Grantham’s Gravity Fields: Black death is a festival fatal attraction

Plague re-enactors. Photo: Hans Splinter
Plague re-enactors. Photo: Hans Splinter
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Bubonic plague did not actually reach Newton’s Lincolnshire birthplace at Woolsthorpe, where he fled in 1665 to escape the disease in Cambridge, but what if it had?

As part of Gravity Fields (September 21-25), Plague Day performances are being staged with experts and actors in role, plus spluttering victims, body collectors and the Charlatan Quack doctors with their creepy bird masks.

And volunteers are being sought to take part.

An introductory volunteers’ meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, August 31 at 5.30pm in Grantham’s Guildhall Arts Centre, with workshop activities and the chance for questions, followed by rehearsals from September 17.

It’s a unique opportunity to relive one of England’s darkest episodes, says producer Helen Pack, helping to deliver a unique experience for visitors by capturing the paranoia, panic and horror of the Black Death, including special effects make-up.

Volunteers will gain new performing skills, confidence and work with London theatre director Tony Casement as part of the Greenwich and Lewisham Young People’s Theatre production, says producer Helen Pack, adding: “It’s a great performing opportunity for young people and adults with opportunities to learn new skills and to be part of Gravity Fields 2016. We will be staging morning schools events and a fuller Sunday family programme but we don’t expect everyone to be able to make every date.

“It’s also going to be unforgettable for the public. Imagine, it’s the long hot summer of 1665 and the Plague has driven many people out of the cities. A young Isaac Newton is one of those seeking the safety of his home at Woolsthorpe.

“All is not safe, however, as plague victims begin to spread like the fleas and rats that spread the disease itself.

“Where else can we experience the Plague up close and dangerous?”

To get involved or for more information email helenpack@gmail.com. Or call 07715 110438.

Book online www.gravityfields.co.uk or via the Box Office 01476 406158.