Fairfax House is very excited to announce that throughout October 2020 they will be hosting an original, immersive theatrical performance. Set in eighteenth century York, The Character of Home, centres on the fractious relationship and tormented inner lives of Anne Fairfax and her father Viscount Charles Gregory Fairfax as they grapple with personal tragedies, social pressures and religious discrimination.
The audience – an intimate group of only 6 per performance – are in for a rare treat. Invited into the house as esteemed guests, they will become embroiled in the unfolding family drama. In this unique and immersive experience the audience have the power to choose the story.
As they journey through the house the audience will be presented with objects to choose between, each one triggering an alternative version of the past, an alternative route through the house and even influencing the order of events. Whilst absorbed in unfolding psychological drama, the audience also get to experience the splendour and sophistication of eighteenth century townhouse living… the magnificence and yet stifling social pressures.
For an extra special experience, Fairfax House are also running Premium Candlelit Performances, complete with refreshments, so audiences can be welcomed into the warm glow of Fairfax House, marvelling at its lavish interiors glistening by the magical atmosphere of candlelight.
Thomas Frere, the Director, remarked that “The Character of Home is different from most pieces of theatre; not only do the audience watch a story unfolding in front of them, they will actually be within the scenes themselves – sat at the same table or enjoying intimate soirées with the inhabitants This, and the sumptuous setting of one of England’s finest Georgian townhouses, full of beautiful period art and furniture, means people will be immersed in another age and transported to a place where history comes alive around them.”
Paul Birch, who wrote the play, expressed “This was a hugely exciting project for me. Delving into the historical fragments of the Fairfax history made me want to create an experience which isn’t straightforward because history isn’t straight forward. People aren’t straightforward. In this show the audience will encounter alternate versions of the characters, their views and opinions, and even historical events, depending on the objects they choose.
Which is the truth? Well, again the audience will have to decide that for themselves. The Character of Home is a jigsaw puzzle with missing pieces; pieces which the audience can go on to discover with their own research. We are not saying ‘this is how it was’ or ‘this is who the Fairfaxes were’ but offering a surprising, startling and sumptuous experience which we hope will both entertain and keep our visitors guessing.”