Derbyshire history group's 'Medieval masks' capture moment as face coverings become mandatory at museums

A theatre and history group headed to the ruined 13th Century walls of Derbyshire’s Codnor Castle to highlight the importance of wearing a face mask at heritage venues.

Saturday, 15th August 2020, 8:00 am

Wearing a face covering is now mandatory when visiting a museum, gallery, cinema or place of worship to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

Derbyshire-based actor Elle MacPherson, the founder of a unique group of living history performers called Past-Times Living History, says it is all about ‘being responsible’.

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Past-Times Living History performers Elle MacPherson and Andrew Elrick at Codnor Castle.

"Everyone can wear a mask and be safe while still enjoying living history,” she said.

Elle describes Past-Times Living History as ‘the realisation of my vision of breathing life into history’ and says it offers a ‘unique fusion of living history and theatre’.

The group are specialists in the Tudor Period and recreate Henry VIII’s court to tell the story of his six wives as one of their most popular performances.

Elizabeth 1 and Mary Queen of Scots are also regularly brought to life by the group.

As with much of the arts and entertainment industry, all the group’s engagements for 2020 were cancelled amid the pandemic.

However, Elle says ‘a chink of light at the end of the tunnel’ has seen them reinstated for an August 23 performance at Berkeley Castle in Gloucestershire.

"I have developed a robust Covid 19 protocol to ensure the visitors, staff and our cast are safe,” she said.

"Our audiences are very excited to be able to engage with us, and we will be smiling from ear to ear behind our Medieval Masks!”

The number of public places where a mask is mandatory was extended from August 8 due to fears about a potential second wave of coronavirus cases hitting the UK.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the government would extend the requirement ‘to other indoor settings where you are likely to come into contact with people you do not normally meet’.

For more information about Past-Times Living History, visit the group’s website or look them up on social media.

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