Street Theatre event to celebrate 800 years of Hexham Market
Commissioned by Hexham Town Council
"I can unequivocally declare that of all the performances that day, Boho Arts were the most popularly commented upon. The performances were intelligent and funny, they were imaginative and vibrant, and they got people more curious and interested in the arts, heritage and culture of their town. The town council is grateful to Boho Arts because without them the event would not have enjoyed the success that it did."
Clare Mwande, Projects and Funding Officer, Hexham Town Council
On Saturday 24th September 2022 Hexham celebrated 800 years of their first Market Charter, and Boho Arts held an audience of 400 for our street theatre performances that day.
As part of the full day of celebrations across the town, Boho Arts was commissioned to devise and present 3 interactive playlets based on the factual historical characters of Hexham, to be performed in the main Market Square.
The performances needed to be funny, artistic and educational, family-friendly and accessible to young children, and to include audience participation.
We researched the characters and stories and many of them too grizzly for children, so we needed to devise fun and inventive ways to tell these tales without the need for the ensuing bloodbaths.
It's all in the research. By trailing the archives and digging deeper into one particular story that involved a lifelong tale of jealousy and vengeance between The Duke of Somerset and Lord Montagu (ending in a beheading) we learned that they had actually started out as childhood friends, and would play staring competitions for days on end.
This gave us the idea to show the competitive streak of these men by having their characters play out staring competitions with the children in the crowd.
It went down a storm and was the talk of the town, as well as gaining the front page feature in the Northumbrian newspaper.