English Renaissance Revels Come to the Hopkins Center


It’s 400-plus years ago in a lord’s rural manor in England, and the household and townspeople are preparing to celebrate the winter solstice with feasting and festivities.


St. George takes on the dragon as Queen Elizabeth looks on, in a scene from The Christmas Revels: An Elizabethan Celebration Of The Winter Solstice. Revels events begin at Dartmouth December 11; the show opens December 15. (photo by Sheppard Ferguson)

But soft, what light through yonder window breaks? Gadzooks! It’s none other than Queen Elizabeth and her retinue, waylaid by winter storms, approaching to pay an impromptu visit! Will the lord and his people’s food, libations and entertainments be equal to this sudden “honor”?

So unfolds the 37th annual Christmas Revels at Hopkins Center, which each December crosses time and cultures to take its audiences to the heart of different winter solstice traditions and the music, dance, stories and pageantry that bring them to life.

The Christmas Revels: An Elizabethan Celebration of the Winter Solstice takes place in the Hop’s Spaulding Auditorium in six performances on Thursday, December 15, through Sunday, December 18.

Featuring a cast of 60 Upper Valley adults and children, the show’s whimsical plot weaves together the spirited madrigals, carols and folk tunes; a liberal sprinkling of Shakespeare plays; English country and courtly dances; and ancient solstice legends and rituals of the British Isles.

This year’s Revels celebration also includes a number of free workshops and lectures related to the show and its era.

Read the full story at Hopkins Center News.

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