Sailors from HMS Bulwark stepped back in time as they visited Gala Theatre’s spectacular new walkthrough experience,1916: No Turning Back.
The crew of the Albion-class assault ship were in Durham to exercise their freedom of the city, parading through the streets as hundreds of people turned out to cheer them on.
Following a ceremony on Palace Green and service at Durham Cathedral a group of servicemen headed down to the Millennium Place venue to see what audiences and critics have hailed as “superb,” “thought provoking” and “sure to stir the emotions.”
Chief petty officer Richard Cope said: “No Turning Back gives you a real flavour of how difficult it was for the guys who went to war from Durham, and exactly how harrowing what they had to go through was.
“It gives you a lot to think about and I think a lot of people will be very interested and get a lot out of it.”
The crew visit coincided with members of the military and the armed forces community being offered a discount for the new walkthrough experience.
The Durham venue’s auditorium has – for five and half weeks this summer – been transformed to bring the Battle of the Somme to life, recreating the sights, sounds and smells of the First World War.
And on showing a military ID card or Rewards For Forces card, and quoting “FORCES5”, people will be able to buy tickets for just £5 – 33% off the standard price of £7.50.
Cllr Neil Foster, Durham County Council’s cabinet member for economic regeneration, arts and culture, said: “We have a long and proud military history and it is great that we can continue to explore and remember it in dynamic new ways such as 1916: No Turning Back.
“This walkthrough experience is unlike anything the city has seen before, and we look forward to welcoming members of the armed forces community to help us commemorate the brave men and women who served their country 100 years ago.”
1916: No Turning Back runs until Sunday 28 August, with multiple performances throughout the day.
Members of the forces community can receive a discount for any of the performances, and their families can enjoy a discount too, with family tickets – offering four tickets, for a minimum of two children – costing £17, rather than the standard £22.
To take advantage of the family offer people will need to quote “FORCESFAMILY” when booking with their forces ID.
Discounted tickets can also be booked over the telephone, but forces identification will be needed when collecting tickets at the Gala Theatre Box Office.
The discount cannot be redeemed online, and does not apply to tickets that have already been purchased or in conjunction with any other offers at the Gala Theatre.
To book visit the venue in person or call the Gala Theatre Box Office on 03000 266 600.
For more information on the walkthrough experience, please visit www.galadurham.co.uk