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 2018 Regency Ball will be held on Saturday 15th 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.
To enable as many as will to participate in each dance, the maximum number of tickets available is limited to sixty four. Tickets for the 2018 Ball, priced 20 guineas, went on sale in October, following the invitation in May to reserve tickets. Demand for tickets has been high and all 64 tickets were reserved within 24 hours of the initial invitation.
For those unsure what to expect or what to wear, we have prepared some useful notes: Dance notes. 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 2018 Ball, the dance director will be Brian Stanton and music will be provided once again by Mr Sayer’s Players.