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Waterloo bi-centennial celebration set for Edinburgh's Usher Hall

One of Britain's greatest military triumphs, the Battle of Waterloo, will receive its bi-centennial commemoration in a spectacular event to be staged at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh on 11 June.

More than 300 performers, including the Bands of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Scotland and The Royal Regiment of Scotland, the Pipes and Drums of The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards and The Royal Regiment of Scotland in company with Erskine Stewart’s Melville Schools Choir, will gather to bring alive decisive moments from the 200-year-old engagement through a dramatic musical and theatrical pageant, entitled Eve of Waterloo.

Impressive story-telling, striking theatrical flourishes, compelling orchestral pieces, combined with top-class performances from a talented array of actors, musicians, singers and dancers, is expected to take audiences on a fascinating journey of discovery.

This national celebration to mark the battle which finally saw Napoleon overthrown will be produced by The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in association with Seafarers UK, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity and the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund.

Tattoo Chief Executive and Producer Brigadier David Allfrey said: "The 200th Anniversary of Waterloo offers a wonderful opportunity to tell the story of an extraordinary 'feat of arms'. The tales of European nations clashing during the Napoleonic Wars are remarkable for any student of military history, while the personal accounts of the soldiers and sailors add a further colourful and poignant dimension.

"Scottish soldiers played a key role in the battle. Indeed, a gold Imperial eagle captured that day is on show in Edinburgh Castle, the soldier who seized it is buried on the Castle Esplanade and a huge painting of the engagement is in the Great Hall.

"The Tattoo," continued the Brigadier, "is thrilled to be teaming up with Services Charities, representatives from the Regiments whose forebears took part in the battle and an array of talented performers and technicians to stage a real extravaganza in the Usher Hall."

Captain Nick Davies, on behalf of Seafarers UK Scotland, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity and the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund, added: "We are delighted to join together as Service Charities to mark the 200th anniversary of a pivotal moment in European History with such a spectacular show."

The 1815 Battle of Waterloo saw an allied force of British, German and Dutch troops under Wellington face Napoleon’s French Army near Waterloo in central Belgium. The British Army’s greatest victory under arguably its greatest general reshaped Europe and led to a generation of peace on the continent.

Marking the Battle of Waterloo bicentenary in aid of Service charities is seen as a fitting way to also remember the bravery of the 75,000 casualties of the historic battle.

Tickets are priced £15-£20 (concessions available) and can be obtained from the Usher Hall, Lothian Road, Edinburgh or on 0131 228 1155 or at www.usherhall.co.uk.

0800 169 2942

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