Region: Greater London

Disabled Facilities: Yes

Category: School Workshops

Address: , ,

Contact: 07583 000 223



Tales of Plague and Fire enjoy bringing history alive for primary age schoolchildren and delivers a number of classroom ‘experiences’ relating to monumental events in the history of London and the British Isles:

1) The Great Plague Experience
2) The Great Fire of London Experience – go to: or email: for more details

3) The Great Plague and the Great Fire of London Experience
4) The Black Death and the Medieval Experience.

We are a two-person group comprising: Marianne (our resident ‘expert’) and Jonathan (playing many characters!) We like to work with students on a class-by-class basis in the classroom - as we find children get far more from our workshops in this way than lots of classes coming together in the school hall - and suggest a half-day workshop per class; so a whole day for two classes.

Flexibility is key but in the past our school packages have included:

  • Vivid introductions to the study period and characters
  • The appearance of a variety of historical characters including: the unfortunate baker, Thomas Farriner; Samuel Pepys; medieval peasant ‘Alfie’ and his pet rat; the weirdly wonderful Plague Doctor; Malcolm the cowardly monk
  • A trip to the Plague Doctor’s strange surgery to deal with those troublesome buboes and find out about the crazy cures from the time
  • A live re-enactment of the Great Fire using the entire class (and starring its fieriest member!)
  • The class involved in performing a Medieval Miracle Play
  • Diary-writing classes with Samuel Pepys.

Please summarize why you are great to support learning. 
We are one of the few living history companies in the country that specialises in: the Great Plague of London (1665), the Great Fire (1666) and the Black Death (1348 – 1351).
We aim to bring these periods alive for primary schools with an actor playing famous historical figures, with costumes and props closely based on the originals, with our extensive research presented in entertaining fashion to engage the whole class. Our workshops are closely based on what children will be studying on the National Curriculum and we are keen to place these remarkable periods within the context of the history of the British Isles and Europe.

We also have an expert knowledge of these periods and have been interviewed about them on national radio and TV.

What does a typical school workshop visit include?
We tailor each school workshop to the specific needs of the group. So, for example, a primary school requesting a ‘The Great Plague Experience’ could enjoy: a vivid introduction to the period with Marianne and Alfie (our resident peasant) and his pet rat; an appearance by the weirdly wonderful Plague Doctor who will then open up his surgery so the whole class can learn about some of the crazy cures from the time; an entertaining encounter with Samuel Pepys; and a Diary-Writing Competition run by Mr Pepys referencing major events in the plague year.

Do you have a video on YouTube or anywhere else that you would like to link to?

Are you on Twitter, Facebook or any other social media?




What group sizes do you cater for?
A maximum of 30 children per workshop. We tend to find a half day’s workshop works well for one class so we can host two classes in a school day.

Are you happy for children to take photos, video or audio if appropriate?
We only allow photos to be taken and would request the teachers take photos rather than the children.

Are your team CRB checked for attending schools/colleges etc?
Yes. We both have enhanced DBS certificates.

Does your company have an education officer?
Ask for Jonathan Lovett (Email):  or (Tel): 07583 000 223.

What is the cost?
We would like the primary school to contact us to discuss the cost of the workshop as it does vary depending on travel expenses etc.

Where geographically will you visit?
Greater London, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Surrey

Do you have any testimonials from previous schools we can include?
“Your workshop was well resourced, well thought through and really stimulating for the children. It was a fantastic day. Thank you for coming!”
(Teacher Catherine Hughes from Northlands Primary School, Basildon following our Great Plague and Great Fire of London workshop)

“An excellent use of costumes and props helped immerse the children and kept them completely engaged. A brilliant way to get the children excited about history!”
(Teacher Mr Peters from Maryland Primary School, Stratford following our Black Death and Medieval workshop)

“It’s been a week since Jonathan and Marianne visited my Year 2 class and they are still buzzing! Everything was done at the perfect level for all children and, more importantly, they learnt through having fun. Thank you for helping me make memories in their learning journey. I hope you come back next year with my next class!”
(Teacher Linsay Beavery from Rowledge Primary School, Farnham following our Great Fire of London workshop)

“The children were very inspired. There was lots of discussion about rats and red crosses at lunchtime!”
(Deputy head teacher James Grant of Torriano Primary School, Camden)

Age of Children / Pupils: 5 – 7 years 8 – 10 years

Type of Visit: Historical Heritage Performing Arts Workshops Storytelling

Curriculum Topics Covered: History

Months Open: All Year Round January February March April May June July August September October November December

Who Visits Who?: We visit you

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