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posted 07-24-2004 10:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Maria   Click Here to Email Maria     Edit/Delete Message
I'm tryng to find out more about theatre troups, dancers and jonglers(?). How did they live? They traveled from castle to castle? were they invited to perform? Did they just go to where action was, like to fairs and stuff? Whad did they do in winter? What kind of people did that?

[This message has been edited by Maria (edited 07-25-2004).]

posted 07-27-2004 12:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
I'm not sure how they lived, but I do remember that those kind of people were in Shakespear's 'Hamlet'. They put on a show in the play. I know it's not much, but it's something to look into.

posted 07-27-2004 04:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Peter   Click Here to Email Peter     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Maria,
probably the first people to entertain were the story tellers. As many people could not read or write (even some of the nobility), stories etc. were passed down through word of mouth.Many Lords, Barons and higher nobility would have their own 'in house' teller. And it was his job to praise the Lord in rhyme & song.
From those humble beginings courts across Europe would spend vast amounts money in trying to hire the services of the best tellers, minstrals etc. Sometimes these could be a dozen or more people on the books so to say.
Of course the King or Queen wanted the best. And it was not unknown for a Lord (or his Lady) to offer their minstral to them as a present. No doubt with grinding teeth.
You mention winter ... it was most likely that this was the busier time on those long cold dark days. Because the Lord would prefer to be out hunting during the barmy days of summer. Or maybe grabbing some minor Lords land. Which would do very nicely for some extra story telluing and plaudits.
Jesters & Fools are something that was really invented or expanded on for the film industry.
In a Welsh court the pride of place would go to the harpist. And Welsh folklore is full of the stories of these people. And also, thank goodness, full of the stories that they actually told.
And there is a lot more than that !

posted 07-28-2004 09:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Maria   Click Here to Email Maria     Edit/Delete Message
Thank you, Peter,
But those minstrals were at their's lord mercy, I don't think they could leave whenever they wanted to. Or that they were likely to leave. I was thinking about travelers. I read in a book called Makers of Britain that at fairs there were people who jongled and even some who performed thater(inspired by the Bible). So where did those come from?

posted 07-29-2004 04:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Peter   Click Here to Email Peter     Edit/Delete Message
You are of course right Maria.
Just like today there are people who like to do their own thing, and those that want to play for the big clubs.
And those lesser minstrals would be like that. Perhaps not an easier life, but they would be free spirits, not tied to any Lord. They could originate from anywhere. Some would only be known in an area of a dozen villages or so.
But in one way or another they would all be tied to the Lord. Which could boil down to aiming your style at the villagers in a course fashion, rather than upping your style, which may catch the eye of the powers that be.
Interesting topic.
Cheers Pete

Senior Member
posted 07-30-2004 05:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Merlin   Click Here to Email Merlin     Edit/Delete Message
Let's give also a thought to the gipsies (Sinti and Roma). They travelled Europe already in the middle ages and before, perhaps not performing for the higher nobility, but at least for the common folks at the marketplaces...

All times are PT (US)

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