Hatfield Living History

Hatfield House, Living History Education Project.

‘Meeting History’ Education Project (cont.)

In conjunction with the Curator and the Administrator of Lord Salisbury’s Hatfield House estate, Here be Dragons has mounted a major ongoing project which makes use of the superb educational potential of Hatfield’s Tudor ‘Old Palace’ and Gardens. Using our actors to portray characters from the Tudor Court at Hatfield, Ellis has devised and written an interactive dramatic event using Here be Dragons performers, which has already played to thousands of students from hundreds of schools throughout Hertfordshire and the South East.

In 2002 this project was awarded the prestigious ‘Sanford Award’ by the Heritage Education trust. In making a full award the judges commented on the excellence of the dramatic interpretation. The following comments have been taken from the Judges’ citation and report:

“Recommendations for a Full Sandford Award should only be made... where, in the opinion of the judges, an outstanding contribution to Heritage Education is being made.

“Hatfield House provides an exciting educational programme of the highest quality for all ages. Of particular note is the Living History Programme for children studying the Tudors which is set in and around the Old Tudor Palace. This is, rightly very popular with school parties, for it encapsulates the mood and times of this age brilliantly and truly brings history alive through the use of theatre...

“The two judges were impressed by the whole interpretive programme... The interaction with costumed characters in the Old Tudor Palace was well received... The characters are played by professional actors whose script is historically accurate. Their interaction with the pupils was of the highest order and they cannot have failed to learn much about Tudor times from their visit.

“To say the Judges were impressed is an understatement, one judge commenting to the other, “are they all as good as this?”... The cameos are exceedingly well carried out, the actors engaging the pupils in the life of the court in such a way that they cannot fail to learn about the period. The two judges felt that they too had learnt a lot! The Wars of the Roses were very well explained... so this important event was well understood by all, irrespective of age. The technique of involving pupils in the drama worked well in holding their attention for long periods of time.

“In all a most enjoyable experience shared by both young and old alike. We have no hesitation of recommending... a full Sanford Award.”

Ellis Charles Pike

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