It’s 1549 and people find themselves struggling, starving and destitute as the land that they held in common and supported their livelihoods is being enclosed by rich landowners for profit. For years ordinary working people have been increasingly exploited for the private gain of a privileged ruling class that pay little heed to their calls for equality and social justice.
Sound familiar? This is an important story…
Kett’s Rebellion is one of the most significant events in Norfolk’s history. Led by Wymondham man Robert Kett, a huge number of men and women from across Norfolk marched on the Norwich to make their case. They set up camp on Mousehold Heath, took control of the city and called for the king himself to hear their plight.
1549 tells the story of what happened to them over six weeks of summer; from the establishment of their own system of fair representation and justice to their brutal repression by a hired army.
This show is an adaption of the large scale community production that I wrote and directed with The Common Lot for a tour of Norwich’s open spaces in July 2016. The show was a big success and enjoyed by over 3000 people. This led to a grant from Arts Council England to develop the show into a touring production that can reach out to rural audiences. This tour is the first part of that process.
The show will have a “go-anywhere” feel to it. Five actors arrive, unpack and introduce themselves. They tell the story through a blend of pathos, comedy and song in a style that we have dubbed “Panto-documentary” , with plenty of opportunities for the audience to get involved.
In each place we visit we will enlist the support of local people to help us sing the songs, which we will teach in free community workshops before the show arrives in town. Tickets will be priced at £8 and £10
By Simon Floyd and Karl Minns
After a successful tour we will be looking to gain further funding to take the show on a much wider rural tour, and to the Edinburgh Festival in August 2018.