Since the Jury Street Court House in the centre of Warwick was reopened in 2014 following a major refurbishment, the Unlocking Warwick volunteers have staged a grand Regency Ball just before Christmas each year. The 2017 Regency Ball will be held on Saturday 9th December.
The restored ballroom with its new oak floor is the perfect setting, and guests usually dress in costumes representative of the period to recreate the assemblies and balls which were held regularly in the Court House in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Each year we engage an experienced caller who can guide people through the dances, so a sense of timing and the ability to follow the instructions is more important than previous experience of Regency dance. The aim is to perform around twelve different dances in the course of the evening.
On arrival, guests are offered a welcome drink and the bar is open all evening serving prosecco, wines, beer and soft drinks. There’s also plenty of water available – Regency dancing can be more energetic than it looks.
During the interval, canapés will be served and the Unlocking Warwick volunteers usually provide a brief entertainment, such as a recreation of a scene from a Jane Austen novel, or an extract from a Richard Sheridan play.
Tickets for the 2017 Ball, priced 20 guineas, will go on sale in October – available from the Warwick Visitor Information Centre (01926 492212). To enable as many as will to participate in each dance, the maximum number of tickets available is sixty four. Tickets can be reserved before they go on sale, by emailing email@example.com
For those unsure what to expect or what to wear, we have prepared some useful notes: dance-notes-2016. Dressing in period costume is not a requirement, but is encouraged – dressing the part can help guests to achieve the elegance of a Darcy or an Elizabeth Bennett. For those with little knowledge of Regency dance, this website can help you get to grips with the terms that the caller will be using in the instructions for the dances.
For the 2017 Ball, the dance director will be Frances Richardson (who officiated for us in 2015) and music will be provided once again by Mr Sayer’s Players (who played for the 2016 Ball).