Please Stand​  is an attempt to capture every anthem currently being sung and to examine the complex, contentious and bizarre histories that sit beneath each catchy (or not so catchy) tune.

Working with a team of young activists and performers, this  work examines what national anthems profess to represent versus our global political realities. Which anthems were originally drinking songs? Which were initially written in blood on prison walls? How many contain glowing love hearts? And why do so many anthems mention freedom yet continue to exclude?

Please Stand​ questions the practice of myth making around national identity and of nation building and the potential of what it means to stand up and sing together – or to sit down and be silent.


Co created by Samara Hersch and Lara Thoms, together with:

Sound Design: Aviva Endean

Lighting Design: Jenny Hector

Dramaturg and Choreography: Amrita Hepi

Performers and Collaborators: Negar Rezvani, Lauren Sheree, Isaac Muller and Isha Menon

Producer: Freya Waterson

Stage Manager: Stefan Grudza

Production Manager: Emily O’Brien

Photo Credit: Bryony Jackson