speakers

 

 

 

 

 

Available to give presentations at the castle or a venue of your choice, Tutbury Castle offers a range of public speakers at the highest standard. A number of organisations ask for public speakers from the castle with specialist knowledge to visit their venue; from schools and special interest groups to after dinner speaking right across the UK and abroad. Groups also frequently visit the castle to meet some of the luminous characters that make our history so fascinating. See Lunches, Cream Teas and Dinners for further information on our packages available.  

 

 

  • Lesley Smith <br> M.Phil, M.Univ. (Hons.), F.S.A. (Scot.). Lesley Smith
    M.Phil, M.Univ. (Hons.), F.S.A. (Scot.).
    Lesley Smith has been the Curator of Tutbury Castle in Staffordshire since 2000. She is a medical historian holding an M.Phil in Tudor medicine, is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries (Scot.) and is also a Member of the Society of Medical Writers. In addition to these qualifications, Lesley was awarded an Honorary Masters Degree in 2010 for “Services to History in the Community. She has 38 academic publications and was a contributor to a Cambridge University Press Publication. She is also published in the wider community having had her own page in the local County magazine “Staffordshire Life” for eight years.

    Lesley has also appeared in over 120 television programmes some of which have been broadcast to 38 countries .

    Scroll across to see her characters/lectures available.
  • Boudica - Queen of the Iceni Boudica - Queen of the Iceni The story of Boudica, although much of it is cloaked in poor evidence is still absolutely amazing. Britain was a remote outpost of the Roman Empire and here in the part we now know as East Anglia, was Boudica - Queen of the Iceni tribe, who frightened the hell out of the part of the Roman Empire settled there.

    With over 100,00 barbarians (as described by the Romans), we have her sweeping down the country with her red hair flying, dressed in brilliant colours and ripping apart one Roman settlement after another.

    This inspiring and mighty Queen was on a mission of revenge for the rape of her daughters and an absolute determination to teach the Romans on her land a sharp lesson. She succeeded and is never to be forgotten.
  • Anne Boleyn Anne Boleyn For centuries, Anne Boleyn has been portrayed as a cunning and manipulative woman, responsible for causing the bloody aspects of the Reformation. In truth, Anne was a highly educated and profoundly religious person who cared deeply about her moral standing.

    In this portrayal of Anne she will appear in her execution gown during the last 45 minutes of her life in the tower. You will travel in time with this woman and stand guard as she leaves to join the King of Kings.
  • Mistress Shakespeare (Anne Hathaway) Mistress Shakespeare (Anne Hathaway) “Behind every great man stands a great woman” states the adage, and much of history has proved evidence of this.

    There is no doubt William Shakespeare was one of the greatest Englishmen that ever lived. He was voted “Man of the Millennium” by the British public in the year 2000 and his name and work is known and loved all over the world.

    Despite the passions he showed in his characters, the man Shakespeare as a personality remains rather elusive and his wife, Anne Hathaway, just a ghost in terms of recent historical evidence.

    Lesley has gathered together the threads of their recorded lives together and evidence of the town of Stratford, their home and children, presenting an extraordinary concept of what Anne Hathaway might have been like.
  • Queen Elizabeth I Queen Elizabeth I There is no doubt that Gloriana had one of the most profound effects on English and European politics. The Protestant Queen in the cold bed was given a matter of months on the throne by observers of the day, believing she could not hope to survive.

    Queen Elizabeth in fact went on to rule England longer than any other monarch before her. Her passionate belief in the English people and her lack of marital ambition combined with a brilliant mind and outstanding political skills is why she was so hugely successful, confounding all.

    Here is a chance to meet Her Majesty at her political zenith and already an icon in an English psyche. This glittering presentation will transport the audience back to the time of Drake, Raleigh and Shakespeare on England’s voyage into the Renaissance.
  • Mary Queen of Scots Mary Queen of Scots Mary Queen of Scots was held prisoner at Tutbury Castle on four occasions and it was her first English prison. She left Tutbury for the last time in 1585 when she was moved to Chartley. From there she was sent to Fotheringhay Castle in Northamptonshire where she was executed in 1586.

