Pre-World War One carnival from 1914 to be recreated at special event hosted by Royston museum

09:40 26 February 2014

CADS’ Emma Daintrey, in period dress, studies one of Miss Dutton Tompson’s scripts

CADS’ Emma Daintrey, in period dress, studies one of Miss Dutton Tompson’s scripts


The unearthing of the scripts to two plays from a pre-World War One carnival has led to a special evening being arranged at Royston museum.

Events will be taking place across the country this year to mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War One, but in February 1914, people in Royston were celebrating a spectacular town carnival complete with fancy dress balls, music and theatrical performances.

Royston Museum has got together with Corvus Amateur Drama Society (CADS) to recreate something of the spirit of that carnival in a special one-off evening of entertainment to be performed at the Museum on Friday, 28 February.

The centrepiece of the evening will be the recreation of scenes from two plays by local writer and carnival organiser Miss Dutton Tompson, the scripts for which were recently unearthed by Sarah Russel, the museum’s curator.

She said: “The plays themselves are now somewhat dated in style and probably not to modern tastes, but I wondered whether CADS might be able to base an evening around them that would convey something of their spirit.”

Sarah approached CADS, a drama group based in the town, who agreed to devise a one-hour programme centred on the scripts.

Kathy Young of CADS has put the evening together. She said: “We did some research into the wonderful archive of material held at the Museum and came across old editions of the Crow from that time which were really amazing. Just reading through the local advertisements of the time was fascinating in itself, and there were news stories, both national and local that really caught our imagination.

“Louise Atkins of CADS has added some music of the period and the whole event builds up to an imagined visit to the rehearsals for Miss Dutton Tompson’s plays which were the highlight of the carnival.”

The evening, entitled “Royston 1914” will take place at 7.30pm on Friday, 28 February at the museum, in Kneesworth Street. Tickets are £5, or £4 for Friends of Royston Museum, but because of space constraints, tickets are strictly limited. For more information, please visit the Museum or telephone 01763 242587.


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