the soldiers to keep moral. He comes across as very pompous and stupid and obviously does not have a clue about life in the trenches. * In contrast, the next scene takes place at a ball and is used to show the complete ignorance of the upper classes. All they talk about is money and idle gossip. * The following scene features Haig, a genuine commander during the war. ...read more.


madness of Haig, who is looking forward to the day when the allies have ten thousand men left and Germany 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." Drama Coursework Stephanie Carter. 1 ...read more.

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