Watermill & Corn Exchange Newbury To Stage Large-Scale Community Theatre Event On Site Of Eisenhower's Famous D-Day Speech
'You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months.
The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.'
75 years ago, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied forces in Europe during World War II, made his famous speech at Greenham Common to inspire allied soldiers preparing for the D-Day landings. Commemorating the legacy of this extraordinary moment in the nation's history, The Watermill Theatre, Corn Exchange, Newbury and Greenham Trust will stage a large-scale, immersive, community theatrical event, D-DAY 75, in a hangar on the former airbase in West Berkshire.
Involving over 100 community participants aged 6 to 80, the performance will feature theatre, dance and choral music. Written by The Watermill Theatre's playwright in residence, Danielle Pearson, D-DAY 75 recreates the days leading up to Eisenhower's speech, reflecting the lives of members of the 101st Airborne Division stationed at Greenham, and the impact of their presence on the people of Newbury.
The Watermill's Artistic Director, Paul Hart, said:
'We are delighted to be able to commemorate this major anniversary with a project that puts our local community at its heart. This will be a spectacular event for participants and audiences.'
Grant Brisland, Director of The Corn Exchange, said:
'Our local participants will have the expertise of both our trusted organisations to create a unique performance.'
Greenham Trust's Chief Executive, Chris Boulton, said:
'To honour and commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings, we are hosting this event to celebrate peace, liberty and reconciliation, as well as a reunion opportunity for those who used to live on the air base'.
Directed by Georgie Staight (CHUTNEY, Bunker Theatre - nominated for 4 Off West End Awards, Assistant Director, Sweet Charity, Watermill Theatre), D-DAY 75 is designed by Isobel Nicolson, lighting is designed by Guy Dickens, sound design by Dinah Mullen with video design by Louise Rhoades-Brown. The Young Company Director is Emma Bradbury and choreography is by Reuben Spencer, Amy Gale and John Darvell.
D-DAY 75 will culminate with a celebratory tea dance with music by Heather Jayne and The Red Shoes. Tickets are £5 and available online at https://cornexchangenew.com/event/d-day-75