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Services No Longer Required
 
BBC Philharmonic and Salford Symphony Orchestra
 
At the Imperial War Museum North 3pm and 8pm on 17 and 18 October 2014
 
‘My word it’s a very different battalion now, there are very few of the old lads left in my own platoon...there’s not a one I know’. Arthur ‘Pat’ Burke
 
The powerful story of a soldier from Salford who fought in the First World War was brought to life in a series of special performances on 17 and 18 October with players from the BBC Philharmonic and Salford Symphony Orchestra at IWM North, part of Imperial War Museums.
 
In a unique collaboration between the BBC Philharmonic, Salford Symphony Orchestra and Imperial War Museum North, Services No Longer Required shared the experiences of Arthur Pat Burke, who exchanged the home comforts of Salford for the front line and the Battle of the Somme.
 
Writer Di Sherlock dramatised some of the many letters that Pat (as he was known) wrote home to his mother (Ma) and his brothers Reg and Tom. Ten musicians from BBC Philharmonic and nine members of the Salford Symphony Orchestra performed an original score composed by Richard Taylor and shared the stage with actors playing the parts of Pat Burke, ‘Ma’ and a war veteran who reflects on true experiences from contemporary conflicts.
 
The evening performance on Friday 17 October at 8pm was broadcast live on BBC Radio Manchester, and was followed by a Q&A hosted by breakfast show host, Allan Beswick and featured artists, guests and relatives of Arthur Pat Burke.
 
This event marks the centenary of the First World War, and took place in the Main Exhibition Space of IWM North. The performance was complemented by a dramatic backdrop of archive and contemporary photographs projected onto the 20 foot high gallery walls. The pictures were created by local arts company Soup Collective using images from IWM’s collections. Pat Burke’s letters were on display in the museum.
 
Pat Burke was the youngest in a family of five siblings whose home was The Borough Hotel, a Salford pub. By late 1915, he was serving with the Army on the Western Front with the Manchester Regiment. Pat fought at the Battle of the Somme in 1916. He survived and one year later he was given a safer job in his battalion. Yet within a few days he was killed by a shell near the front line at Ypres. He was 23 years old.
 
The concert was part of the BBC Philharmonic Presents... festival which celebrates classical music in all its guises across seven of the BBC’s national radio networks, as well as on BBC Radio Manchester. It was also part of IWM North’s Reactions 14 series of contemporary artistic responses to the First World War.
 
The producer Martin Maris, from the BBC Philharmonic said: “Pat’s story still resonates very strongly today, and we are delighted to pay tribute to him, and so many others just like him, with this special performance.”
 
Graham Boxer, IWM North Director said: “100 years on from the Frist World War the experiences of Pat Burke echo those faced by an entire generation. This collaboration between BBC Philharmonic, Soup Collective and IWM North will showcase his story like never before.”
 
BBC Radio Manchester Editor Kate Squire says “We’re pleased to be partnering with the BBC’s Philharmonic and IWM North in this terrific endeavour. Our listeners have appreciated our coverage of the anniversary of the outbreak of World War One, and this takes that to a different level.”
 
Cast
 
Akashic Angel Michael Peavoy 
Ma Emma Gregory
Pat Burke Joshua Meredith
The Veteran Steve Evets 
 
Writer Di Sherlock
Composer Richard Taylor
Conductor Richard Davis
Producer Martin Maris
 
BBC Philharmonic Musicians
Julian Gregory - Violin
Alice Durrant – Double Bass
Clifford Lantaff - Harp
Ann Durnford – Flute/Picc/Alto
Mark Jordan – Clarinet/Tenor Sax
Simon Durnford - Bassoon
Pete Mainwaring - Trumpet
David Tollington - French Horn
Paul Turner – Timps/Percussion
Sophie Hastings - Percussion
 
Salford Symphony Musicians
Melanie Head - Clarinet
Christine Clarkson - Violin
Denise Doyle - Violin
Emily Peak - Violin
Joe Brophy - Violin
Dave Collins - Cello
Jonathan Brooks  - Cello
Trevor Marshall - Bassoon
Angela D’ Arcy - Flute