The Newark Pageant - Pikemen in Cardinal Wolsey's procession

Image ID: 07121

The Newark Pageant - Pikemen in Cardinal Wolsey's procession

Courtesy of Nottinghamshire Archives

Newark Castle
Newark on Trent

The Newark Pageant was staged in the open air in the grounds of Newark Castle between the 13th and 18th July 1936. It was presented each evening at 7.00pm, with two matinee performances on the afternoons of Thursday 16th and Saturday 18th July. Over 2,000 local people were involved, portraying notable events and personalities in the history of the town from earliest times to the 19th Century. As the Newark Advertiser newspaper commented at the time, ;The Pageant [brought] home, in a manner which no other event possibly could, the important part which Newark has played in the past history of these islands. It [was] something more than a spectacular show; it [was] an animated picture of the events which have helped to shape the Borough and the character of it's people from the arrival of Paulinus to the first election of the great W.E. Gladstone.' The whole event was produced by (Sir) Donald Wolfit, the noted Shakespearean actor and native of Balderton near Newark. Each evening's performance was opened by a dignitary - The Mayor of Newark (Councillor P J C Staniland), the Archbishop of York, Duff Cooper MP, the Duke of Portland, Frank Prewett of The Countryman magazine, and Sir Herbert Austin and Sir Walter Citrine. The Thursday evening performance was notable in that it was opened via a radio-telephone link from the USA by the Mayor of Newark, New Jersey, the Hon. Meyer C Ellenstein. The production was divided into five episodes; the first covering the period 600 to 1216 with characters such as the chronicler Paulinus and the Bishop of Lincoln )the builder of Newark Castle) being depicted. Episode 2 covered the period from 1216 to 1603 and featured local philanthropist Sir Thomas Magnus and Cardinal Wolsey in a scene depicting the latter's journey through Newark when he had lost favour within the Royal Court. The Third episode covered the visit of James I on his way to be crowned in London, whilst the Fourth episode covered the momentous events of Newark in the Civil war and featured King Charles I and the legend of Hercules Clay. The Fifth and final episode covered the post-Civil War era, including the printing of Lord Byron's first poems in Newark and the hustings at W E Gladstone's first election in the town. Finally, there was an epilogue and Grand Finale procession in which were introduced famous characters who had either been born in Newark or who had a connection with it. (Antoine)

Date: 01/07/1936

Organisation Reference: NCCE001149


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