Medieval LOLs: The Second Shepherds' Pageant

Irina Dumitrescu and Mary Wellesley

In their quest for the medieval sense of humour Mary and Irina come to The Second Shepherds’ Pageant, a 15th-century reimagining of the nativity as domestic comedy that’s less about the birth of Jesus and more about sheep rustling, taxes, the weather and the frustrations of daily life. The pageant was part of a mystery cycle, a collection of plays that revealed religious mysteries through performances of the Christian story and were a central part of community life. Mary and Irina discuss the porous relationship between player and audience in medieval theatre, and the expert stage management of this knockabout semi-biblical farce.

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