Public Displays and Shows
The Ancient Arts Fellowship (AAF) is a non-profit society, incorporated in the ACT. Our main goal is to spread the knowledge of history throughout the community. We do this through school displays, fetes, fairs and public lectures, and are acknowledged to be one of the best such groups in Australia.
We have been presenting historical displays for over 20 years, and many of our team have backgrounds in teaching, training and public speaking. In addition, our display fighters train weekly to present safe and spectacular fighting scenes.
Our fighters use steel weapons, blunted for safety, and our armour, shields and costume are constructed to a high degree of historical accuracy.
How To Book
To book the AAF for a school or static display, send email to email@example.com. Please include your preferred date, and the type of display you would like, including any subjects you would like us to focus on.
Please be aware that we usually require at least a month's advance notice. Most of our display team have day jobs, and leave from work has to be arranged. Not all Display Team members can attend every display.
Check the calendar on our home page to see our schedule.
The AAF has a program specially tailored to school groups of all ages, primary, secondary and tertiary. Our main focus is on the Dark Ages (circa 700AD - 1066AD), and we include the legal systems, arts and crafts, and social structures of the early medieval period. Major events such as the Viking invasions of England and the Battle of Hastings are included, and we present a basic history of the Anglo-Saxons, Vikings and Normans.
Our displays include a mixture of talks and fighting. Our fights are not choreographed as you would find in the movies, but improvised on the spot. Our display fighting team trains regularly to make our fights a safe and exciting spectacle for all ages.
Our displays are designed to cover a wide range of topics, some of which are listed below. For ease of booking, we have a number of display "packages" which cover certain standard topics. These can be presented "as-is", or can be customised according to your needs.
Our displays usually last for around two hours. The last half hour of the display consists of an opportunity for spectators to examine and try out the arms and armour under controlled conditions.
We have a great deal of knowledge of the period and flexibility in our display, allowing us to focus on any subject the students have been following in class or are interested in.
Topics include things such as:
- Viking and Anglo-Saxon Legal System
- Viking Invasion and the Battle of Maldon
- Rise of the Vikings
- Alfred the Great and the Rise of Wessex
- Hastings and 1066
- William the Conqueror, Harold Godwinson and Harald Hardrada
- Religion in Scandinavia, England and Normandy
- Clothing and Costume of Scandinavia, England and Normandy
- Weapons and Armour of Western Europe, 800-1066 AD
- Early Medieval Martial Arts
- Monetary Systems in Western Europe
- Spinning, Weaving and Crafts in Western Europe
- Class, Rank and Feudal Society in Anglo-Saxon England
- Old Englisc and language in Anglo-Saxon England
Any of these topics can be covered to the required level of detail. The standard 2 hour Display Package touches on most of them briefly. However, we can customise the displays to meet your needs. Running a History of Law course? We can talk about the Viking legal system, touching on social and religious aspects. Interested in textiles? We can put on a display that focuses on costume. And if you just want a good old-fashioned bash-'em-up, we can do that too.
What Does It Cost?
Standard price for a display in Canberra is $7.50 per student for a two hour display with between four and eight presenters. This price is subject to change depending on circumstances.
The Ancient Arts Fellowship also has an exceptional display for fairs and fetes. We have been called upon to do such displays all over the country, from Melbourne to Brisbane, and have been told by the public again and again that we were the centerpoint of such events.
The AAF static display includes at least 10 people, with 4-8 historically accurate tents with hands on activities for kids and adults including:
- Mail making
- Tablet weaving
- Period board games
- Block Printing
- Weapons and armour (including dressing people up)
It also includes large displays of period items from a wide range of people, time periods and places, and informative posters and items distributed around the encampment.
It also includes two one-hour fighting and history displays in the "main arena", which are specially designed to thrill and interest the audience, as well as teaching them history. We aim for maximum crowd involvement, including pulling people out of the audience to choose "champions" for fights and teaching them warcries to cheer on the side of their choice in the educational fights. It has always been a success.
Costing depends on the number of people and gear required, as well as distance travelled. Contact the AAF for price.
The Fellowship has full Public Liability Insurance, through our membership in the Australian Living History Federation.
Members of the public are not permitted to engage in combat under any circumstances. If you want to train in combat, you are encouraged to join the Fellowship and attend our weekly training sessions.
Most of the members of our Display Team carry current first aid certificates.
Why Book The AAF?
Whether it is for school groups of 30, or crowds of several thousand, the Ancient Arts Fellowship is one of the premiere historical display groups in the country due to the high quality of our members, our gear, and our long experience in the field. If you are looking for something different, interesting or educational, the Ancient Arts Fellowship is the ideal group for you.
If you have any questions at all, please feel free to contact us.