Hiring the Wychwood Warriors
Wychwood has put on displays for all manner of audiences, from those attending college balls to kindergarten and school children. We have also helped film and stage directors seeking actors or extras for their productions. We try to fulfil any request we get, although being a small group our availability may be restricted by how many of our members can make the required dates and times. If you want to hire us, email our president, whose contact information is available on the Contact Page
Displays are usually tailored to the request at hand and can range from a couple of us simply turning up in authentic kit and answering questions about our equipment and the Anglo-Saxon period to fully scripted and rehearsed scenes based on actual or mythical events, or full days of activities and workshops for classes of schoolchildren. Such displays normally involve some sort of combat demonstration, although this is by no means obligatory.
In 2015 we made our annual visit to Great Milton primary school, giving years 5 and 6 a taste of Saxon and Viking life. In the morning they got the chance to try on chainmail, play Viking and Saxon games, see the weaponry they used and design their own shields, and in the afternoon they watched our mighty warriors engage in a fierce tournament to prove themselves the greatest fighter! Alas they were all killed when they attempted to break through the children’s shield wall... We ended the day with a fantastic class performance of Beowulf, and in return a dramatic reading by Thorolf of a story about the god Thor.
We also do visits to other schools on request - to book a visit to a school or any other educational institution, please contact the president.
Stage & film
Our stage and film work is great and varied. We have put on several short plays and performances at college balls and other events (we recently did a show for the St Hildas MCR as part of a "Through the Ages"-themed event) and also appeared in a number of films, ranging from local history projects to productions for national television. Hiring re-enactors to help with productions is a well-established practice in Britain, and here in Oxford we just love tradition. We come in when a company requires main performers or extras for a period production. Unlike untrained extras, we are already familiar with techniques, costume and equipment. So far film productions in which Wychwood members took part include gems such as:
— Rape & Pillage, a local history film about the village of Whitchurch on Thames, 2006
— The Real Macbeth, Spire Films for Channel 4, New Year's Day 2001
— The Nearly Complete And Utter History Of Everything, BBC 2, 1999
— The University Show, The Oxford Channel, 1999
— Prince Valiant, Constantin Films/Paramount, 1996
— Food and Drink, Bazal Productions for BBC 2, 1995
— The Detectives (Fur Coat, No Knickers), Celador Productions for BBC1, 1995
— Alfred the Great, Cromwell Productions, 1994
— The Viking Wars, Cromwell Productions, 1993
In 2006, we also trained the lead actors in a student production of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Some of us also had great fun adding live steel combat to the fight scenes!
Apart from appearing in productions ourselves, Wychwood members are also available to help with and give advice on various practical aspects of the production, such as:
— Costume design
— Fight choreography (most historical period styles as well as modern fencing)
— Prop design and manufacture (items such as shields, swords, armour, accessories etc.)
We're still doing film consultations today, so give us a call and we'll help give your production a real ring of authenticity.
We may also hire out weapons and costumes to Oxford productions.
Although we are not qualified professionals, we always work from published or museum sources, and will tell you if any advice we give is the result of our own experimentation or interpretation. At the same time, we will always be the first to admit gaps in our knowledge, and in such an event will try to put you in touch with someone who knows more.
Other appearances by the Wychwood Warriors
In August 2015, Wychwood made its first appearance at a book launch! We helped celebrate the launch of "The Private Lives of the Saints" (by Dr Janina Ramirez) at Waterstones Oxford, some 10th-century Anglo-Saxons mingling among the other guests!
Please feel free to get in touch with us with any request, question or idea you might have. We welcome any and all enquiries!