    Here is a chance to meet Mary Queen of Scots in full authentic costume during her imprisonment at Tutbury where she spent a lot of time reading, writing letters and doing embroidery. Learn about Mary's three marriages and about life in general in Tudor times.
  • The Witch of Manningtree and the Witchfinder General The Witch of Manningtree and the Witchfinder General (with Dr. Gareth Williams from the British Museum)

    As grey mists of civil war roll over England, Matthew Hopkins the infamous witch finder general goes about his business of intimidation, cruelty and execution. Lesley Smith plays the witch of Manningtree in her most extraordinary role to date. Master Hopkins, played by Dr Gareth Williams of the British Museum, is as dark and sinister as you might expect.

    This presentation is based on real events that took place in Suffolk, England. You should be prepared for scenes that are distressing and contain some violence. The history of witchcraft in England in the 17th Century is both gripping and fascinating as you will discover.
  • Nell Gwynne Nell Gwynne Nell Gwynne was the mistress of Charles II and for many people they believe that was all she was known for – other than for selling oranges!

    The real Nell Gwynne is a victory for English womanhood, showing great courage and against all the odds became a star of the London stage and beloved of the King of England.

    You will have a chance to meet pretty, witty little Nell in fantastic costume and have chance to both laugh and cry with her.
  • Margaret Thatcher Margaret Thatcher Margaret Thatcher is without doubt one of the most successful women of the 20th century. From roots in a grocer's shop in Grantham, she rose to study chemistry at Oxford and also took a law degree.

    Margaret Thatcher then succeeded in doing what would have been unthinkable 70 years earlier, by becoming Britain’s first female prime minister. Her firm handling, both of the Conservative party and policy meant she could also be a contentious figure, going down in history as ‘The Iron Lady’.

    Lesley bring this portrayal of an extraordinary woman to audiences who realise they have lived through interesting political times. Using entirely the words of Margaret Thatcher herself in the autobiography ‘The Path to Power’, we will hear her describe her path to Number 10 Downing Street.
  • Sex and the Tudors Sex and the Tudors This lecture given by castle curator Lesley Smith is a rip-roaring tumble through the sexual exploits of the Tudors. Not just Henry VIII had a good time, so did a lot of other people according to records.

    Contraception, conception, prostitution and gay sex feature in this engaging and highly entertaining lecture.

    Not suitable for those who shock easily or have a nervous disposition!

     

 

  • John White John White John White, the holder of an Honours Degree (History and War Studies), a Masters Degree (Heritage Management), a Post Graduate Certificate in Education, a Fellow of the International Napoleonic Society and Fulbright Fellow at the University of South Carolina, is a ‘Performance Historian’, serving clients across the UK and overseas at venues such as the V&A, the National Army Museum, Birmingham University and the British Army.

    John specialises in the military and social history of the late Georgian and Regency period. He was Honorary Secretary of ‘The Waterloo Committee’ and was appointed a Vice President by The Duke of Wellington. He is also an established book reviewer for various publishing houses. Engagements as a technical consultant has lead to involvement and often appearances in a wide variety of Film, TV, and Radio productions.

    Scroll across to see his characters/lectures available.
  • Brother Ignatius Brother Ignatius ‘Brother Ignatius’, of the Franciscan Order, is preparing to make his pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela where the relics of the Apostle, St. James, are much venerated. Having previously practised as an Apothecary, it is his intention to minister to the physical, as well as the spiritual needs of his fellow pilgrims.

