The Elizabethans created an elaborate system of activities and events to keep themselves entertained.
Leisure was an important part of their lives and there was great cultural achievement during this age, particularly in the fields of drama and music.
Plays were attended by all people, with the audience reflecting society from the highest to lowest levels.
However at this time, the Plague often interrupted the play runs and closed down theatres, making road performances popular.
These two character masks were donated to this exhibition by Sir Rodney Smithe, a well-known Shakespearean performer.
They would have been used in travelling plays throughout the South of England during the Plague troubled 15th century.
Sir Rodney Smithe has since passed on, disastrously falling to his death when a trap-door in the stage where he was performing Hamlet gave way.
This collection is the richer for his kind and generous donation.
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