Live Interpretation

Sir Edward Dallingridge

as Sir Edward Dallingridge at Bodiam Castle’s Medieval Event August 2013. Photo © 2013 Helene Marler

I work in period costume at historical sites playing a variety of roles. My job is to use first person (speaking as the character) and third person (speaking about the character) techniques to enrich the visitors’ experience of the site. The process is conversational, valuing what each visitor brings to the encounter. The preparation involves a great deal of research but live interpretation in action is not necessarily information heavy. It is better to trigger curiosity than to beat someone around the head with facts.

IMTAL (International Museum Theatre Alliance) Europe (I’m a member) offer some useful definitions of the different types of live interpretation.

Past Pleasures’ Live Interpretation Overview is also useful.

I have worked as a live interpreter for the National Trust at Bodiam Castle for over five years. I am now Visitor Experience Officer (Storytelling) at the Castle but still do a few days a month as a medieval character. I work as William the Forester, Sir Edward Dallinridge and Benet the Baker amongst many others.

As Inigo Jones at the Banqueting House

As Inigo Jones at the Banqueting House © 2013 Lance Woodman

I have worked as a freelance Live Interpreter with Past Pleasures Ltd. Past Pleasures is the oldest and most experienced costumed live historical interpretation company in the UK. I have worked at Dover Castle (Ranulf de Glanvill, William de Hommet and Wulfheard the armourer) and the Banqueting House in Whitehall (as Inigo Jones) for them.

If you would like more information, please do get in touch.

Benet the baker mills some wheat

Benet the baker mills some wheat at Bodiam Castle. Photo © 2013 Andrew Dyer

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