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Sherborne Pageant (1905)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

A man dressed as a cardinal gives orders to men dressed as monks, who erect a crucifix-shaped construction and place a wreath around it. A procession passes through with a queen carried on a sedan chair. When a king greets her, he bows and she curtseys. Together they stand and bow before the cardinal, who performs rights upon them. Hand in hand, he guides the king and queen away. As they move, a crowd in various historical costumes follow them.

A group of warriors charge and a battle ensues between men dressed in white and men dressed as monks. These men are armed with cudgels, sickles, shields and axes, and attack each other with ferocity. Some pretend to die.

A solemn procession passes as a man, playing sick, is carried on a bed. When placed down another man dressed in authoritative religious costume prays for him and they embrace. The man pretends to die before his face is covered by a white sheet.

Tables are quickly constructed by monks who sit down to feast. A group of young women gather but are chased off by a little man with a sword. There is another battle, this time between men of different costume. A dance is held. Men with horse-costumes around their waists pretend to ride. Women dance around men with spears before the men form a circle that the women dance around. Boys in costume form a crowd and men read from scrolls, after which the boys cheer and throw their hats up into the air.

A man dressed as Sir Walter Raleigh sits at a table. A woman curtseys and helps light Raleigh's pipe before he kisses her hand. A man spies on Raleigh from behind the table then throws water on him. Raleigh jumps up in a rage and the man runs away.

Children dance around a maypole. Choirboys pass as part of a procession, singing. A much larger procession gathers, including people in many different costumes. Men dressed in twentieth-century clothing are seen close to the procession, and one man directs the crowd.