HISTORIA GERMANICA

Meet the Reenactor Groups 2016

HISTORIA GERMANICA

 

 

Historia Germanica is a reenactment group based in Queensland, that represents the camp life of a 16th century Landsknetch group. They are a small group representing a gun crew, and they wear and make all their own amazing and authentic costumes and gear, from the early Renaissance time period. This group have 3 cannons which they have fired yearly at The Abbey Medieval Festival, this being a greatly anticipated part of the Festival.

After participating at the Abbey Medieval Festival for many years, 2016 marks the last year you will see Historia Germanica, they are retiring! But fear not, the gun will be back next year in the hands of another group, let’s just say it is their neighbours to the south 😉

This year, for their last year, you can see Historia Germanica and their cannons, and listen to their interesting and educational talk in the Castle Arena both Saturday and Sunday.

From Historia Germanica:

“We would like to thank the Abbey for all their hard work making the festival come alive. We have really enjoyed our years of bringing a bit of noise to the festival”

The Effect of Cannons on Troupes‘ is scheduled for 11:45 on Saturday 9th, and 2:15 on Sunday the 10th.

Buy your tickets to the Festival now!

More on the final groups of reenactors here soon

The Pageant Wagon

What is the Pageant Wagon?

 Some history regarding Medieval Theatre.

wagon

The European Renaissance holds the title of being one of the great ages of theatre. Patronage of acting troupes, the establishment of permanent theatres and playwrights such as Shakespeare and Marlowe, provide solid evidence to support this statement. While this era of theatre is still studied and adored today, it is important to acknowledge that an artistic revolution like the Renaissance is indebted to its predecessor – Medieval Theatre.

By today’s standards, the subject of many plays that make up medieval theatre wouldn’t be considered as exciting as those of the Renaissance, but its history is no less impressive. With its humble beginnings of Catholic priests performing biblical events during mass, it led into the Renaissance with troupes of actors performing on one of the great tools of medieval theatre, the Pageant Wagon.

wagon

A procession of wagons would arrive in town, each performing a scene of a cycle play; the audience would either remain stationary as the wagons passed by, or the wagons would be set up in an open area allowing the public to move from play to play. It was a wonderfully inventive way to allow just about the whole community a chance to see a performance.

Unfortunately, modern day occupational health and safety standards make it a little tricky to have a pageant wagon; however 2015 saw the debut of a new venue at Abbeystowe – the Pageant Wagon – the Abbey Medieval Festival’s little homage to staging for medieval theatre. Last year the Abbey Medieval House Troupe tested the waters a little by performing Shakespeare and a variety of children’s stories on our new stage. Conveniently situated near the Market Place, the Pageant Wagon stage will be in full swing in 2016 with a full program of theatre, costume and music.

A guaranteed favourite at the Pageant Wagon stage will be the children’s story telling. Developed and performed by the Abbey Medieval House Troupe, the story telling will take place from 12-1pm, and again 3.30-4pm both Saturday and Sunday at the Festival. Performed ‘players theatre’ style, the stories are told by a narrator with sections acted out by performers.

wagon

Stories for 2016 are will include:

St George and the Dragon

Robin Hood and the Golden Arrow

King Arthur and the Sword and the Stone.

Come and sit by the Pageant Wagon stage – the perfect opportunity for families to have lunch while being entertained! Cheer for the good guys and boo at the baddies!

Buy your tickets now to see the Pageant Wagon come to life! 
If anyone would like to fund the construction of a functioning pageant wagon that meets modern day OH&S standards, please contact our House Troupe Coordinator, you will quickly become her favourite person. Ever.

Celebrating Shakespeare

‘Eaten me out of house and home’

‘Forever and a day’

‘Good riddance’

‘Wear my heart upon my sleeve’

We’ve all heard one or all of these saying before. But did you know where they came from? Who was the first person to say or write them?

These are just some of the common phrases made popular by the great playwright and wordsmith William Shakespeare!

Ever eat a meal so delicious that the only was the describe it was to say it was “a dish fit for the gods!”

Shakespeare did.

Did your parents ever get so exasperated at your siblings (not you, of course) you hear them say “for goodness sake!”

Yep, that came from Shakespeare.

Every knows a good “Knock Knock, who’s there” joke!

That phrase came from Shakespeare too!

Going on a “wild goose chase”!

Yep, you guessed it. Shakespeare.

 

Mind Blown.

shakespeare

 

Celebrating Shakespeare with the Abbey Medieval House Troupe!

23rd April 2016 marked the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, and while the Bard may be ‘dead as a doornail’ (another one, thanks William!), his contributions to literature, theatre and the English language are immense and still celebrated today.

To mark this anniversary, the volunteers of Abbey Medieval House Troupe have been hard at work over the past few months developing and rehearsing a tribute to Shakespeare. Sorting through his plays to find a mere sample of gems to perform has proved to be an endeavour not for the ‘faint hearted’ (they just keep coming!). However the Troupe have managed to narrow it down to a select few including, but not limited to Macbeth, King Lear, Richard III, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and of course, Romeo and Juliet.

We cannot ignore the line we are dancing on with historical accuracy here, the Abbey Medieval Festival celebrates the Middle Ages, specifically Europe and the Middle East from 600 – 1600AD, thankfully for us we just touch on the English renaissance, and ‘as good luck would have it’ many of Shakespeare’s works are believed to have been penned in the late 1500s.

