If you have been to a Boxford Masque already, you’ll be glad to know there’s a new one in preparation for Summer 2017. If the first six have passed under your radar, you might like to know what you’ve been missing.
Originally, masques were lavish musical spectacles staged for kings, queens and courtiers. Early last century, in Boxford, well-to-do Charlotte Peake began writing her own ‘masques’ for performance by family and staff, and for the enjoyment of her arty circle of friends. Her stage was a natural amphitheatre at the top of Hoar Hill, overlooking most of the county. In ten years they became a village tradition.
Reviving her tradition was the idea of a Boxfordian John Vigor whose determination saw the first modern Boxford Masque staged in 2000. His idea caught on. Audiences outgrew the hilltop amphitheatre, and in 2012, at the kind behest of the Puxley family, the Masque moved to Welford Park.
Instead of rewriting another of Charlotte’s own Edwardian scripts, we decided to dramatise Charlotte’s first venture into things theatrical, with A Little Drama at the Big House, making full use of the glorious backdrop of the house. It was so well received that in summer 2014 we again found our audience guests of the Peakes, this time to celebrate the end of World War I. With a circus!
But wait a minute: how can anyone put on a circus without any talent, animals or exotic wonders? Maybe by taking a leaf from Lord George Sanger, famed Newbury circus owner and gold-plated fibber… We entered the anarchic Joe and friends, with their bitter-sweet Masquerade.
With songs specially composed, dancing, lovely costumes, a huge cast of local men, women and children, and fully professional production values, a Boxford Masque is always a sight worth seeing. …And thanks to ‘the Boxford Magic’ we have only ever lost one performance to rain. Make the most of it. Bring a picnic and a bottle of wine. Enjoy the ravishing gardens, the sun setting during Act 2, the flare path lighting your way home…
Masques were invented to entertain royalty. The Boxford Masques are made for you!
Please don't hesitate to contact us, new members are always welcome.
Steve more recently fell in love with The Masques, joining our team for the 2012 production after moving into beautiful Boxford.
Now fully addicted to our unique brand of theatrical magic, Steve has immersed his entire family in rediscovering hidden or neglected talents to help the Masques.
A lover of all things digital, he will be so pleased you are on this website and will consider buying you a beer if you follow us on twitter and like us on facebook too!
Ade is our uniquely talented Director. A stalwart of the Masques, his passion and commitment helped raise the Masques from the mists of time when, with local man John Vigor, he found the original Edwardian scripts and natural amphitheatre in Boxford.
Ade's energy drives a bunch of enthusiastic amateurs to deliver professional standard theatre and his patience with the younger members is legendary.
Ade's insight and talent for seeing things which only he can see, are the reason that the Masques can bring magic to life for a few brief nights on warm and dreamy summer evenings.
Geraldine is a world famous children's author and writer of the past 2 Masques. Her fame exploded when she was chosen by Great Ormond Street children's hospital to pen the follow up to the original Peter Pan entitled 'Peter Pan In Scarlet'.
Her unique and talented mind is feverishly working to bring you a new Masque for 2014. We know it will be funny, intriguing, romantic, slightly supernatural and amazing. Just like our lovely Geraldine herself!
We have a large number of children in our cast and their safety and enjoyment is our number one concern. Polly is an experienced and qualified carer who is responsible for all aspects of safeguarding during The Masques.
If you have any queries or concerns, drop her a line, she is brilliant!
Friday 26th May, 6.30pm Boxford Village Hall for our First reading and audition for All At Sea! The 2017 Boxford Masques!
Full steam ahead to All At Sea! Check the 2017 show page for show and rehearsal details and see you in July!
Chairman's Report from our 2016 Annual General Meeting available to view.
See 'AGM 2016' page for more details.....
Our Exhibition 'History and Times of The Boxford Masques' at West Berkshire Museum runs from 8th October to 23rd April 2017. Come check it out!
See our Exhibition page for more details.....