WITH 2014 marking the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, many events have been planned across the region to commemorate the millions of lives lost in the conflict.
"If someone in Greater Manchester has a last letter from their father, grandfather or other relative lost to the conflict that they will share with us, we’d love to see it."
The HONOUR festival, to be held at Salford Quays on Saturday 2 August, will use letters from loved ones lost in the conflict as part of their commemoration event.
Families from the North West are being encouraged to send in any letters they may have to form part of the poignant 40-minute remembrance held on the MediaCityUK Piazza.
The festival will combine music, animation, contemporary dance, theatre and written word to reflect and remember those involved in the conflict from 1914 to 1917.
The use of 'last letters', final words from soldiers to their families and loved one will be used in the finale performance.
"If someone in Greater Manchester has a last letter from their father, grandfather or other relative lost to the conflict that they will share with us, we’d love to see it," said Lucy Dusgate, creative producer of the event.
"The purpose of the event is to find creative ways of making people consider the futility of the war, and that means using as many real-life stories as possible. The most that we would ask of them is that we use some or all of their words, with their permission, by sharing them with the audience during the song which our 500-strong choir will sing at the end."
The artists have already used archive materials from the Imperial War Museum North, but are calling for more information and notes detailing 'the pain of family separations, but also the spirited camaraderie amongst the troops'.
The festival will feature work by artists such as Craig Morrison, German duo Hartung Trenz and animator Sean Vicary. Sharon Watson, of the Phoenix Dance Theatre, will also feature alongside Theatre In The Quarter.
The event will use the MediaCityUK buildings as the background for a projection, combined with a specially written piece of music performed by a 'super choir'. The words to the song performed will be distributed amongst the audience with excerpts from the soldiers letters.
Letters are needed by Friday 25 July. Originals will be returned, provided a return address is included, but scanned versions and transcripts are also welcome.
HONOUR festival will take place on Saturday 2 August at 9.45pm.
The event will be held at MediaCityUK Piazza, Salford, M50 2EQ.
Follow Niamh Spence on Twitter at @missnspence
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