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Free exhibition documents We're here because we're here memorial

we're here because we're here
26 September 2017

A free exhibition at Salisbury Playhouse will document We’re here because we’re here, the incredibly moving, award-winning contemporary memorial that marked the centenary of The Battle of the Somme last year.

The exhibition documenting the day-long work will be staged in the upstairs foyer areas of the Playhouse from Wednesday 4 October to Thursday 26 October.

On 1 July 2016 1,400 volunteers dressed as First World War soldiers to participate in a UK-wide memorial. Commissioned by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, the work was created by Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller in collaboration with Rufus Norris, Director of the National Theatre.

The project saw participants wearing historically accurate uniforms juxtaposed with elements of contemporary life such as car parks or shopping centres. They were a reminder of the 19,240 men killed at the Somme on 1 July 1916.

The soldiers did not speak but at points throughout the day would sing ‘we’re here because we’re here’ which was sung in the trenches in the First World War. Each participant represented a soldier who was killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. Participants handed out cards to passers-by with the name and regiment of the soldier they represented and, where known, the age of the soldier when he died on 1 July 1916.

The memorial was produced by Birmingham Repertory Theatre, the National Theatre and 23 regional theatres, including Salisbury Playhouse.

We’re here because we’re here won a National Lottery Award in September for Best Heritage project.


For press enquiries please contact Lucy Rouse, PR & Communications Officer (maternity cover), on 01722 345153 or press@salisburyplayhouse.com.


Notes to Editors:

Salisbury Playhouse is an arts and educational charity and one of Britain’s leading producing theatres, with a national reputation for home-grown work of the highest quality that attracts audiences from across Wiltshire, Hampshire, Dorset and beyond.

For more information please visit www.salisburyplayhouse.com.