World premiere provides ‘fascinating insight’ of 17th century musical entertainment
The Regional Heritage Centre at Lancaster University will host the world premiere of ‘John Balshaw’s Jigge’ in the Lancashire village of Brindle where it was written more than 350 years ago.
The event will be staged on Saturday, 17 June.
This form of musical entertainment, which is very like modern musical theatre, was popular during the Elizabethan period, but John Balshaw's version focused on the time of the English Civil War.
It is the latest surviving stage ‘jig’, and the only one from the North West of England.
Composed around the time of the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660, this 'jig' survives in a unique manuscript held by the British Library.
The Regional Heritage Centre (RHC), which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, recently published the first edition of the manuscript, edited by Dr Jenni Hyde.
The RHC has also supported Dr Hyde to stage the 'jig' for the first time in over 350 years - and quite possibly the first time ever, as there is no evidence that the 'jig' has previously been performed.
Dr Hyde’s staging draws upon her expertise in ballads, and the songs are performed to ballad tunes that were in vogue at the time that John Balshaw wrote it.
It will be performed by an international cast that includes not only experienced performers but Lancaster University students from Computing, Linguistics, and Sociology as well as History and English Literature.
This 'jig' is noteworthy because of its Lancashire origins and its Civil War context: it was created during a time of unprecedented upheaval which reached every community in the country, dividing families and friends along religious and political lines.
“It therefore gives a fascinating insight into popular entertainment in rural Lancashire during the 17th century as well as the ways that the arts could be used to discuss problems of allegiance during the Civil War years,” explains Dr Hyde, who will give a short talk to set the 'jig' in context before the performance.
The performance, funded by the Friends of Lancaster University and the University’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Research Impact Fund, is being held at Brindle Community Hall as part of the Regional Heritage Centre’s 50th anniversary programme.
The performance starts at 7pm, and tickets are now available (priced at £15, or £13.50 for Patrons and Friends of the Regional Heritage Centre) on Lancaster University’s Online Store.
For full information please visit www.lancaster.ac.uk/rhc
To book: https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/regional-heritage-centre/events/john-balshaws-jigge-a-live-performanceBack to News