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Historical pageants were very popular in twentieth-century Britain. Presenting large-scale theatrical re-creations of history, they brought the past to life as never before. Thousands of people performed in them, and tens of thousands more watched. Yet today pageants are largely forgotten.

In support of our exhibition Pageant Fever! Historical Pageants and the British past, running at Cecil Sharp House from 29 January, we are pleased to present a special day and evening of talks, music, film and performance showcasing the richness of the pageant tradition, and reveal some of the places where it flourishes today.

Daytime Event

  • Talks on pageants from the Redress of the Past team, including Dr Angela Bartie, Dr Mark Freeman and Professor Paul Readman, along with local historians, curators and archivists from across the UK 
  • Archive film screenings of historical pageants with commentary by Dr Tom Hulme
  • Scenes from St Albans Pageants performed by Trestle 
  • Displays and stalls, including the ongoing Pageant Fever exhibition at Cecil Sharp House, which can be viewed throughout the day

Evening Event

  • Axbridge Pageant Association perform scenes and song from the forthcoming Axbridge Pageant 
  • Parker Gordon, musician and researcher of early twentieth-century pageants, performs pageant music
  • Performance from Amanda Boyd a Somerset-based folk singer with a special interest in Cecil Sharp 

Admission to both events is free - come for the whole day, or just drop in for an hour or two. 

Generously supported by the AHRC 

At this event

Paul Readman

Professor in Modern British History

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