Somme Theatre at the Imperial War Museum

On The Middle Day, written by Gavin Birch, is being staged by the The Old Vic at the Imperial War Museum.

November has long been the month when we remember the dead. The main commemorations were around All Souls Day on 2 November but since early in the 20th century the custom of remembering the dead at this time in Europe has became more widely observed and not just at All Souls.

The reason is the First World War which ended on 11 November 1918 giving rise to Remembrance Day and the poppy appeal.

The Battle of the Somme ended on 18 November 1916 with 125,000 British dead. The total casualty figure was over one million. It had started on the middle day of the war.

This sell-out play is performed by Somme Theatre, professional actors working with amateur players from community groups and schools. It opens on the eve of war during lunch break at Prices's candle factory upstream in Battersea.

We follow young lovers through the war and the Battle of the Somme to the General Strike during which time they move from high optimism to deep depression.

The female candlemakers move downstream to make ammunition whilst the men cross the Channel to death and hardship.

This is a fast moving production with loud noise and projections. The large cast includes Kevin Spacey as the voice of George V.

Saturday is the 90th anniversary of the Battle's conclusion described by General Haig as a "defeat for the Germans" who lost over 200,000 men.

On The Middle Day is at the Imperial War Museum until 18 November. All tickets are sold.

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