View Full Version : Historical Re-enactments.

Celtic Emerald
26th Apr 2002, 12:40
Being a great lover of history I tend hugely to enjoy these but the one being presently shown on TV about living in an Edwardian House during that era has to take the biscuit. Basically different people have volunteered to be transported back to this time for I think two months & it's tough luck what role you get to play, Lady or Lord Muck or the scullery maid, footman etc.

It's all made as real as possible & one poor man who's low down on the servants hierarchy & only permitted to talk to the servants next up on the hierarchical chain thinks "I've walked into a nightmare" which as far as I'm concerned is an understatement. :eek:

How much the male servants are paid & their status depends on their height, the tallest being paid more & considered higher than rank. Even at the table they have to sit in order of rank, the heighest rank sitting closest to the head butler (a dour man, furious after being called to the answer the front door to the scullery maid who should have entered by the servants quarters and for "not being a lady of quality") & cannot speak at mealtime barr saying grace. The people chosen to play Lord & lady Muck & their son (a real family who were reared far away from being waited on hand & foot) think this is a dream come true while everyone else slaves away catering to their needs (one scullery maid lasted two days).

Could anyone contemplate living in such a stuffed shirt era where social standing & hierarchy were everything?

Myself I've taken part in one or two historical re-enactments the worst being my time in Inverness Castle where I was transported back to the Middle Ages when women were considered chattel & I was referred to the whole time as a 'wench' & wasn't allowed speak. I was only considered good for sewing, cooking & rearing kids, the only saving grace was that I didn't have to go to war. So real was it I could feel after a half an hour of this degrading treatment the female emancipation draining from me & began to wonder how women who live in fundamentalist regimes etc feel with years of this treatment when I could barely handle a few minutes.

The medieval banquets I've gone to where you spent the whole meal contemplating whether you'd be thrown into a dungeon were slightly more pleasant affairs (probably cause there was food involved. :)

Have any of you'se ever taken part in historical re-enactments & what is your opinion on this new series etc.


26th Apr 2002, 12:49
Hi Emerald - just realised I called you 'Dear Sir' in another post - whooops!:o

Anyhoo - yes, watched the first one; and it was fascinating stuff in it's own way - they sure were hard times for some, makes you relieved to live in the 'modern' era, although the Edwardians probably felt the same about earlier times. At least they had electricity!

26th Apr 2002, 13:15
Slightly off-topic, but only slightly...

I had the mis-fortune of attending a live-action role-playing society once. For thos who aren't familiar with the concept, this is how it works: it's basically a role playing game (Dungeons+Dragons, etc.), only instead of sitting around telling the games master what your character is going to do, you actually act it out. Complete with costumes, plastic swords, and so on.

It sounded like a good laugh - head away to a muddy field for a weekend, dress up in silly costumes, and run around hitting people with plastic swords. Of course there was plenty of beer involved, too, which always helps!

Unfortunately, what sounded like a fun weekend turned out to be a load of peole who had completely lost touch with reality, taking the whole thing far too seriously. When your character wasn't involved in an adventure, you were expected to "monster" for the adventure, i.e. play the part of the bad guys... which would be fine, except the adventures (and therefore the monsters' movements) were choreographed to the same extent as a Broadway musical. Dinner was eaten "in character", and was interrupted by a couple of "monsters" running into the dining hall trying to kill us.

The ultimate demonstration of how seriously these people took the whole thing was when one girl genuinely bursting into tears when her character were killed. "I've spent 2 months building up my character, and now all that time and effort is completely wasted. Boohoo."

Yes, boohoo. It's a game. It's supposed to be fun!

Needless to say, I didn't go back.


You want it when?
26th Apr 2002, 13:31
The things you'll do FFF to get a date! I have a sneaky thought that the Matrix is correct and the whole of life is a role play. So as I get on the 06:45 train to London I'm really only doing it for some one elses sadistic pleasure (my bank managers maybe?).:D

26th Apr 2002, 13:34
You know me too well, YWIW! But it didn't work!