Music and drama for festivals, fairs and museums

Trouvère have been playing historical music for over ten years now and have appeared at venues all over the country. Past and present customers include English Heritage, the National Trust, Warwick Castle, Scotland’s Festival of History, the York Archaeological Trust, England’s Medieval Festival and many more. As well as playing at historic sites and festivals, we perform in concert and appear at weddings and parties - we also have a strong educational focus and provide great workshops for schools as well as a range of educational resources.

Trouvère take history seriously. All our music is based on original historical sources and we’ve read widely on the music of the medieval period. Similarly, our costumes are carefully researched and largely hand-made. But we’re also creative in our interpretations and have developed our own sound over the years. Just like the original minstrels of the middle ages, we like to mix different forms of entertainment together and often include drama and storytelling in our shows - most notably in Reynard the Fox, our unique and hilarious slice of medieval theatre.

If you’re planning an event, take a look at our four show formats for heritage sites and events...

Option One - Minstrels

You’ll get ... two costumed minstrels providing authentic medieval music on a great range of period instruments - including harp, gittern, lute, psaltery, flute, bagpipe, shawm, recorder and a assortment of percussion. You can choose your period - we can be Saxons, Normans, Crusaders, Fifteenth-century or Tudors, and we will tailor our music and instruments to match.

Minstrels ... is all about performance. Our intelligent and evocative interpretations of the historical repertoire bring a unique extra element to any historical space and can provide the perfect complement to themed exhibitions in modern settings.

Minstrels ... can be tailored for seasonal celebrations. For example, we can provide A Medieval Christmas, or Medieval May Day, or Medieval Easter. With customs, stories and seasonal music we can bring these ancient celebrations to life for modern audiences in any space.

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... great to hear your music enhance the already atmospheric surroundings - it was pure magic!

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Option Two - Wandering Minstrels

You’ll get ... two medieval minstrels providing strolling music on loud and lively instruments including our unbeatable medieval greatpipes and our booming drum. Wandering Minstrels is perfect for pageants, processions and festivals.

Wandering Minstrels ... in masks! For extra fun and a real medieval flavour, we can perform in our authentic animal masks as we caper and mingle with the audience.

Wandering Minstrels works best as a series of 30-40 minute performances over the course of your event.

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... the musicians were excellent and really engaged with the children ...

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Option Three - The Instrumentarium

You’ll get ... Trouvère’s excellent display of medieval instruments ranging from gentle harps, gitterns and fiddles to the louder shawms, bagpipes and percussion. We have over thirty different instruments which give a great impression of the breadth and splendour of medieval and renaissance music. The instruments will be displayed in our medieval pavilion or in your own indoor space - however you prefer!

For The Instrumentarium, we’ll also bring along our collection of handling instruments for your visitors to have a go on - Great for family fun days!

The Instrumentarium is not a static display. Two minstrels will present a lively programme of music and interactive shows over the course of the event.

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... you brought medieval music to life - the range of instruments you played, your willingness to explain, telling us how the available sources enable to you recreate the instruments and the sound.

the kids really enjoyed themselves and learned something too ...

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Option Four - Reynard the Fox

Imagine the scene... You are in a grand castle of the high Middle Ages. The Great Hall is packed with splendidly attired lords, ladies and their followers enjoying a night of feasting and entertainment.

The lord of the castle has secured the services of a troupe of travelling jongleurs and, as the company takes its ease, these jongleurs enter the hall. From the masks they are wearing it is clear that they intend to present stories of Reynard, and everyone sits up, eager to enjoy another retelling of these classic - and hilarious - tales. Gaily painted backdrops are revealed of the forest kingdom of King Noble and the various haunts of the wily Reynard. With a flourish, the jongleurs announce that they will be presenting the trial of Reynard before the king ... and the action begins!

You’ll get ... Three costumed minstrels providing three lively and hilarious medieval stories over the course of a day - masked performance, colourful sets, loads of audience involvement, plus plenty of authentic music. Also, between shows our minstrels will be on hand to demonstrate the various medieval instruments featured in the shows.

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Hilarious - beyond our expectations

Uniquely told

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... music fantastic and entertainment of the children, marvellous.

 

... had a great time at the festival - your performance was a highlight and the whole family really enjoyed it (3 generations! )

 

... fine musicians and the music very evocative