Monday, 13 August 2007

Henry VIII weekend

This weekend I rejoined my old Medieval group Buckinghams retinue to play King Henry VIII at Skipton Castle and enjoyed myself enough I may do another next year.

Friday I travelled with Sam to the event arriving just as it was getting dark waiting outside for someone to answer a phone and let us in through the outer bailey gates. Once there I got severely bitten as we put up our tent, just my arms little black things that where obviously jumping out the grass, although we never saw them again thanks to liberal application of insect repellent.

We had a good sunny weather Saturday and very wet Sunday till mid afternoon, fortunately being a castle in use by its owners we could escape the heat and rain inside.

I got to play Henry VIII during the last year of Anne Boleyn before she was executed and while her Lady in waiting Jane Seymour was in court flirting with me, so torn between 2 woman both after my favour I managed to enjoy a bit of roleplay and get to shout, loose my temper and plot Anne's downfall, while working out how to get Jane out to my hunting lodge.

The downside was being dropped in the deep end the 1st day when they asked me talk in front of couple of hundred members of the public about Henry with 5 minutes notice, at least I didn't get chance to get nervous, and managed to bring the rest of the Kings court into the talk after a few minutes to help me pad it out, by the end of the Sunday though I was fairly fine with doing a little talk before the public asked their own questions, such how many trees did it take to build the Mary Rose, I decided not to execute the child.

The event did not finish until 6pm so by the time we had took down our tents and loaded the group kit into the Van it was 8pm so me and Sam called in the pub for food before getting home, well in Sam's case about midnight.

Today I ache the weight of Henry's gear is not light those of you who wear many layers of fabric (Julie) will know how it pulls your shoulders, but unlike armour your in it all day and it offers no support giving me back ache and shoulder pain from holding my shoulders up all day, no slouching for the King.

I've attached a couple of the sillier picture for you to look at, click on them for a slightly larger image.
Anne Admiring the cod piece
Jane & Anne fighting over who will play Tables with me


  1. It would be the having to talk to the public which would put me off I think. I find being the centre of attention very nerve wracking even on a small scale in front of friends, a couple hundred attentive members of the public would be just terrifying!

    I sympathise on the costume weight thing. After a weekend of Shards it is a relief to take my costume off and return to normal proportions. In my experience, costume also tends to be more restrictive as regards movement, with armholes being tighter and clothes sitting much closer to your body which means you find yourself sitting straighter and moving differently. If I'm wearing a boned bodice I also have the added delight of being squished, so the relief of being able to breathe and stretch as well as that sudden lightness when you take it all off.

    But for all the discomfort - which isn't that noticeable whilst you're wearing the costume - wearing the right kit with lots of proper layers looks pretty darn good, which is of course why we do it.

    PS - love the codpiece :)

  2. Standing in front of public talking in costume is far easier than normal life, although I'm no natural and will never be truly happy doing it, I would avoid it if I could, being dropped in it was unpleasant at best.

    The other aspect of the weekend, the role play, playing medieval games, answering public question one to one I was fine with and enjoyed. It was also good to socialise, everybody was so glad to see me I was crushed under a mountain of hugs, although I still find the that overall it was boring since you only do 1/2 hour of role play, and remain IC in costume for about 6 hours, the rest of the time is in normal clothing talking about nothing in particular, so I spent a lot of the time with Sam talking Larp.

    The bodice's certainly must be uncomfortable, since most of the women seemed to be complaining about them, seems fit is very important, if they are loose they even fail to offer support and the boning digs in the hips.

    The cod piece got many admiring glances, in fact it works exactly the same as it would for a woman with her chest on display were the female public look not in the eyes or chest but in the groin. I even had one woman squeeze it without asking to see what was inside.