Cast announced for UK tour of Oh What A Lovely War

Wendi Peters, Ian Reddington, Christopher Villiers in ensemble cast
Two-week run of hit 2014 production at Theatre Royal Stratford East followed by national tour.

Ian Reddington (Eastenders, Coronation Street) and Christopher Villiers (Emmerdale) will join Wendi Peters, best known for her role as Cilla Battersby in Coronation Street, in the ensemble cast of Oh What A Lovely War on its national tour in 2015.

Ensemble cast includes: Emma Crossley, Marcus Ellard, Alex Giannini, Richard Glaves, Lauren Hood, Alice Bailey Johnson, William Oxborrow, Mark Prendergast, Neil Stewart and Bleu Woodward.

Following a sold-out run in spring 2014, Terry Johnson’s hit revival of OH WHAT A LOVELY WAR will return to its spiritual home – Theatre Royal Stratford East – in January 2015, before embarking on a national tour. It will be produced by Christopher Malcolm Productions Ltd and Matthew Mitchell.

Wendi Peters is best known for her portrayal of the iconic Cilla Battersby in Coronation Street – a role to which she returned this year. Alongside her screen work, Wendi is in much demand as a stage actress with recent credits including White Christmas at the Lowry, Manchester, The Mystery Of Edwin Drood at the Arts Theatre, West End and most recently Rutherford & Son for Northern Broadsides on National Tour. This Christmas sees Wendi reprise her role of Martha in White Christmas when it plays at the Dominion Theatre, West End.

Ian Reddington is one of very few actors to have played major roles in Eastenders and Coronation Street, alongside his many stage credits. He played Richard ‘Tricky Dickie’ Cole in Eastenders, and hapless drummer Vernon Tomlin in Coronation Street. His stage credits include the 1979 production of Oh What A Lovely War! At the Bristol Old Vic, as well as The Taming of the Shrew, The Tempest, The Shepherd’s Play, Piaf, Wild Oats and Once in a Lifetime, all for the Royal Shakespeare Company. Other credits include Dead Funny (Hampstead / West End), The Woman in Black, Our House, We Will Rock You (West End), Hamlet (Oxford Stage Company) and Hangover Square (Lyric Hammersmith)

Christopher Villiers’ credits include three years in Emmerdale as Grayson Sinclair, as well as Hobson’s Choice, Twelfth Night, The Winslow Boy (Bolton Octagon), An Ideal Husband (Royal and Derngate, Northampton), and Entertaining Mr Sloane (national tour). Screen credits include Hetty Feather (BBC TV), Vera (ITV) and Father Brown (BBC TV)

Oh What A Lovely War, a satirical musical about World War I, originally premiered at Theatre Royal Stratford East in 1963. Joan Littlewood adapted the play from Charles Chilton’s work for radio through her company Theatre Workshop. It was an immediate hit, transferring to the West End in June 1963, opening on Broadway in 1964 and receiving four Tony Award nominations including Best Musical.

This production, directed by Terry Johnson, opened at Theatre Royal Stratford East in February 2014, to public and critical acclaim. Due to popular demand, it returns again in 2015, little more than a hundred years since the outbreak of the First World War.

After its run at Theatre Royal Stratford East, the production will tour to Richmond, Malvern, Manchester, Cambridge, Bath, Torquay, Guildford, Coventry, Brighton, Leicester, Aylesbury, Birmingham, Truro, Hull and Wimbledon.

The musical is packed with familiar songs from the World War I era including ‘It’s a Long Way to Tipperary’, ‘Pack up Your Troubles’ and ‘Keep the Home Fires Burning’. The songs are performed against a projected backdrop of images and shocking statistics conveying the harsh realities of war.

This revival was made possible by producer Christopher Malcolm, who passed away shortly after it opened at Theatre Royal Stratford East in February 2014.

Terry Johnson has won nine British theatre awards including Olivier Awards for Best Comedy and Playwright of the Year. In 2010 he won the Tony Award for Best Director of a Musical for La Cage aux Folles. His theatre credits as both director and writer are prolific including End of the Rainbow (2010-11) which was nominated for three Olivier Awards, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice (2009) and most recently Hysteria (2012) with Antony Sher.

Theatre Royal Stratford East
29 Jan – 7 Feb 2015
Gerry Raffles Square, London E15 1BN
Box office: 020 8534 0310
Online bookings:

Richmond Theatre
10 – 14 February 2015
The Green, Richmond, Surrey TW9 1QJ
Box office:0844 871 7651
Online bookings:

Malvern Theatres
16 – 21 February 2015
Grange Rd, Malvern, Worcestershire WR14 3HB
Box Office: 01684 892 277
Online bookings:

Opera House Manchester
24 – 28 February 2015
3 Quay St, Manchester, Lancashire M3 3HP
Box office: 0844 871 3018
Online bookings:

Cambridge Arts Theatre
2 – 7 March 2015
6 St Edward’s Passage, Cambridge CB2 3PJ
Box office: 01223 503 333
Online bookings:

Theatre Royal, Bath
9 – 14 March 2015
Saw Close, Bath BA1 1ET
Box office: 01225 44 88 44
Online bookings:

Princess Theatre, Torquay
17 – 21 March 2015
Torbay Rd, Torquay, Devon TQ2 5EZ
Box office: 0844 871 9023
Online bookings:

Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford
23 – 28 March 2015
Millbrook, Guildford, Surrey GU1 3UX
Box office: 01483 440000
Online bookings:

Belgrade Theatre, Coventry
30 March – 4 April 2015
Belgrade Square, Coventry, CV1 1GS
Box office: 024 7655 3055
Online bookings:

Theatre Royal, Brighton
7 – 11 April 2015
New Rd, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 1SD
Box office: 0844 871 7627
Online bookings:

Leicester Curve
13 – 18 April 2015
60 Rutland St, Leicester LE1 1SB
Box office: 0116 242 3595
Online bookings:

Aylesbury Waterside Theatre
28 April – 2 May 2015
Exchange Street, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire HP20 1UG
Box office: 0844 871 7607
Online bookings:

Birmingham Rep Theatre
5 – 9 May 2015
Broad St, Birmingham, West Midlands B1 2EP
Box office: 0121 236 4455
Online bookings:

Hall For Cornwall,Truro
11 – 16 May 2015
Back Quay, Truro, Cornwall TR1 2LL
Box office: 01872 262466
Online bookings:

Hull New Theatre
19 – 23 May 2015
Kingston Square, Hull HU1 3HF
Box office: 01482 300300
Online bookings:

New Wimbledon Theatre, London
26 -30 May 2015
93 The Broadway, London SW19 1QG
Box office: 0844 871 7646
Online bookings: