Renaissance Faire brings history to life
SMITHVILLE - Ladies in corsets, knights in shining armor and strolling minstrels in the Historic Village of Smithville can mean only one thing — the annual Renaissance Faire has returned.
Over the course of two days, visitors to Smithville were able to experience some of the sights and sounds of Renaissance England. Some sounds were louder than others, though, as Her Majesty’s Musketeers performed a gunpowder demo that made those young and old jump. However, if gunpowder was not quite up to someone’s speed, they could walk on down to the archery range for a lesson and maybe even score a bull’s-eye on a dinosaur.
While gunpowder and archery are serious business, the fair provided plenty of chances for some good laughs. The comedic team of “identical twin brothers” Jack Bold and Roger Awesome, known as the Lords of Adventure, put on a show filled with comical sword fights and romantic mishaps that had the crowd laughing in no time.
William Shakespeare, played by Daniel J. Kostelec, also made an appearance at the fair. Before “Macbeth” was performed with a twist, the Shakespeare impersonator helped the crowd warm-up by leading them in a special compilation of nursery rhymes and children’s songs to the tune of “We Will Rock You.”
With the crowd now ready for the show, the Shakespeare impersonator began a special performance titled “Macbeth: Death by Fluffy Kittens!”
“We start the story like all good stories start, on a dark and stormy night,” said the Shakespeare impersonator.
As the audience quickly found out, this was not a one man show. “Actors” were found from the audience as the tale of the ill-fated Scottish General Macbeth was told.
The “actors” were given their lines by the Shakespeare impersonator, which led to quite a bit of misunderstood words and comedic hijinks. However, it is possible that the funniest part of the play was when an “actor” was murdered by fluffy stuffed kittens. As many people know, the play of “Macbeth” is full of murder, which provided many opportunities for Shakespeare and company to throw stuffed kittens at one another. After each murder, the Shakespeare impersonator would cry, “And they were loved but how?” To which the audience would reply, “TO DEATH!”
It was all in good fun though and many of the surprised actors seemed to enjoy themselves.
“It was really overwhelming but it was really cool to play Macduff. I had a lot of fun,” said Elvin Torres, who played the avenging hero and Macbeth’s mortal enemy. Torres did find it helpful that he already knew about the character Lord Macduff. “I read the play during high school,” said Torres.
The fair also gave visitors a chance to shop for some homemade and handcrafted items by merchants on the Village Green. Shoppers could purchase everything from homemade soaps to freshly made kettle corn. Katrina Zadoyko was at the fair selling her handcrafted jewelry.
“I take great care in making sure no animals are harmed,” said Zadoyka about her jewelry.
Zadoyka, who is a marine-invertebrate zoologist, started her jewelry making business because she wanted to make sure she knew where every part of her jewelry was coming from and that no animals were being harmed in the process. Zadoyka’s business is called Naturama and can be found on Etsy.
The Smithville Renaissance Faire was put on with the help of some of the performers from the New Jersey Renaissance Faire. The players can be seen again during the New Jersey Renaissance Faire on May 27-28, June 3-4 and June 10-11 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Liberty Lake in Bordentown, rain or shine.
For more information about the New Jersey Renaissance Faire, please visit www.njrenfaire.com. For more information about events in the Historic Village of Smithville, please visit http://www.historicsmithville.com/ Shakespeare can be found on Facebook under Shakespeare Approves!