Welcome, traveler to Nottinghamshire where our harvest faire beckons you with beautiful music, sweet sounds and fine entertainment all gathered in one place just for you! Here on this page you will find information on Nottingham’s four stages and the diverse entertainment you will find upon them!
From exotic belly dance to music, jugglers to dancers you will find it all here. Rumor has it that her Majesty Queen Elizabeth I and her court may even take to the stage for your enjoyment.
A SAMPLING OF SHOWS
Front Gate Morning Show
The Queen is coming to Nottingham, and it’s Mayor Quarneby’s job to assure all is ready for her Majesty’s Visit. Preparing his eccentric aldermen and his simpleton sheriff is enough of a problem without the addition of a young fellow claiming to be Robin Hood adding to the confusion.
The Legendary Robin Hood
The Sherwood Merry Players recap the legends around this famous figure, feeding the question of whether there was a historical Robin, or was the Hood just a myth from tales. If only the current Sheriff of Nottingham could tell the difference, this would be an easier task!
Live from Calais (Lord Mayor’s Show)
Phillip of Spain’s attempt to overthrow Elizabeth I, was one of the greatest events in the history of Western Civilization, with repercussions in Politics, Culture and Religion. But how much do you really know about it? Take a half hour with the Mayor Quarneby and the Nottingham News Network as we cover the great event in depth with live remote coverage and background reporting. “Live From Calais” brings you the 400 year old scoop in a way you’ve never heard before. Better take some notes while you’re laughing: There’s going to be a quiz.
Queen’s Show – God Save the Queen!!
The Queen has come to Nottingham with a simple plan…to enjoy the countryside, visit with her people and renew her friendship with the Mayor’s Wife. However, events and historic individuals conspire to interfere with her desires for a simple day of dancing and feasting at the faire. As a result, the Queen makes a decision that may alter the course of history, and the irksome Italian Ambassador learns a lesson in Swordsmanship…and Diplomacy.
Meet the Queen
Hear ye, Hear ye!
Come one and come all to the John Barleycorn stage for a once in a life time experience to meet and greet Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth I. Her Majesty is here in Nottingham this beautiful fall day to make merry and leave the politics of London behind if only for a short time. While here, she wishes to meet each and every one of you personally and what better way than to make herself available to you. Come and say hello, bring your children and your portrait maker and take a portrait with her Majesty. This is the perfect opportunity to ask her that burning question you have been wanting to ask: Which of her gentlemen courtiers does she find the most handsome? What is her favorite food? What is her favorite dance?
Auditions for Shakespeare
A rare opportunity for members of the audience to perform on stage with the bard, himself. Master Will is always looking for new talent, and maybe it’s your turn. This is an open stage for young adults who have some Shakespearean lines to perform and a chance to discuss the works with the author – get some tips! Lines can also be provided for those without something prepared! Tread the boards, show your talent, Audition for Shakespeare!
Bartolomeo Scappi – Celebrity Chef
Step aside, Guy Fierri! Sixteenth century chef extraordinaire and larger than life gourmet, Bartolomeo Scappi, is making a special appearance at Nottingham in his live cooking show. Learn tips and tricks from this master of fine food preparation of the Renaissance period, chef de cuisine to the Vatican and author of the book, Opera dell’ arte del cucinare. Featuring Andy Mattick as the jovial gourmet.
Country Garden Dancers
Country Garden Dancers is an English Country Dance performance troupe established in 2006. We perform scripted plays for stage, as well as improvised dance. The troupe consists of approximately 25 core dancers accompanied by three full-time musicians. Visiting dancers and musicians may occasionally join in the dance, music, and merriment. We welcome guests to try a few steps with us, too!
The purpose of the troupe is to present English Country dances that were performed by people from all walks of life in Renaissance England. First published in 1651, John Playford’s historic dance manual, The English Dancing Master, documents the dances of that time and is our primary source for our dance steps and music.
Our home performance site is at the original Renaissance Pleasure Faire, where our troupe was established, but we have also danced at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Northern California Renaissance Faire, at various schools doing educational programs, and at promotions. We are pleased to be part of the newest faire in Southern California, The Nottingham Festival, and look forward to meeting you. Huzzah!
The Golden Pipers
Ha’Penny Singers – Renaissance Revelry for all Occasions
A welcome sight at various Renaissance faires in California for many years, the Ha’Penny Singers enjoy performing in the streets and pathways, providing authentic ambiance for travelers to the shire with catches, rounds, canzonettes, and traditional madrigals.
Stephanie Molen, of Brigid’s Daughters and Steven Schwadron of the Poxy Boggards, perform together as a husband and wife team in Ivy Moon. Both have been performing early music for many years and are will present music from the renaissance and medieval age along with a few new compositions in the style of the Celtic folk genre.
Kerry King (Hammered Dulcimer)
Imagine you’re exploring a street fair on a warm spring day. In busy booths, street vendors sell jewelry, incense, handmade crafts, delicious exotic snacks. All at once you come upon a circle of animated men and women dressed in bright Renaissance garb, singing joyfully. One of them turns and beckons you into the center of the circle, where several other fair dwellers are listening intently with eyes closed. You hesitate, but after a bit of friendly cajoling, you agree to enter. As you quiet yourself, you are astonished by the sound of the music. Turning, you can hear each voice clearly; they blend and intertwine in delicate harmonies, sometimes haunting, sometimes playful, in rich unison and complex counterpoint.
This is Madrigali, a group of musical performers singing traditional Renaissance and medieval music – a cappella madrigals, folk songs, ballads, chants and carols, almost all of it written prior to 1650. Madrigali seeks to bring this once wildly popular music back to life, not in some stuffy academic setting, but full of spirit, color, drama, and emotion – romantic, fanciful, bawdy, joyous.
