STAMFORD BULL RUN

The origins of this event lay in the ancient tradition of the Stamford Bull Run.

Initially the Shademakers concept of a `Bull in a China Shop´ conjures images of plates smashing and a charging Bull laying waste to all and sundry. But nontheless an impression of wild power and juxtaposition, both of which are important elements of Carnival.

The Bull has special significance in Carnival and this, no doubt, was a known factor during the period the ritualised festival in Stamford. It was certainly an event known in the Georgian period.

We built a wooden Bull on a wheeled base that was processed through Stamford during the Georgian Festival. The Structure was pushed and pulled on the route to the Bull Meadow where its conflagration took place amidst a party/ celebration.

Accompanying the Bull are Bullards; Costumed performers whose job to goad and taunt were represented by making a racket with pots, pans, horns, whistles and Flag and Standard waving. They acted as security and were drawn from Shademakers staff and, where possible, local interested participants.

The flag/Standard of Bullard no 2 depicted St Andrew who originally featured as a puppet splayed in a cross form.

The Bull Woman rode atop the bull and in our case accompanied the procession in a style of Georgian Theatre costume. Her panniers were decorated with bulls tails. And cover leather look chaps. She wore an ostentatious white wig typical of ladies of the Georgian period contradicts the fact that the bull woman was a tough and presumably rural woman with marketplace sentimentality.

Prototype costume was produced at the Shademakers studio and completed by students at the Stamford college. Performing Arts Students played a role in performing at the event providing song, dance, masquerade and mischief.

We provided a schedule of activity for the college with the inclusion of the local Artist who also provided the stimulus through workshops to produce contemporary willow pattern interpretations for the paper/papier mache plates which adorned the bulls body.

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