‘The Great Escape with Dan Snow’ is to take place at the Eventim Apollo Hammersmith on Sunday 24 March 2019, exactly 75 years to the day since the iconic Second World War breakout. The evening will feature a one-hour live show of music and conversation hosted by the historian and TV presenter, streamed to hundreds of cinemas nationwide, followed by a 4K screening of the classic 1963 film.
The mass breakout from the high-security prison camp run by the Luftwaffe is significant for the sheer impact it had on the Nazi leadership and the way in which it embodied the will of Allied prisoners of war to resist Hitler’s tyranny. Seventy-six Allied airmen escaped, many of whom were members of the Royal Air Force, before the alarm was raised. Fifty of those later captured were executed.
The commemorative evening will feature Britain’s Got Talent’s The D-Day Darlings, who will perform songs from their new album ‘I’ll Remember You’, and a rare appearance of the original motorcycle ridden by Steve McQueen in that dramatic fence-jump scene.
Host Dan Snow will also hear from veterans of the escape and will explore the history and science behind the operation with renowned historian Paul Beaver and Dr. Hugh Hunt of the University of Cambridge.
The Great Escape is John Sturges’ dramatisation of the true story of a group of British, American and Canadian POWs who successfully escaped from Stalag Luft III in Upper Silesia in March 1944. The film, based on the book by Paul Brickhill and starring Steve McQueen as Captain Hilts, features performances from James Garner, Donald Pleasence and Richard Attenborough.
This anniversary event is presented by the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund, as part of commemorations marking its centenary year.