    This presentation deals with Holy and Monastic life and may be adapted to present any particular theme in the time period prior to the Reformation. A specifically themed presentation is offered, relating to the year 1415, when King Henry V, who was shortly to be engaged against the French at Agincourt, provides for the defence of his Kingdom by issuing a ‘Commission of Array’, requiring the Clergy to take up arms; to defend the realm, the church, and the faith, against the malice of England’s enemies – the French and the Scots!
  • Gilbert Savage (Executioner) Gilbert Savage (Executioner) Resplendent in black, and equipped with his ‘heading axe’, block, ropes, knives, and the other ‘tools’ of his gruesome trade, ‘Gilbert Savage’ recounts the nature of crime and punishment during turbulent times in our nation’s history; the medieval period, of hanging, mutilation, and decapitation! The ‘Executioner’, that very necessary public ‘functionary’ has, at the direction of Court and Crown, branded, flogged, hanged, disembowelled, beheaded and mutilated offenders, from the low born to the very highest in the land; for their ‘crimes’ – crimes against property, crimes against individuals, and crimes against the very Crown itself - all in the pursuit of justice!

    The presentation, which is complemented by 12’ gallows (complete with ‘body’), and an array of period accurate items, continues to prove very popular with the public, having been used to good effect at many English Heritage properties.
  • Master Topcliffe (Torturer) Master Topcliffe (Torturer) With a legal system that, at the very least requires an alleged offender to enter a ‘plea’ (although a full confession is always preferred), the office of ‘Torturer’ has long furnished the State with the pleas and confessions that the system demanded! ‘Master Topcliffe’, with his array of tools and special devices, has perfected the subtlety of his art; that of inflicting just enough pain to extract a confession, but not too much to render his subject beyond his reach for; the dead do not speak!

    The history of State-sponsored torture is clouded in mystery. From medieval times, and reaching the heights of perfection during the late Tudor and Stuart periods, it was still employed in a simplified form, as late as the Georgian era.

    This presentation is supported by an array of torture items and period accurate equipment.
  • King Henry VIII King Henry VIII Undoubtedly our country’s most colourful monarch, the King aged in his early 50s, appears in the most splendid bejewelled and golden costume; a near replica of the famous Holbein portrait.

    This portrayal of the King in the later years of his life is based upon the most detailed research. He recounts his life, telling of his wives, children, and the events of his long reign in a most forceful fashion. He is ill and is greatly pained by his badly infected leg and, although recently married to his sixth wife, he appears an angry and vengeful man. This is a highly acclaimed and powerful presentation that is offered in the form of an ‘audience’ with the King, during the course of which, the public may question and petition their Monarch.
  • Master Peter Simpkin (Privateer) Master Peter Simpkin (Privateer) ‘Simpkin’, a Tudor Privateer and Explorer, served with Captain Drake during his circumnavigation of the world. He has many tales to tell of the hardship of life on board ship, of visiting far off lands, of involvement with the slave trade and of battling against the Spanish as, it should be remembered, one man’s ‘Privateer’ is another man’s ‘Pirate’!

    This presentation deals with the issues surrounding exploration, trade, slavery, and piracy and is illustrated by a range of items supporting the various themes.
  • Robert Smee (Barber-Surgeon) Robert Smee (Barber-Surgeon) ‘Smee’, an itinerant Barber-Surgeon, travels from town to town erecting his booth at markets and at fairs, offering his various services to the general public; shaving, cutting hair, the drawing of teeth, and the letting of blood, are his more usual practices. He is also able to undertake amputations, attend to battlefield wounds, as well as a myriad of other surgical procedures!

    ‘Smee’ contrasts his lowly position with that of ‘Doctors of Physic’ and Apothecaries who, often working in partnership, rarely wish to be associated with Surgeons!

    This presentation is supported by an extensive range of surgical instruments, tools, equipment and period furniture.
  • Samuel Adams (Georgian Butler) Samuel Adams (Georgian Butler) ‘Adams’, the Butler in a grand Regency house has been in service for many years. Having risen to the rank of Butler, he explains the nature of life ‘below stairs’, the duties of servants, their living and working conditions, and all the practices/procedures employed to keep the household in good order. Mr Adams pays particular attention to the ‘Honours of the Table’ (the complex processes and etiquette associated with dining) and the ceremony associated with the taking of tea.

