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National Theatre Wales
4-21 April 2017
National Theatre Wales office, Cardiff

we’re here because we’re here

Created by Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller in collaboration with Rufus Norris, Director of the National Theatre

we’re here because we’re here took place on 1 July 2016 when more than 1400 voluntary participants in First World War uniform appeared unexpectedly in locations across the UK. The participants were a reminder of the 19,240 men who were killed on 1 July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

Each participant represented an individual soldier who was killed on that day. The soldiers, dressed in historically accurate uniforms, did not speak, but at points throughout the day would sing the song ‘We’re Here Because We’re Here’, which was sung in the trenches during the First World War. They handed out cards to members of the public 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.

This exhibition, displayed in the windows of our Cardiff office, will tell the story of the project through images of the volunteers from across the UK, and a BBC documentary charting the making of the project.

4-21 April 2017
Every day, 10am – 6pm

Disabled Access


we’re here because we’re here reached over 30 million people across the UK. The work was specially commissioned by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War Centenary commemorations.

National Theatre Wales was one of 26 organisations that collaborated on the project. In Wales, we collaborated with Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Pontio and Volcano, co-ordinating 100 volunteers in Bangor, on Snowdonia, in Aberystwyth, Swansea and Port Talbot.

This was the first time so many theatres have worked together on a UK-wide participation project, making it the largest arts participation project ever staged in the country.

we’re here because we’re here