The Battle of the Somme Centenary Tour

The Battle of the Somme Centenary Tour

The original 1916 film screened with live accompaniment by the Studio Symphony Orchestra

Conductor David Openshaw

5. Optimised_A4_Q_079501_tif piggy backSomme100 FILM is an international project, working with the Imperial War Museum as part of the First World War Centenary Partnership to mark the anniversary of the Battle of the Somme. The aim is to bring together 100 live orchestral performances of the ground-breaking 1916 film, The Battle of the SommeThe Studio Symphony Orchestra is proud to be providing a unique opportunity in Northern Ireland to experience this iconic film with live  orchestral accompaniment.

Shot and screened in 1916, The Battle of the Somme was the first feature length documentary about war. In the first three months of its release the film was seen by around 20 million people in Britain and Ireland, informing and challenging the public with its images of warfare, and changing the way both cinema and film was perceived.

1. Somme Philharmonia QEHThe film was shot by just two cameramen; Geoffrey Malins and J B McDowell. Filming took place between 25 June and 9 July 1916, covering the build-up and opening stages of the Battle of the Somme.

The Battle of the Somme was filmed on the front line at great personal danger to the cameramen, and offered audiences a unique, almost tangible link to their family members on the battlefront. Contemporary reactions to the film varied greatly but most people believed it was their duty to see the film and experience the ‘reality’ of warfare.

The Imperial War Museum took ownership of the film in 1920, and in 2002 undertook digital restoration of the surviving elements. A new orchestral score was commissioned from Laura Rossi in 2005. The Battle of the Somme film remains the source of many of the conflict’s most iconic images, from the ‘over the top’ sequence to the piggy-back rescue in the trenches, and continues to have great importance not only as a record of war but as a piece of cinema.

Saturday 15th October 2016 at 8pm

Island Arts Centre, Lisburn

Tickets: £12 / £10 concessions

Box Office: 02892 509254

or online at

“And those troops in the mud grinned or stared at us to a new musical score by Laura Rossi, brilliantly effective”  Geoff Brown, The Times *****