    The presentation which is set in the period 1811 – 1820, is supported by a considerable range of silver, porcelain and domestic items.
  • Sir Joseph Scott (A Regency Dandy) Sir Joseph Scott (A Regency Dandy) ‘Scott’, a Baronet and the MP for Worcester, is a midland landowner and a spend thrift! He has worked his way through a very considerable fortune in the pursuit of pleasure; high fashion, the excitement of the card table, and the solace of the bottle are the key features of his life!

    The presentation, which is set within the period 1811 – 1820, deals with the nature of life and society during the turbulent years of the Regency; drawing upon the events of the war with France, the impact of the Industrial Revolution, the illness of George III, and the excesses of the Prince Regent!

    The presentation is supported by a considerable range of items illustrative of the period.
  • Private Pudge Private Pudge ‘Pudge’ is a veteran of Wellington’s campaigns in the Peninsula (1808-1814) and of the Battle of Waterloo (1815). He recounts his experiences and explains the reality of life on campaign and of the horrors of war. Additionally, he explains and demonstrates equipment, weapons and drill manoeuvres.

    The presentation is supported by an extensive range of uniform and equipment.
  • James Buchan (Apothecary) James Buchan (Apothecary) ‘Buchan’ travels from town to town erecting his ‘bothy’ at markets and fairs, from which he sells potions and remedies, attends to common ailments, and demonstrates remedies and techniques. He discusses the nature and make-up of society, contrasting his role and situation in life with that of ‘Doctors of Physic’ and Surgeons.

    This presentation set within the period 1780 to 1800, is supported by an array of period authentic props and furniture, with an emphasis on herbal remedies.
  • The Exorcist (Catholic Priest) The Exorcist (Catholic Priest) When things go bump in the night and spirits walk the face of the earth; when the souls of the dear departed are restless, or poltergeists make the lives of the living a misery – it is time to call upon the services of ‘The Exorcist’!

    With their very existence never fully acknowledged by the Church, the ‘Exorcist’ is empowered to conduct the full rite of exorcism – which is explained in detail and demonstrated against the background of the history of the sacred and ancient rite.
  • Mr Meakin (Butler) Mr Meakin (Butler) ‘Meakin’, the Butler in a large house during the late Victorian and early Edwardian period, is charged with managing the household and attending to the many needs of his Master and the numerous ‘house guests’.

    The soul of discretion, he is a professional (having been in service his entire life) who performs his duties in a calm and unhurried manner. In addition to managing an extensive ‘below stairs’ workforce, he oversees the management of the wine cellar, the cleaning and safe custody of the dining silver, the ironing of newspapers, the polishing of loose change, and the blacking of boots!

    This presentation is supported by a considerable range of items appropriate to Meakin’s role and station in life. The presentation may be specifically themed to represent the nature of life ‘below stairs’ in the style of Downton Abbey.
  • Sergeant White Sergeant White Sgt Frederick White of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment is recruiting for King, Country, and Empire! It is August 1914 and Britain is at war with Germany. Belgium and parts of northern France are already occupied and Lord Kitchener has called for the immediate recruitment of 100,000 men. Sgt White, a veteran of campaigns in the Sudan and South Africa has been sent out from the Regimental Depot in Warwick, in search of recruits, men aged 19 to 30, and to encourage them to rally to the colours with stirring stories of the glory to be had in the service of the King!

     

 

  • Gareth Williams <br>(Curator of early medieval coinage at the British Museum) Gareth Williams
    (Curator of early medieval coinage at the British Museum)
    Dr Gareth Williams studied history at the universities of St Andrews and Bergen. He specialises in the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings, with a particular emphasis on how coinage can be combined with other archaeological and historical sources for the study of the period. He has published extensively in this field and won the Lhotka Memorial Prize of the Royal Numismatic Society.

    Dr Williams is also Director of Research at Tutbury Castle, and has headed a research project on the Castle and the surrounding area resulting in exhibitions at the Castle and the British Museum. Current projects include a book on Viking warfare and a major research project on the Vale of York Viking Hoard.

