Friday, 11 July 2008

Living History

Jorge from Ham House has sent through the verbatim testimony from Douglas Beasley, a second footman, who worked for the Earl Dysart, at the house, in the 1930s. It's hysterical stuff, written in the discreet tones of the backstairs, and the real story, you sense happening in the gaps.

I'd like to develop it as a promenade tour with a few students. Maybe have Douglas as guide telling his story as he takes punters round the house - peeking in on scenes in the kitchen, servants quarters, the rat runs etc. Suspect we could create and do this form of living history very well.

December's Shakespeare festival might also spin its way out to Ham. I'd like to develop half an hour children's versions of Shakespeare's Jacobean plays - the house was built in 1610 - maybe The Tempest and The Winter's Tale and then perform them using narrators, object theatre, shadow puppets and marionettes in the great hall (see above).

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