Commemorating the 850th anniversary of the marriage of Strongbow and Aoife which took place in Waterford City, 25th August 1170, Waterford Treasures Museums created a re-enactment of the event that changed the history of Ireland.
The initial idea was to stage a live theatrical event in Cathedral Square, Waterford, on the 25th of August 2020, the 850th anniversary of the marriage of Strongbow and Aoife, with 2 performances at 2 pm and 4 pm. The live shows were planned in coherence of all covid safety regulations with reduced audience numbers and online booking only, however on the 18th August because of the government’s decision to limit outdoor gatherings to a maximum of 15 people the live performances were cancelled.
The production team and Waterford Treasures adapted their plans and decided to transform the theatrical re-enactment into a movie/documentary which was featured on RTE Nationwide. The theatrical re-enactment was filmed on location in Cathedral Square and the Medieval Museum undercrofts.
The re-enactment begins in 1920, against the background of the War of Independence where everyone’s favourite housekeeper, Mrs. Rickards, begins to tell the story of the marriage that changed our history. Mrs Rickards is a woman of her time, emerging from years of war, division and even a global pandemic – what did this historic marriage mean to her then? What does it mean to us today?
A small production team of staff members at Waterford Treasures was established – Donnchadh O Ceallachain, Aine Whelan and Cliona Purcell and Linda Keane – and this team administered the project, scripted, recruited actors and put the entire production together.
Brian and Suzie Walsh from Hi-Lite Television Productions were contracted to film and edit the performance and produce a video to share digitally online. An edited version and interviews were featured on RTE Nationwide. Nationwide audience, scheduled for first week in December: Average, 370,000 viewers.
The video was produced by Waterford Treasures in association with Creative Ireland, Waterford City and County Council, the Decade of Centenaries Committee and filmed with the assistance of Hi-Lite Productions.
Watch the re-enactment of Strongbow and Aoife in the video link below.