    Scroll across to see his characters/lectures available.
  • Eric Bloodaxe Eric Bloodaxe The legendary Viking King, Erik Bloodaxe: Heir to the Throne of Norway, murderer and warrior king who established reigns of power in both Norway and England.

    Based on his research into available sources, Gareth Williams, Curator of Early Medieval Coinage at the British Museum and an expert on the Viking Age, has managed to extract a realistic image of the man and his times. He gives us a fascinating look at the relations and power struggles between the Norweigan and Anglo-Saxon dynasties in the 10th Century, as well as the infamous Queen Gunnhild.

    Gareth, a true expert, has also published the first ever biography written about this fascinating man, which is available to purchase directly from the castle.
  • King Charles II King Charles II King Charles was 12 when civil war broke out and found himself having to fight furiously alongside his father. Becoming skilled in the arts of war and leadership he was commander of his own troops at just 14 years of age. He fled into exile in 1646 setting foot in France and then in Holland. King Charles I was executed and Charles II was proclaimed King. He led a hopeful army into England in 1651 but was defeated, hid in an oak tree and escaped dressed as a servant to France. After the death of Cromwell. Charles was restored and crowned in Westminster Abbey on 23rd April 1661.

    As King he now intended to live life to the full. He married Katherine of Braganza who sadly produced only three stillborn children. However, his eight official mistresses produced at least 16 children between them. He was much loved and described as “The Merrie Monarch”. As a great supporter of the early scientists and all the arts, he did much to encourage learning and brought England’s glory on wonderfully well. You will see King Charles II come to life.
  • The rise and fall of the Kingdom of Mercia The rise and fall of the Kingdom of Mercia The discovery of the Staffordshire Hoard has focused attention on the origins of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia. The kingdom began on a small scale in the 7th century, but grew from its original heartland in Staffordshire and the Trent valley to cover the area between the Thames and the Humber. Mercian rulers became the most powerful kings in Britain, and the most powerful of all, Offa and Coenwulf, were figures of international importance.

    The fate of Mercia in the 9th century was more mixed: still a major kingdom, but conquered at different times by both the West Saxons and the Vikings, and eventually being swallowed into the emerging kingdom of England in the 10th century. The power and wealth of Mercian rulers is reflected in their coins, sculptures, churches and of course the great earthwork of Offa’s Dyke. Dr Williams examines how a number of major recent finds have thrown new light on this important kingdom, and on the history of the Midlands.
  • The Witch of Manningtree and the Witchfinder General The Witch of Manningtree and the Witchfinder General (with Lesley Smith, Curator of Tutbury Castle)

    As grey mists of civil war roll over England, Matthew Hopkins the infamous witch finder general goes about his business of intimidation, cruelty and execution. Lesley Smith plays the witch of Manningtree in her most extraordinary role to date. Master Hopkins, played by Dr Gareth Williams of the British Museum, is as dark and sinister as you might expect.

    This presentation is based on real events that took place in Suffolk, England. You should be prepared for scenes that are distressing and contain some violence. The history of witchcraft in England in the 17th Century is both gripping and fascinating as you will discover.

     

 

  • Mike Kennedy Mike Kennedy Mike has 32 years of experience in the entertainment industry, having started at the young age of six on the stage. He has gone on to appear in three West End shows as well as television and radio, including roles such as Sgnt Wilson in the stage version of Dad's Army, Doody in Grease, Nathan in The Full Monty, Buttons in Cinderella to name but a few.

    His entertaining yet informative one man shows have gone down a storm and are also available in a simpler format for children on school visits with us. Mike can also create bespoke shows on a subject matter of your choice (contact us for details). He is also one of our leading historical guides for ghost hunting events at the Castle.

