The Black Death is coming to the George Marshall Medical Museum…

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‘This image is the Dance of Death in the German printed edition, folio CCLXI recto from Hartman Schedel’s Chronicle of the World (Nuremberg, 1493) thought to be created by Michael Wolgemut (b. 1434, Nürnberg, d. 1519, Nürnberg).’

If you thought the pestilence in England was over, think again…I have been organising this event as one of my tasks to do here at the George Marshall Medical museum, and I can say, so far it’s been quite a ride! The aim of ‘Black Boils and Reaping Rats’ is to engage the local community with a fun and informative event. At the beginning of this event, Louise and myself started brainstorming ideas, and as I have always been interested in the Black Death, she suggested I do something around that. The idea got us both really excited and soon the ideas were flowing thick and fast! So how do you engage the local community? My idea was to rope school children in. As I lead a busy dance/street theatre style troupe in my spare time, I thought it would be a good idea to work with the children through the medium of dance. My troupe worked on a piece based around the Black Death for a dark fusion dance festival a few years ago called Carpe Somnium, which depicts what happened to a village during the medieval period in the grips of the pestilence. The piece went down very well and so I have adapted it slightly for the school children. I will shortly be going into Stanley Road Primary school to teach the children the dance. Along with the dance, the children will also be making their own plague masks and writing short stories. All of which will be displayed at the George Marshall on Saturday 19th April. I have also been organising re-enactors, trails, a Splat the Rat and my own dance troupe will be there on the day to dance our version of the choreography. In the run up to the event, we are also having an evening of talks called The Grim Reaper’s European Tour; The Black Death, on Thursday 17th April. We will be getting historians in to tell you all about the pestilence, where it originated, how it spread and the devastating affect the various outbreaks had in England. So there is something for everyone! I will keep you posted to any further updates on the event, but in the meantime, as I write this I’m sneezing my head off here. I must be coming down with something…

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