Staging the Henrician Court
This film looks at a research project that has been seeking to bring early modern drama to life by staging performances at Hampton Court, one of the Historic Royal Palaces. Hampton Court is the only place in the world where we know that Shakespeare’s plays were performed in his own lifetime.
Staging the Henrician Court was a research project, led by Professor Tom Betteridge of Brunel University, London, into John Heywood's drama, the Play of the Weather. The project was based on historical research and textual analysis and used dramatic performances in the Great Hall at Hampton Court in order to research the Tudor court.
The Play of the Weather, by John Heywood, one of the leading playwrights of the period, was used to research, through performance, the way court space was managed at Henry VIII's court. In this play the God Jupiter, representing Henry VIII, decides to come to earth and resolve the constant debates that humans have over which is the best kind of weather. The play is an allegory of the religious choices facing Henry in 1533.
Staging the Henrician Court was fully supported by Historic Royal Palaces, the charity that manages Hampton Court. Historic Royal Palaces is the most recent organisation to receive AHRC Independent Research Organisation Status.
The film concludes with a look to the future and a new project which sees Professor Betteridge once again working with Historic Royal Palaces on ‘Performing the Stuart Masque’ which will be performed at Banqueting House in London’s Whitehall in May 2016.