Chelmsford Museum is planning to give visitors a fresh look at one of England’s best-loved periods next week, when the museum celebrates the city’s Tudor history. Throughout the summer, living, breathing time travellers have been roaming the galleries, giving visitors a flavour of life in the different phases of Chelmsford’s past.
For Tudor week, guests will have the chance to meet Henry VIII and his six wives as they have never experienced them before. Inspired by the fact that the country’s most famous king had six queens, the museum has hired a talented group of drag queens to entertain and involve the public during this special event.
As part of its recent transformation, the museum has committed to a programme of engagement, which aims to encourage inclusivity and pride within the local community. Audiences of Shakespeare’s plays will already be familiar with the Tudor custom of female roles being played by men and the museum hopes these new performances will give a modern twist to this ancient tradition, with plenty of laughs to be had along the way.
Museum manager Dave Finkle says this transformative era has given curators an opportunity to challenge preconceptions about past and present: “The Tudor week within our summer programme presented us with a chance to celebrate difference and diversity, while also increasing visibility for LGBT+ communities in public spaces. I don’t want to give too much away but this week will be a lot of fun – spend some time with us at Chelmsford Museum to find out more.”
Tudor and Georgian week runs between 19 and 23 August and is part of a free series of summer events at Chelmsford Museum. Young visitors will be able to take part in craft activities from each period and try the ‘History Hacker’ challenge with a booklet based on superheroes created from the stories of Chelmsford’s past. The theme continues in The Hive Café, where diners will be transported back to 16th century Chelmsford with specials like game pie and marzipan fruits.
More information about this and all of the summer events at Chelmsford Museum can be found at https://www.chelmsford.gov.uk/museums/whats-on/.