Nick Hanks, having studied Archaeology at Bristol University and Drama at Warwick University, is ideally suited for scripting of historical subjects for presentation or recording, by him or by others.
Nick Hanks produces scripted material for three formats:-
- Guided walks across landscape for up to 35 people. Lasting a few hours and involving many periods and different types of features.
- Single location performances at historic sites. Explaining the multiple phases, and the wider context of the history of that type of site.
- Audio recordings landscapes or at historic sites, making full use of the acoustic environs. These are recorded in association with Cliff Eastabrook, a professional sound engineer.
Nick Hanks has performed this material with a professional storyteller, The Travelling Talesman (Cliff Eastabrook), as Longshanks and Talesman. He also scripts and performs as part of Time and Tide Taletellers with Dawn McHale at storytelling events and leading a regular ghost walk around the historic sites of Bristol.
His speciality is presenting the material in-situ, “where it happened”. Using the atmosphere of the setting, and putting it, rather than himself, centre stage.
Carefully structured, and paced to keep people interested; contrasting the styles of delivery. But delivered with spontaneity and thus avoiding the stale lecture format.
Unique local material about the actual setting, fill the majority of the scripts, for this is the richness that is discovered during the performance/event.
Context is provided for all material so that it is understood, as well as wondered at. Understood, and so it is remembered. Be it historical, archaeological, social, economic, cultural or religious.
Specific methods of presentation are chosen for each fact/feature that will maximise the clarity, be it:- site diagrams, story telling, handling real artifacts/reconstructions, puppets, quotes from historic sources, comic sketches, period illustrations or audience participation.
The presentation serves the site and the facts, and doesn’t ‘upstage’ or ‘make light’ of them.
- “Performance” – it is obviously modern people wearing hats, using props and explaining things.
- “Archaeology” – it is based on objects and places, that make a probable picture of the people of the past.
It is not historical re-enactment. It does not involve the illusion of ‘pretending to be’ historic figures, which is inaccurate and does not communicate effectively! That method can trivialise the past and turn the historic location into a mere backdrop!