100 years on, school marks Great War by staging play

Campbell college production of "Oh, what a Lovely War"
Campbell college production of "Oh, what a Lovely War"

One school has opted to commemorate this year’s centenary of the Great War – via the medium of theatre.

Elizabeth McIlvenny, head of drama at Campbell College, said the hall in which the play is being staged this week is “one massive war memorial” to past pupils who did not survive the horrors of previous conflicts.

The piece in question – Oh! What a Lovely War – is a well-known musical satire of the conflict, but 34-year-old Mrs McIlvenny said: “However, we were quite careful to balance that with reflection.”

She said the last scene sees 126 crosses brought on-stage – matching the number of young Campbell men killed in the First World War.

“Visually, when I saw this being brought up from the technology department, it was absolutely breathtaking – and so poignant,” she said.

“It sort of becomes a visual reality... how many boys gave their lives.”

Those taking part were aged from 11 to 18, and a handful of pupils from nearby Strathearn School were also involved, whilst former Campbell teacher David Fullerton returned from retirement to direct it.

Tonight will see the play performed for the final time.