Costumed interpretation at Blickling Estate
If you've ever visited us on a Wednesday, you may have come across our costumed interpretation group who perform throughout the season and special events. We caught up with the group, to find out more about the people involved and why they do it.
How did the group start?
It was founded about ten years ago by Angela Layt who has been in charge of us since then. Currently, there are 32 members.
Do you all have a background in drama?
We are a very mixed group, mostly retired with backgrounds in health, business, teaching and social care. We're all volunteers, and most of us work elsewhere, mainly in the house. The majority of us have had experience in amateur dramatics but for some, this has been a new experience.
When can we see you perform?
You can catch us every Wednesday between March and November. We perform short scenarios four times in an afternoon. These last for about quarter of an hour and are generally in Lord Lothian's study, which you'll find at the end of your tour of the house.
In the summer, we venture out into the garden which is lovely but we do have to contend with the wind!
We also do 'ghosting' which is when we meet visitors as they explore the house, and inform them about the characters who lived and worked in Blickling.
What are the scenarios about?
We cover four historical periods - the ones that had the most impact on Blickling. These are; Jacobean, Georgian, Victorian and the 1930s.
Where do you get your script ideas from?
Everything is researched very carefully so that we can be as accurate as possible. There is a script writing group who produce the scripts for the scenarios, however, the ghostings are improvised. We rehearse extensively during the winter and spring months.
Who makes the costumes?
All the costumes are made by a wonderful group of ladies who spend a lot of time ensuring the accuracy of the costumes. Our wardrobe team work really hard dealing with dresses, suits, robes, fans, neckties and shoes - the list is endless.
Why do you do it?
We love Blickling and enjoy interacting with visitors in the hope that it will make their visit more interesting and entertaining. We all enjoy becoming someone else and immersing ourselves in a different time - we have a lot of fun!
" I thoroughly enjoy being involved and talking to visitors. We provide a real insight into different times and attitudes. I love reacting with children who, hopefully, will enjoy their brief trip into history."