Come and see the House Troupe’s tribute this year!

Join the House Troupe to be a part of amazing shows like this, and many others!

Black Plague Doctor

 Have you ever wondered who/what the person dressed in black with a white long beaked mask is? Or do you know a little about this person/character, but would love some more info?

Meet

The Black Plague Doctor!

plague

History:

Typically donned head to toe in black, with a white, long-beaked mask, the Black Plague Doctor is one of many iconic figures from the middle ages, largely due to the unique and often terrifying mask. Fully covering the face with glass openings for their eyes, the mask’s prominent feature is the long curved beak shaped nose that typically held dried flowers, herbs and spices to keep away the bad and evil smell of their patients. Although this character has a foreboding presence, seen as the bringer of death, they were instructed to treat patients in a friendly and kind manner.

It was believed that the Plague was spread by smell, hence the stuffed beak and clothing designed to basically cocoon the doctor. A shining example of the archaic medical practice and understanding of medicine and disease at the time.

Today:plague

The Black Plague Doctor is a fascinating character and one we love to profile at the Abbey Medieval Festival. Since 2013, the role of resident Plague Physician has been filled by Murray, a volunteer with the Abbey Medieval House Troupe, who, every year, travels from Victoria to rid Abbeystowe of the deadly Plague. To show that he is not to be feared, Murray has been seen playing ring-around-the-rosy and soccer with patrons at the Abbey. Treating patients is his first priority, and he always likes to lend a helping hand to clear out the dead at the end of the day.

If you spot our wonderful plague doctor at the Abbey Medieval Festival this year, feel free to stop and say hello, ask for a photograph, or treatment advice* – his plague pillows are highly effective!

*Disclaimer: Murray is only qualified to assist with medieval treatment of the black plague.

To meet Murray, whoops I mean, The Black Plague Doctor this year, buy your tickets now!

Join the Abbey Medieval Festival House Troupe!

Kids Dressing up for the Abbey Medieval Festival

Does your youngster dream of being a knight in shining armour or the famous Robin Hood or one of his merry men? Are you bringing them to the Abbey Medieval Festival to fulfill their dreams?  If so I guess you are dressing them up in a little cotehardi and tights or pretend armour and helmet. This, of course, is a must for our little knights in shining armour or brave archers.

But what about weapons?? Do we have to apply for a weapons permit for our little warriors?

Okay parents this is what you need to know.

You DO NOT need a weapons permit for toy swords. But please be aware that if your young one challenges another youngster to a duel, you ARE responsible for their action and safety.

Now when it comes to bows and arrows, I am afraid it is one or the other. Unfortunately because our young archers do not have the necessary control to safely fire their arrows in a crowded festival.

We do have an archery range run by the Traditional Archery Company where your young ones can have the opportunity to safely shoot some arrows … it is only $4 for 5 arrows. Or you can purchase a day pass for $13 and go back as many time as you like throughout the day.

We want you and your children to have a wonderful time at our festival. But past experiences have taught us that we need to take certain safety precautions.

Remember, when it comes to toy swords, axes and bows… then plastic or foam is best and safest for your children and the other children they may play with.

 

What to wear to the Abbey Medieval Festival

What to wear to the Abbey Medieval Festival

One of the best parts of the Abbey Medieval Festival is being able to immerse yourself in the culture and costumes of the day. We encourage all of our visitors to join in with the fun and dress up! Have fun dressing as Lords, Ladies, Kings, Queens, knights, peasants, jesters, wenches, soldiers or a loyal squire!

Whether or not you choose to dress up when attending the Abbey Medieval Festival, we suggest wearing comfortable clothing and footwear. Please be mindful that you may be in the sun for a good deal of the day and ensure that you Slip, Slop, Slap. Likewise, ensure you wear comfortable shoes. Watching the carnival, browsing through the markets and taking part in activities are all the more enjoyable in supportive footwear.

Enjoying yourself is the priority when attending the Abbey Medieval Festival, so dress up or dress down, it’s your choice……just don’t forget your tickets!

Children’s Costume Competition

This week we were unfortunately faced with the difficult decision of cancelling our Kids’ Medieval Fun Day. We know that there are many fans out there who, like us, were disappointed with this situation; we want to thank you all for your understanding and support.

Children’s Costume Competition

We know there are many dedicated parents out there who worked hard creating costumes for little Knights and Princesses to attend the Kids’ Medieval Fun Day. So after a little shuffling around, we are happy to announce that we will have a Children’s Costume Competition this weekend at the Abbey Medieval Festival! Any young Lords and Ladies between the ages of 3 – 12 are welcome to participate in the competition which will be held on stage outside the Friar’s Folly at 12.45 – 1.15pm, We ask that those interested in participating please contact performance@abbeytournament.com.

Fun for the whole family

The Abbey Medieval Festival is a weekend full of workshops, demonstrations and fun for the whole family and we thought we’d share some ideas for the young Lords and Ladies visiting Abbeystowe:

Plan Your Day: Families with Little Kids (aged 0-5)

Plan Your Day: Families with Primary Age Kids (aged 6-11)

Plan Your Day: Families with Teenagers

And parents, don’t miss out on a great offer from Medieval Fightclub! Present your Medieval Fightclub sponsored jousting ticket when purchasing a Toy Sword & Shield Set and they will give you another set FREE! You can find their stall in the market place all weekend.