15th Annual Guy Fawkes Bonfire Night
When: Sunday October 7, 7pm
Where: Andrea Hotel, 89 Atlantic Ave. Misquamicut Beach RI
Contact: Caswell Cooke, Jr. 401-932-3519
Interviews with Cast Available
The 15th Annual Guy Fawkes Bonfire Night featuring “The Misquamicut Players”, a group of local actors (The Misquamicut Players) and “King Crimson’s Jesters” an ensemble of local musicians (The Beach Band) will be held at the Andrea Hotel, 89 Atlantic Ave, Misquamicut Beach on Sunday October 7, 2012 at 7:00pm. (Rain date October 8th) The event will feature a large bonfire; live music, Medieval Games, the Westerly Morris Men, Kentish Guards Fife and Drum as well as a reenactment of Guy Fawke’s trial. All are welcome and the event is free of charge. The actors will also be featured in a float in the Columbus Day Parade earlier in the day on October 7.
Just who is Guy Fawkes? The story begins in 1605, when Guy Fawkes (also known as Guido-yes, really) and a group of coconspirators attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament. The conspirators were angered because King James had been exiling Jesuits from England. The plotters wanted to wrest power away from the king. Today, they would be known as extremists. However, in an attempt to protect a friend in the House of Lords, one of the group members sent an anonymous letter warning his friend to stay away from the parliament on the evening in question. The warning letter reached the King, and the conspirators were caught, tortured and executed. Guy Fawkes and his friends had rolled 36 barrels of gunpowder under the Houses of Parliament.
These days, Guy Fawkes Day is also known as Bonfire Night. The event is commemorated every year with fireworks and burning an effigy of Fawkes on a bonfire. The effigies are simply known as “Guys”. Some of the English have been known to wonder whether they are celebrating Fawkes’ execution or honoring his attempt to do away with the government.
A common question asked is; “was there really a gunpowder plot, or were the “conspirators” framed by the king?” There was no doubt an attempt to blow up parliament. Guy Fawkes and his associates may have been caught in a Jacobean sting operation. Many of the plotters were known traitors. It would have been almost impossible for them to get hold of 36 barrels of gunpowder without the government finding out.
As for the secret warning letter, many historians believe the King’s officials fabricated it. The letter made it easy to explain how the king found out about the plot and stopped it just in time. The letter was in fact very vague. It said nothing about the details of the attack. Still, the King and his men knew exactly where and when to catch the conspirators and stop the plot.
The English have been burning effigies to mark Guy Fawkes Day for over 400 years. The practice of burning the effigies, (which today are called “guys”) on the night of November 5th was started in 1606, just years after the failed Gunpowder plot. In these first bonfires, called “bone fires” at the time, the people burned effigies of Guy Fawkes. Still today, communities throw dummies of Guy Fawkes, politicians and people in the news on the bonfire.
The Misquamicut Players have made an annual tradition of reenacting this night of inquisition and execution. Directed by Caswell Cooke, Jr., this year written by Ryan Zemanek and Caswell Cooke, Jr. and presented by the Misquamicut Business Association at the Andrea Hotel, this evening brings together local actors and musicians for a comedic look at this English holiday. The Beach Band will perform the classic Al Stewart song “On the Border” as a main feature. Other songs will include “One Thing Leads to Another” by The Fixx, “Lola” by The Kinks and “Tuesday Afternoon” by The Moody Blues. Joining The Beach Band will be guitarist Ron Webster of Equinox and on Flute Alyssa Chicoria.
www.guyfawkesusa.com for info