24th–30th June 2024 - Broad Chalke, Salisbury

ENTERTAINMENT & PERFORMANCE

Discover a packed programme of entertainment and performance for all the family. From storytelling and SOE to puppetry and pistol-duels, this is history at its most engaging and entertaining. 

Around the site you will find some of the most talented and vivacious historians, raconteurs and actors sharing their enthusiasm and knowledge about their chosen subjects. Throughout every day of the festival, they will be entertaining you with a blend of storytelling, inclusive hands-on activities and demonstrations. 

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CONFIRMED FOR 2024

WARBIRDS RETURN TO CHALKE

After an absence of six years, historic aircraft will be returning to the skies over the Chalke History Festival this June. Richard Grace, of Air Leasing Ltd, one of the leading warbird pilots and restorers of historic aircraft in the UK, will be sending a Spitfire and Hurricane over the festival weekend. The Spitfire remains one of the most iconic aircraft ever built and a symbol of the Allied victory in the Second World War in 1945.  The Hurricane played a vital role in the Battle of Britain and destroyed more enemy aircraft than all the other air and ground defences combined. In this 80th anniversary year of D-Day, it is wonderful that those coming to the festival will have a chance to see these stunning and very important aircraft.

RATTLEBOX THEATRE

New to the festival is Rattlebox Theatre, who will be enchanting audiences with their puppetry and storytelling every day from Tuesday to Sunday. Their small but perfectly formed adaptation of the Anglo-Saxon epic ‘Beowulf’ will tell the epic tale through engaging storytelling, beautifully made puppets, and an evocative live soundtrack from early music maestro Steve Tyler. Rattlebox Theatre will also be sharing the outrageous adventures of the Norse gods and their war with the giants, accompanied by live music on traditional instruments in ‘Sword Age, Axe Age: Viking Stories’. 

MAJOR BANGER KING

Actor and racounteur Adam Schuch-des Forges will be introducing you to the most remarkable officer that you’ve never heard of: Major BANGER King. Join 2nd Battalion of the East Yorkshire Regiment as they train for D-Day, fight their way into the Norman countryside, and face countless insurmountable odds. And who can can be relied on as an example of leadership and courage? Who do you need when the situation is desperate? BANGER! 

WIZZO’S RIP-ROARING HISTORY

Wizzo’s Rip-Roaring History is an old-time circus sideshow where the stars are the props and extraordinary stories. It’s all about TIME! Against the clock, Abs ‘Wizzo’ Wisdom brings his excitement for history front and centre to you! Think Heath Robinson meets Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and throw in a generous helping of audience participation and Crystal Maze eccentricity. Colourful? Yes. Educational? Certainly. Rip-roaring? Absolutely!

AUTOJEU THEATRE

Enjoy an old legend as never seen before in this outlandishly entertaining one man epic. Autojeu Theatre, with their signature brand of physically comic storytelling, breathe new life into the legend of King Arthur. A young boy navigates his destiny in uniting a divided Britannia, supported by his faithful knights and moral compass Merlin. Created by the team behind the off-Broadway 5-star hit BEOWULF, ‘One Man King Arthur’ will be performed at the festival on Tuesday and Wednesday.

FOREIGN FIELD

Paul Bavill, Rory Ware and Kyle Glover are three hugely talented costumed historical interpreters who will be demonstrating martial skills, dark crimes and hidden heroics in a mix of history that stretches from the Middle Ages to the Second World War. From 15th-century armoured combat to the artful techniques of Victorian self-defence, don’t miss their unique blend of action, education, and comedy.

HISTORY’S MAID

Join historian and performer Dr Kate Vigurs as she brings to life captivating stories of incredible men and women across history, from the tale of a ‘canary’ working in a munitions factory on the home front to the amazing contribution of the Special Operations Executive in 1944.