Twelfth Day with The Delavals

Past Production
Twelfth Day with The Delavals

A multi-layered project exploring stories of Seaton Delaval Hall, Northumberland

Seaton Delaval & Gateshead
October 2010 – January 2011

Taking the ancient custom of the Twelfth Day Cake and its characters, November Club brought artists, designers, ceramicists, musicians, poets, food historians, professional performers, National Trust volunteers, local historians and local people together to tell the stories of National Trust property Seaton Delaval Hall and the many people connected to it.

The fun started when Seaton Delaval appointed its very own mustachioed Lord of Misrule, who then set forth for Enchanted Parks, in Saltwell Park, Gateshead, to find the best pastry chef in the land, so that Lord Delaval might have the best Twelfth Day Cake in England. A group of itinerant strolling players were discovered in the park arguing over how best to make the cake, sharing their Christmas mummeries, songs and dances with 10,000 visitors over three evenings in December.

Back at Seaton Delaval, the itinerant players and their cake continued to make their way to Delaval Hall by way of Astley Park Pavilion, where they showed their cake to the local care home, collected their Christmas recipes and memories and invited local toddler groups and young people to visit them.

On arrival at the Hall on 17 December, a rival cake had appeared in the window of the Crescent Café and was paraded up to the Hall with much pomp and circumstance on the 18th. Following a ‘cake-off’ on the steps of the Hall, the Lord of Misrule had to choose the winning cake, which was placed on the table setting in the Hall.

Twelfth Day with the Delavals ended with performances around a beautiful Twelfth Night table setting, created by Imogen Cloet and Kathryn Hodgkinson, in consultation with food historian Ivan Day. An amazingly huge Twelfth Day cake, made by Jill Fisher, adorned the table and riddles, written by Jacob Polley, were embedded in the plates and the table setting.

Supported by: National Trust, Newcastle Gateshead Initiative, Inspire Northumberland and Gateshead Council.

Commissioned by: National Trust.

Team: Cinzia Hardy, Maurice O’Connell, Katie Doherty, Imogen Cloët, Kathryn Hodgkinson, Jacob Polley, Margaret Lonergan, Alex Elliott, Richard Bliss, Joy Sanders, Melanie Carss, David Jones, Paul Knox, Kate Eccles, Julia Dobson, Ivan Day, Jill Fisher, Lisa Bain

Volunteers:  Val Ellis,Terry & Lynne Mountford, Dick & Rickie Thompson, Bill Gunn, Mike, Susan & Alice Dungworth, Declan & Joanna Riley Snitzer, Jill Read, Elspeth Gould, Wendy Tate, Christine Wilson, Eileen Wardle, Gordon Liddle, Kirsten Swift, Pat Gray, Mo Ritson, Joan Wardle, Jim McDine, David Stocks, Malcolm Dickman, Kyle Norris.

Awards:  Finalist for Best Event Northumberland at the Journal Culture Awards 2011