Talks

Talks

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Hampton Court Palace in Tudor times was a place for theatre, music, poetry and dance.

Performance was more than simply entertainment; it was a common way to assess royal power, honour and prestige.

Power and Performance at Hampton Court Palace

Join author and historian Lauren Johnson as she hosts an impressive line-up of speakers to explore ideas of power and performance in the lively Tudor court.

*Tickets cost £15/£13 HRP Members or take advantage of our multi-buy offer – 3 events for £36 or 5 for £55

 

Anne Boleyn: musician and composer*

Tuesday 28 March
Doors open: 18.30
Event starts: 18.50
Event finish: 20.00

The Frenchman Viscount Chateaubriant writes in his 1522 memoirs that “Anne Boleyn, singing like a syren [and] accompanying herself on the lute ...harped better than King David and handled cleverly both flute and rebec [fiddle]”.

Explore how Anne’s keen ability as a musician and composer influenced her role at court. Did it help her to silence her enemies and impress the king?

Speaker: Tamsin Lewis, musician, composer and historical consultant, with expertise in iconography and theatre music in early modern England. She plays the violin, viols, lute and harp.

SOLD OUT

 

Plays of persuasion*

Tuesday 25 April
Doors open: 18.30
Event starts: 18.50
Event finish: 20.00

Plays were not only performed to foreign guests to show-off magnificent hospitality at the royal court, they were also used to further diplomatic negotiations.

In December 1521, Henry VIII entertained imperial ambassadors with ‘many sumptuoys and gorgious disguisynges, enterludes and bankettes’, ahead of negotiating the details of their intended invasion of France.

Discover how drama was used as a tool for persuasion at the Tudor court.

Speaker: Thomas Betteridge is a Professor at Brunel University London. He is an expert in the history of the English stage, in particular medieval and Tudor drama.

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Sacred music and the Reformation*

Wednesday 10 May
Doors open: 18.30
Event starts: 18.50
Event finish: 20.00

The Reformation set in motion a rebellion against the authority of the Catholic Church. But it also brought about a new and profound impact on religious music at the Tudor court.

Find out how Henry VIII shaped his own image and reinforced his new religion using sacred music by the likes of Thomas Tallis and William Byrd, the greatest court composers of his time.

Speaker: Jeremy Summerly is Director of Music at St Peter’s College, University of Oxford, specialising in early Tudor works. He also works as a broadcaster for BBC Radio 3.

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Playing the fool*

Tuesday 23 May
Doors open: 18.30
Event starts: 18.50
Event finish: 20.00

‘Natural fools’ – understood today as people with learning disabilities – were prized entertainers who often held favour and authority with the king. They were described as ‘foolish’ and ‘lacking judgement’, yet their perceived directness and humour were greatly admired.

Henry VIII’s court jester Will Somers had ‘admission to the King [at all times], especially when sick and melancholy’. Discover how the ‘foolish things of the world’ delighted, and uniquely influenced the Tudor elite.

Speaker: Dr Suzannah Lipscomb is an historian, author, broadcaster, and award-winning academic. She is also a Senior Lecturer in Early Modern History and Fellow of the New College of the Humanities.

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Encounters with the Tudors: behind-the-scenes*

Thursday 8 June
Doors open: 18.30
Event starts: 18.50
Event finish: 20.00

Go behind the scenes of Encounters with the Tudors, the daily costumed performances at Hampton Court Palace.

Hear from the creators as they unlock the mysteries of how they transform historical moments into compelling immersive theatre.

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Accessibility

Unless otherwise stated, our events are fully accessible to all. If you have any particular access requirements please notify us in advance on +44 (0)20 3166 6646 or learning.info@hrp.org.uk

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