Boudicca: The Wheelabouts to perform at Arbeia, South Shields Roman Fort, during Jubilee weekend

An ancient queen is helping celebrate the present one on Jubilee weekend as part of special events at Arbeia.

By Hayley Lovely
Wednesday, 25th May 2022, 12:38 pm

The Roman fort in South Shields is hosting Boudicca: The Wheelabouts on Saturday June 4, an interactive event telling the story of the queen and her Celtic tribe.

The show is part puppetry, part sculpture and part performance with audience participation and plenty of comic improvisation. Visitors can enjoy 30-minute performances at 12noon, 1.30pm and 3pm.

The Wheelabouts create bespoke performance pieces built around wheelchairs, with the ethos that being a wheelchair user should not inhibit creativity or performance opportunities.

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Boudicca: The Wheelabouts

On Sunday 5 June, visitors can take part in The Big Jubilee Lunch, a free, family friendly event celebrating the Queen's Platinum Jubilee from 12 pm – 4pm.

Vistors can get involved in hands-on craft activities with GemArts, handle Roman cooking implements, domestic items and toys with the Time Bandits, and join Victor the Veteran’s Roman Army boot camp.

South Shields community band, the Westoe Brass Band, will provide music throughout the event. Visitors can bring their own picnics and refreshments to enjoy on the lawn or in the picnic area.

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Arbeia Roman Fort.

Also on offer at the fort this summer are free audio tours from GeoTourist, a personal tour guide accessed via the visitor’s own smartphone. The GeoTourist app provides three tours based on the visitor's exact location at Arbeia, and the tours include an introduction to the fort, information about the home of the Commanding Officer and who he lived with, and how the soldiers at the fort would have lived, cooked, and kept their equipment.

Entry to the fort remains free, and visitors can enjoy the excavated grounds and see some of the finest collections of Roman finds from all along Hadrian's Wall.

A new temporary mini exhibition entitled ‘The Lost Fort’ explores tantalising evidence of a Hadrianic period fort in South Shields that predates the excavated remains of the stone fort of Arbeia, built about the year AD 163. Hadrian was the Roman emperor from AD 117 to 138, and this exhibition forms part of the Hadrian’s Wall 1900 festival, celebrating 1900 years since the building of Hadrian’s Wall began in AD 122.

For full details of opening times, events, tickets, and facilities available, please visit the website