    Scroll across to see his characters/lectures available.
  • A Brief History of British History A Brief History of British History ‘A Brief History of British History’ is a unique one man show. It’s content covers every King & Queen of England from Edward the Confessor to Elizabeth II. Using humour, this show delivers a comedic but factual journey through history, highlighting some of the more quirky facts of British history.
  • A Brief History of the Romans A Brief History of the Romans ‘A Brief History of the Romans’ is a unique, fun and entertaining one man show. In this show, we look at the rise and fall of the great and all powerful Roman Empire, touching on aspects of a roman centurions life, finance and roman law, as well as the ever so bloody and nasty coliseum. This funny, yet factual approach to sharing the Romans colourful history will be both enjoyable and informative for all.
  • A Brief History of the Vikings A Brief History of the Vikings ‘A Brief History of the Vikings’ is a unique, fun and entertaining one man show. We look at the dawning of the Vikings in England in 787, studying the growth and conquering of England by the Vikings, along with their beliefs, the long boat and traditional food eaten by Vikings.

    We will also look at the myths surrounding Viking horns and what they were they really used for as well as runes and the Viking 25 letter alphabet. This funny, yet factual approach to sharing the Normans colourful history will be both enjoyable and informative for all.
  • A Brief History of the Normans A Brief History of the Normans ‘A Brief History of the Normans’ is a unique, fun and entertaining one man show. In this show we look at the Claim of William I to the throne of England; His reign of terror and fear, the Norman conquest of 1066 and less fearful Norman Kings. This humorous, yet factual approach to sharing the Normans colourful history will be both enjoyable and informative for all.
  • A Brief History of Castle History A Brief History of Castle History ‘A Brief History of Castle History’ is a unique, fun and entertaining one man show. In this show we explore the wonderful world of castles, looking at their design, structure, defence and attack techniques, castle life for residents and workers, the fortification of castles from wood to stone and the horrid jobs within the castle walls.

    This funny, but factual approach to sharing the colourful history of castles will be both enjoyable and informative for all.
  • A Brief History of Medieval History A Brief History of Medieval History ‘A Brief History of Medieval History’ is a unique and entertaining one man show. The show will give people an insight into medieval life, exposing the myths presented by Hollywood and looking at medieval life, knights, castles and some of the worst jobs in medieval history. Using humour, this show delivers a comedic yet factual journey through history, highlighting some of the more quirky facts of the medieval period.
  • A Brief History of Richard III A Brief History of Richard III ‘A Brief History of Richard III’ is a unique, fun one man show exploring the myths and legends surrounding the last Plantagenet King.

    Separating the Tudor propaganda from the historical truth, we discuss the connection with the Princes in the Tower, Richard’s right to the throne, the war of the roses and the truth of the battle of Bosworth – why he was defeated and the failed searches for his body over the centuries.

    Did he really have a hunchback and how did he end up in a car park in Leicester?

    We look at not only his two year reign but also his life as a whole in this informative, educational and humorous look at Richard III.
  • A Brief History of the Stuarts A Brief History of the Stuarts ‘A Brief History of the Stuarts’ is a unique, fun and entertaining one man show. We will be exploring the story of our Scottish born King James I through to the last of the Stuarts, Queen Anne and touching on the Gunpowder Plot. The reign of Charles I and his flamboyant son Charles II will be discussed along with the restoration of Britain and the story of how we became the United Kingdom.

    This funny, yet factual approach to sharing the Stuarts colourful history will be both enjoyable and informative for all.
  • The Brief History of the Tudors The Brief History of the Tudors ‘A Brief History of the Tudors’ is a unique, fun and entertaining one man show. It shows various aspects of the reigns of Henry Tudor through to Elizabeth I, focusing on some of the more interesting facts of this most famous family and will highlight the parts of Tudor History that have been overshadowed. Explore the fun side of history in this entertaining and factual presentation.
  • The Brief History of the Victorians The Brief History of the Victorians ‘A Brief History of the Victorians’ is a unique, fun and entertaining one man show. We look at the reign of Queen Victoria and the lives of her many children, the rich and poor of Victorian Society, the birth and evolution of the British police as well as crime and punishment of the time. We also look at the growth of the British Empire as well as the wonderful industrial revolution and the darker aspects of child labour and the workhouses.

