IMTAL Europe - International Museum Theatre Alliance
IMTAL Training Weekend: "It’s about Time!"

Friday, 13 March – Sunday, 15 March 2020, at the Tower of London, and other London sites.

Theme ‘It’s about Time!’

At historical sites and in the presence of historical objects, the only dimension which separates us from the the stories and the people connected with them is the 4th dimension, time. Live interpretation is arguably the best way of bridging that dimensional distance. We talk about ‘Bringing the Past To Life’ or ‘Going back in Time’. Visitors often cite ‘time travel’ as a motive for visiting. But how do we conceptualise this and how effectively do we deliver it? This weekend offers a chance for experiencing, discussing and participating in Live Interpretation which seeks to do just this.


Friday 13 March

Explore the Heritage of London
Explore the heritage of London. A tour of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, then a trip by boat to Greenwich, the Home of Time. To stand on the Greenwich Meridien, see the Time and Longitude Gallery and the Cutty Sark.

11:00 h - Meet at Shakespeares Globe (21 New Globe Walk, London SE1 9DT).
11:30 h - Guided Tour of Shakespeare’s Globe.
12:15 h - Lunch (Not provided. Suggest at Globe).
13:20 h - Meet at Bankside Pier.
13:34 h - Boat Trip to Greenwich.
14:10 h - Arrive at the Cutty Sark.
14:30 h - Live Interpretation at the Cutty Sark. 
15:00 h - Visit the Royal Observatory and National Maritime Museum (Last Entry to Longitude Gallery and Prime Meridien 16:30 h).

Optional: You can stay longer in Greenwich or come back to the West End. Dinner is not provided. If you are going to see the Mousetrap, the last return boat is 18:12 h at Greenwich, arriving Embankment 18:54 h.

19:30 h - Extra programme: The Mousetrap by Agatha Christie (St Martin’s Theatre, West Street, WC2H 9NZ). The Mousetrap is the longest running theatrical production in the world.

Saturday 14 March

HM Tower of London (London EC3N 4AB)

10:00 h - Registration. Tea and Coffee.
10:30 h - Start with a tour of the Tower of London, led by one of the iconic ‘Beefeaters’.
Discover captivating stories of pain and passion, treachery and torture.
11:15 h - The Crown Jewels.
Prepare to be dazzled by this breathtaking world famous collection of 23,578 gemstones.

Then come to a series of special talks ‘It’s about Time!’ in the Tower Lecture Theatre:

11:30 h - Welcome: It’s about Time (Chris Gidlow, Daily Programme Manager of the Tower of London, former Chair of IMTAL (Europe).
12:00 h - Interpreting the Medieval Palace
Reconstructing a working Medieval Interior, for use with both live and static interpretation (Luke Holmes. Interpretation Manager, The Tower of London).
13:00 h - Lunch (Provided).
13:30 h - Life of a Medieval King
Come and join the Medieval court here at the Tower of London. Meet King Edward I and Queen Eleanor and revel in the intrigue, power and playfulness of the royal household. What was it like to live in the Medieval Palace in 1278, when it was new? From the humble laundress to the highest baron, everyone has their part to play in the life of the Tower.
14:00 h - Live Interpretation at the Tower of London. How we do it, and what works for our audience (Ben Revell, Past Pleasures).
14:30 hShakespeare at the Tower
The challenges of presenting Shakespeare where some of the events in his plays actually happened (Lara Muth, author and director).
15:15 h - Londinium
London is a Roman creation. It was created just after AD 47, the Claudian Invasion and was populated with Britons and people from across the Roman Empire. As new areas of London being excavated and new was of analysing data is practised, new understandings of Roman London and Roman Briton comes to light that challenges traditional perceptions of Roman Briton. When interpretation at static archaeological sites it is difficult to adapt and represent current thinking. At London’s Roman Amphitheatre and the Billingsgate Roman House and Baths an ideal way for us to present new data to the public is through live interpretation (Howard Benge, City of London Corporation).
16:15 h - Managing Expectations
In the world of corporations, cultural institutions and organizations you're always encouraged to exceed expectations to impress your customers and visitors. For children with special needs this can be too overwhelming, it can lead to sensory overload. In this talk I will share techniques and advice on how to interpret for children with special needs (Thomas Olson, interpreter und storyteller).
16:45 - Finish.

For Live Interpreters presenting on Sunday, there will be a familarisation tour of the site. If not, this is free time. Suggested Double-decker bus tour from outside the Tower (Not included).

17:45 h - Tower Buildings cleared.
18:00 h - Tower of London Closes.
20:30 h - Arrive at foot of Sky Garden.
21:30 h - Light Dinner in the Sky Garden at the top of the City of London’s tallest building. (Included. Drinks extra).

Sunday 15 March 

HM Tower of London, London EC3N 4AB

10:00 h - Tea and Coffee
10:30 h - Dancing through Time.
How to get Live Interpreters, and visitors, dancing at historic sites (Charlotte Ewart, Choreographer and Historical dance specialist, Associate Artist with Historic Royal Palaces).
11:30 h - Period Dance participation.
12.00 Time Travelling through the Tower.
A guided tour with a twist. Performer members of IMTAL, from the Iron Age -1916, put on presentations across the Tower for international and multi-generational visitors. Visitors can encounter them separately or as part of a steam Punk/Sci-Fi framed tour taking them travelling through time, exploring over a 1000 years of History.
13:00 h -  Lunch (Provided)
13:30 h - Period Dance Participation and Demo.
14:00 h - Walk to Roman Amphitheatre at the Guildhall.
14:30 h - The Guildhall Amphitheatre.
15:30 h - Return to Tower.
15:45 h - Sharing thoughts, Finish.
16:00 h - IMTAL (Europe) AGM.
17:45 h - Tower Buildings cleared.
18:00 h - Tower of London Closes.

Optional Evening programme: Medieval Banquet. (The Medieval Banquet, Ivory House, St Katharine Docks, London E1W 1BP)

17:15 h - Doors open.
18:00 h - Banquet starts.

Monday 16 March

Optional: Post-event programme offer: a tour of the the Harry Potter studios (Price £50/head).


How to get there

The address is: Tower of London, Tower Hill, LONDON EC3N 4AB. It is accessed from Tower Hill Underground station, or a short walk from London Bridge or London Cannon Street Sation. There are easy connections with all the London airports. It is not recommended to come by car!