Manus O’Tool is a comedic strolling minstrel who performs Renaissance tunes, Irish folk music and shanties. A bit of a dimwitted shady character, he would love to be known as “Manus the Great” instead of his other common titles like “Manus the Thief”, “Manus the Drunkard” or “Manus the Fella Who Once Ate a Goat Dropping for a Shilling”… In short, O’Tool is a likeable idiot who makes people laugh and plays some great music.
The Merry Wives of Windsor
Windsor’s Tavern is open and these lovely serving wenches are here to entertain with beautiful songs and a joke or two. Drop on by!
Mistress Judith Rowan – Linda J. Levin
Mistress Judith Rowan sings plaintive songs of love, loss, and misbehavior, accompanying herself on the Renaissance cittern.
Night Watch Band
No Parchement Needed
This troupe of traveling actors have arrived all set to perform, but they have forgotten one important ingredient – their scripts! They’ll come to the audience for suggestions to help drive their short form improv into hilarity. All content is based on audience suggestions, so no two shows will ever be the same!
Passado Action Theatre
Passado Action Theatre presents “Shakespeare Unplugged” – a collection of Shakespearean vignettes filled with bawdy humor, physical comedy and outrageous swordplay. The show includes accurate – yet slightly irreverent – treatments of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, Twelfth Night, Taming of the Shrew and more! There are also some serious moments for the classical diehards in the audience and, yea, verily, even a sonnet or two.
Passado Action Theatre is a not for profit company that presents action theatre/stage combat/stunt shows and workshops for high school & college students. Passado aims to prove that Shakespeare can be fun, entertaining AND understood by everyone. WARNING!! This show is rated FUN! After all, nothing says “Shakespeare” like bawdy jokes and people running at each other with sharp, pointy objects!!!
The Pipe & Bowl Morris Dancer’s
The Pipe & Bowl Morris Men have been practicing the craft of English ritual dance for an unbroken run of over forty years, getting their start at the original Renaissance Pleasure Faires of California. Joining in with their good cousins from Nottingham, the Pipe & Bowl Morris will be performing the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance, inspired by England’s ancient folk tradition. Danced with antlers and a heartbeat rhythm, they tour the village, bringing good luck and prosperity to one and all!
Richard VanHealy (Irish Fiddler)
Becky Spiro, violin & David Key, lutes.
While they are new arrivals to the Renaissance era, David and Becky have been performing together for years as Rigel, presenting a rich and varied collection of traditional and modern Scots, Irish, English, American, and occasionally klezmer music. They appear regularly at the Seaside Highland Games in Ventura and at Heritage Square Museum in Los Angeles, and at Scottish country dances, coffeehouses, pubs, and weddings.
David’s fine voice and storyteller’s delivery prove engaging in songs and ballads both romantic and tragic (staples of the Renaissance imagination). Becky’s fine styling takes the lead in airs and dances that will draw you in with toe tapping and a smile at the very least, even perhaps a swoon
From across the ocean of fire, the Silk Road carried them, like the desert D’jinn they were born of the sand.
Seraphim Mora is an Arabic Folkloric Dance, Belly Dance, and Middle Eastern Music troop. The Seraphim dancers and musicians will delight you with their soft yet hypnotic movements and sounds from the Middle East and Near East. They weave music and movement to transport you to an exotic world behind the walls of the Harem.
The Story Wrens
“Bringing the ancient story songs to life”
Tight harmonies on Child ballads, lively traditional English folk and silly sea songs are accompanied by tenor mandolin, whistles, fiddle, bass and other instruments. Their Celtic harper, Shawna, was winner of the All-Ireland contest and performed this year with the Chieftains. Winners of the LA Critic Awards “Best Folk Album 2012.”
What? Women performing as actors on stage? Summon the sheriff and have them arrested! Better yet, stay and watch these three zanies as they come to the rescue of a performance of “Shakespeare’s Women”, placed in peril when three male actors are besotted with drink and can’t make it to the stage. Miranda (Toni Jourdan and writer), Celia (Deven Streeton) and Mistress Spayde of Lichtfield and Spayde (Megan Ruble) not only save the day, but offer up a fine collection of some of the most well known monologues and scenes featuring ladies from the hand of the Bard.
The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus:
For what would you sell your soul? Money? Fame? Love?
Christopher Marlowe’s play The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus explores these themes.
Circle on the Earth Productions brings this classic story to the stage in an adaptation by D. J. Carlisle.
A production filled with magic, illusion, pageantry, and the amazing story of a man who sells his soul to the devil and the results of such a desperate compact. A play that balances tragedy with comedy and desire with despair, told through the powerful language by one of the great poet-playwrites of the Elizabethan age, this timeless classic will captivate and enthrall.
Don’t miss this unique opportunity. Due to the strenuous nature of this show it will be presented only once on each day of the festival
Not advised for children due to adult themes and theatrical violence.
Ye Mayor’s Fooles:
Mayor Quarneby has appointed a most frolicksome and foolish office of mirth, mischief and merriment. Ye Mayor’s Fooles represent newcomers to the craft of Capering and Carousing, from Local High Schools, learning the ways of the English Renaissance, and how to make visitors laugh across the centuries. Should you have business with Mayor Quarneby this day, A member of Ye Mayor’s Fooles will be happy to arrange an appointment with his Honor.
AND MUSIC PERFORMED BY:
Kerry King (Hammered Dulcimer)
Richard VanHealy (Irish Fiddler)
Linda J. Levin (Renaissance Cittern)
As well as The Night Watch Band