The Commemoration Hall in Huntingdon is set to reopen and its first production will mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.

Oh! What a Lovely War rehearsals in Huntingdon. Picture: CONTRIBUTEDOh! What a Lovely War rehearsals in Huntingdon. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Having been closed for refurbishment for the last 18 months, the venue is to open for a week in November to host a major theatre production and festival of remembrance for the town to commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War.

A cast of 50 from across the community are busy rehearsing the iconic British stage show Oh What a Lovely War.

The play tells the story of the British involvement in the Great War, incorporating many of the classic songs of the period.

The evening will culminate each night with a festival of remembrance to commemorate the men of Huntingdon who died in the conflict between 1914 and 1918.

Oh! What a Lovely War rehearsals in Huntingdon. Picture: CONTRIBUTEDOh! What a Lovely War rehearsals in Huntingdon. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Originally developed as a workshop piece of theatre by legendry theatre practitioner, Joan Littlewood at the Theatre Royal in Stratford, East London, the play has become a classic in the history of 20th century British theatre.

It takes an often humorous but critical look at the role of Britain in the conflict and draws out the horrors faced by British soldiers.

The cast is made up of people from across the area with a wide variety of backgrounds in true community theatre style.

“They are a tremendous group to work with,” said director, Jonathan Salt.

Oh! What a Lovely War rehearsals in Huntingdon. Picture: CONTRIBUTEDOh! What a Lovely War rehearsals in Huntingdon. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

He added: “Some have a lot of experience on stage, for others it is their first experience of acting. Everyone is putting in so much work and the enthusiasm for the project is tremendous.

“It looks set to be a really great show. We are delighted to be working in the Commemoration Hall. It was built to commemorate the dead of the Second World War so the link is very poignant.”

The Commemoration Hall has been painted inside for the event and is being prepared to open its doors at 7pm each night from November 5-9. The event is supporting a variety of charities and tickets are on sale from the Huntingdonshire Volunteers Centre in the town centre or online at: www.owalw-huntingdon.co.uk.

The Samuel Pepys is offering a special deal with a First World War style three-course dinner combined with a ticket for £35 per head and the packages are available direct from Samuel Pepys public house on the High Street.

Oh! What a Lovely War rehearsals in Huntingdon. Picture: CONTRIBUTEDOh! What a Lovely War rehearsals in Huntingdon. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Oh! What a Lovely War rehearsals in Huntingdon. Picture: CONTRIBUTEDOh! What a Lovely War rehearsals in Huntingdon. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Oh! What a Lovely War rehearsals in Huntingdon. Picture: CONTRIBUTEDOh! What a Lovely War rehearsals in Huntingdon. Picture: CONTRIBUTED