    This funny, yet factual approach to sharing the Victorians colourful history will be both enjoyable and informative for all.
  • A Brief History of Jack the Ripper A Brief History of Jack the Ripper ‘A Brief History of Jack the Ripper’ is a unique and entertaining one man show. The Ripper is considered Britain’s first serial killer and we look at evidence found at the murder scenes, the murder victims, as well as other victims now linked to that of the ripper murders and the possible suspects of these horrid crimes. This informative and factual approach to sharing Jack the Rippers colourful history will be both enjoyable and informative for all.
  • A Brief History of WWI A Brief History of WWI ‘A Brief History of World War I’ is told in a light hearted but factual way as a unique one man show using visual aids and illustrations as well as props and costume. Explore some of the more interesting sides of the Great War and experience and relive the tales as told by the heroes of the time in this interactive experience.
  • A Brief History of British Comedy A Brief History of British Comedy ‘A Brief History of British Comedy’ is a unique one man show, exploring many aspects of the boom in British comedy in the mid 60’s through to the thriving 70’s. Such comedy greats mentioned are Morecambe and Wise, Tommy Cooper, Benny Hill, Eric Sykes, Tony Hancock, Steptoe and Son, The Two Ronnies, Monty Python, Dads Army and many more.

    Sit back and enjoy a journey through Comedy History as you relive classic clips and footage from these great programs and learn about the behind the scenes workings and ‘goings-on’. Who got on with who, and was it all as fun as it looked?
  • A Brief History of Christmas A Brief History of Christmas ‘A Brief History of Christmas’ is a journey through times gone by. We look at some of the oldest traditions of Christmas past that we still use today, as well as the strangest and most bizarre Christmas celebrations.

    This presentation will open your eyes to the real history behind Christmas, the unwrapping of the origins of Christmas meals, the Christmas tree, mince pies and Father Christmas himself. We also discuss why Christmas was outlawed and why it was illegal to make Christmas pudding; where did red Santa originate from and what about the green and even blue Santa! All these questions and more will be answered in this festive fun packed show.

     

 

  • Other Characters/Lectures Available Other Characters/Lectures Available Tutbury Castle also offers a range of presentations by our guest speakers.

    Scroll across to see our characters/lectures available.
  • Corsets and Codpieces Corsets and Codpieces This fascinating talk by Louise Chapman looks at the history of the codpiece and the corset, from their origins in history to their use in contemporary fashion. Focusing on the history of both the corset and the codpiece, with an opportunity to view reproduction examples, you will look at the development of both garments throughout history and follow the changes of use in society from a practical garment to a fashion garment. She also discusses ladies historical underwear through history with examples to view, including bustles, and panniers.

    Louise has worked as a theatrical costumier for over 15 years and has worked with some of the best regarded theatre companies in the United Kingdom including the Royal Shakespeare Company. She currently teaches at Birmingham City University on the BA Fashion course, teaching historical cutting and construction.
  • Merrie Din Merrie Din This group of musicians sing songs and play folk tunes on instruments of both the Medieval and Tudor periods; bagpipes, harps, recorders, tabors, tambourin de bearne and drum. Music of the times wasn't as dull as its made out to be and they liked a lively song as much as we do! Hear the sound of these long lost instruments as played by the minstrels of Merrie Din - just wait till you hear those tunes!

    This presentation may also include short interludes as they tell you the history behind these instruments.
  • Medieval Talks Medieval Talks Illustrated with reproduction relics of the period, costumed speakers Master Dan and Mistress Eleanor will tell you of these times past and how the people of the Medieval period, both rich and poor, dressed, lived and ate.

    Presented with humour and linking with many of the customs and sayings still practiced today, these talks are very visual and interactive with the audience. A short explanation and demonstration of the musical instruments of the day may also be included.
  • The History of Fireworks The History of Fireworks Henry VIII saw them and Elizabeth I loved them too. Fireworks have been in England a lot longer than most people realise. This talk is absolutely fascinating and followed by a demonstration in the Castle Grounds.

    Chris Pearce who owns Jubilee Fireworks is our speaker and will reveal the magic of the fireworks we all know and love.

     

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