At Ayscoughfee Hall Museum, we always want our visitors to get the most out of their visits- either just having fun or learning something, or both!
We've produced a number of theatrical productions at the Hall over the past few years, based around different themes, as well as hosting site-specific performances by several local groups.
The first performance was based around the subject of the drainage of the Fens in the 17th century, and featured a debate between a local lad, who wanted his way of life kept the same, and an 'Undertaker' or an 'Adventurer' who wanted to drain the Fens to earn money and 'improve' things. The debates were very lively, with the final votes tending towards the local's point of view!
Another project we've taken part in is one based around World War I. Ayscoughfee Hall was used as a billet for refugees during the 1914-1918 war, and we wanted to try and recreate some of the experiences of local people during the war for our visitors. Topics we explored included nursing and the recovery of soldiers back from the Front, as well as recruitment and conscription and the Land Army, who were an important part of Lincolnshire's war effort.
We also act as a venue for professional theatre productions, including a site-specific production of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, by the Spalding youth theatre company Act 2
, which used the Hall and Gardens to recreate the magical world of Narnia.
Act II also produced an innovative performance to two linked plays at once, with the same cast.
Their latest success was The Flint Street Nativity in December 2011, which saw the ground floor of the Museum reimagined as a primary school classroom, the venue for a hilarious nativity play.
Another huge success was the local group, St Nicolas Players
, who staged Shakespeare's ever-popular classic A Midsummer Night's Dream in the remarkable setting of Ayscoughfee Gardens in June 2011. More Gardens performances are happening later in 2012, watch this space for more details!
These events were all a great success, and we hope to put on more similar productions in the future. We'll let you know what we're planning, and hope that you'll join us for an interesting insight into history, or just to enjoy some brilliant theatre in a unique setting!