Historical pageants were a widespread form of popular entertainment in early twentieth-century Britain. Presenting large-scale theatrical re-creations of scenes from local and national history, they brought the past to life as never before. Thousands of people performed in these vivid extravaganzas of music, dance and drama, and tens of thousands more watched them. Yet pageants are largely forgotten today.
In support of our exhibition Pageant Fever! Historical Pageants and the British past, running at Cecil Sharp House from January 29, we are pleased to present a day of talks, exhibitions and performances of historical pageantry from local history organisations, museums, theatre groups, musicians and dancers. This will be followed by a separate evening event featuring exciting scenes, music and dance from selected pageants, some of which have not been staged for many decades.