Wheelabouts bring Boudicca back to life at Arbeia Roman Fort as South Shields marks Queen's Platinum Jubilee

It was a tale of two queens set centuries apart as a unique historical show helped entertain the crowds during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

Saturday, 4th June 2022, 5:56 pm

Arbeia Roman Fort in South Shields hosted The Wheelabouts on Saturday, June 4, as part of events taking place across South Tyneside over the jubilee bank holiday weekend.

The event saw ancient Brittonic queen Boudicca brought back to life by the performance group.

The ancient queen famously led the Iceni tribe in fierce revolt against the Romans around 60AD.

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The Wheelabouts as Queen Boudicca at Arbeia Roman Fort, South Shieds on Saturday..

Three 30-minute performances took place throughout the afternoon, using puppetry, sculpture, performance and audience participation to give an insight into the past with plenty of comic twists and turns.

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

The event was the first of two taking place at the fort, which is accessed from Baring Street, over the bank holiday weekend.

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 12pm – 4pm.

The Wheelabouts as Queen Boudicca at Arbeia Roman Fort, South Shields on Saturday. The Queen seen punishing a Roman.

Visitors 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.

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.

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.

The Wheelabouts as Queen Boudicca at Arbeia Roman Fort, South Shields on Saturday. The Queen is seen dusting off a Roman watched by her Roman slave Slavious.

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.

For full details of opening times, events, tickets, and facilities available, please visit the website www.arbeiaromanfort.org.uk.

Crowds watching The Wheelabouts at Arbeia.