19 APRIL 1963, Page 15

'OH WHAT A LOVELY WAR' Sut.--Miss Joan Littlewood's new show

is not, as `on a crude and inaccurate "class conflict" inter- Mr. Comerford alleges, propaganda. Nor is it based pretation of the First World War.' I should know. I helped with the production and was astonished at the great pains everyone concerned took to get the thing accurate. For weeks now, the Theatre Royal has been more like a school of military history than a theatre. There is nothing, for example, that is said by the stage Haig that was not said, or written, by the real one. The opening sequence, which shows how the great powers blundered into a war that none of them could control after its first month, is a brilliantly dramatised, capsuled treatment of Barbara Tuchman's recent book August, 1914. The war is not presented as a gigantic conspiracy: it is presented as a gigantic blunder that became a gigantic crime. As for exploitation of the war dead, perhaps the veterans of 1914-18 have the best right to speak on that score. I have seen the show in the company of one of them, and he told me that Miss Littlewood has raised a monument to the dead, made out of their own words and songs, more durable than the