The Night Before the Somme, Imperial War Museum
On the eve of the Battle of the Somme centenary, there's a free late event at IWM London including film screenings, live music, talks, immersive theatre and poetry exploring the themes of love, fear, hope and courage.
Be surrounded by live music and encounter a series of short performances by costumed actors bringing life to the letters and diaries in IWM’s collections. Watch Raising Lazarus – performed by acclaimed slam poet Kat Francois, see the visceral performance by poet Ian McMillan and photographer Ian Beesley – Magic Lantern Tales, and watch the pioneering and powerful documentary film, The Battle of the Somme.
Explore the award winning First World War Galleries and latest contemporary art exhibitions afterhours, and for one night only gain exclusive free access to visit IWM’s new major exhibition Real to Reel: A Century of War Movies.
Enjoy food and drinks at our pop up bars and shop at IWM London’s stores with an exclusive 10%discount and book signings throughout the evening.
Download the full programme
In the Atrium: Be surrounded by live music and encounter a series of short performances, by costumed actors bringing life to letters and diaries in our collections.
Pop up theatre: Watch Raising Lazarus - performed by acclaimed slam poet Kat Francois - which charts the true story of Kat’s relative, a young Caribbean soldier, who fought in the First World War for a country that enslaved his African forebears a century before.
See the visceral performance by poet Ian McMillan and photographer Ian Beesley - Magic Lantern Tales - which tells the story of the First World War using a real magic lantern projector, from the first hand perspective of the men who survived it.
In the Galleries: Explore our award-winning First World War Galleries after hours, and for one night only get free access to our new major exhibition Real to Reel: A Century of War Movies. Our latest art exhibition IWM Contemporary: Edward Barber will also be open, as will the art galleries, showcasing a selection of our impressive art collection.
Film: Watch the pioneering and powerful documentary film, The Battle of the Somme. Filmed in the midst of the bloody battle, it brought the reality of what was happening to the millions of men on the front line, to the people at home. Hear from our panel of experts and commentators as they take you behind the scenes of this groundbreaking film.
Food, bars and shopping: Grab a ‘Gunfire’ rum tea, a drink enjoyed by soldiers at the front during the First World War, at one of the special pop up bars located around the museum, or visit the Cafe, run by Peyton and Byrne, which will be serving a delicious range of fresh and seasonal food.
IWM London’s shops will be open during the event, offering an exclusive 10% discount and book signings throughout the evening, where you can meet the authors of some of the latest books released on the Battle of the Somme.
Suitable for: All ages
Info: The Night Before the Somme takes place at Imperial War Museum London Lambeth Road London SE1 6HZ from 8pm to midnight and is a free event. See listing / Book free tickets