History and Heritage

I Regret to Inform You…

Project overview

Keystage was delighted to be commissioned to write, produce and perform a short play as part of Heritage Lottery funded project to research and share information on the Cambridgeshire soldiers who died in The Battle of the Somme.
Their experience of going over the top on 1st July 1916 was the bloodiest day in the history of the British Army. On this day alone, 186 soldiers of the 11th Battalion Suffolk Regiment died.
Our play told the story from the point of view of some young soldiers, their families back home in the Fens and Lieutenant Robert Quilter Gilson – an officer of the regiment, a Trinity man and a friend of J.R.R. Tolkien.
The play was part of the project finale at Ely Maltings and we were honoured to perform it in the presence of experts on the subject and Robert Gilson’s great niece.

Project outcomes

  • Research
  • Educational resource
  • Theatre

“Your excellence brigade left us three completely overwhelmed after the evening on Thursday. It would be great to share a recording of the play with the relatives of Arthur Lambert and Harold Wright, both of whom were killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.”

Audience member

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