The 33rd Runnymede Pop Festival is a unique concert of mediaeval music and poetry, performed in the neo-Gothic splendour of Sydney University’s Great Hall which will be decorated with banners and wall-hangings. A widely varied range of mediaeval songs, popular dance music and poetry will be performed by one reader, two singers and six multi-instrumentalists, all dressed in brightly coloured costumes.
The wide range of plucked, blown, bowed, keyboarded and percussed instruments will include harp, psaltery, mandora, gittern, ud, chittarra moresca, diwan saz, sinfonye, rebecs, vielles, shawms, douçaine, whistle, gemshorn, portative organ, tapan, dairehs, darabukka, rattles, finger cymbals, “gumnut” spoons, and so on.
The 1st Runnymede Pop Festival was celebrated in 1973 in the Great Hall with eminent performers including Prof. Frederick May, Graham Pushee, Lyndon Terracini, Wayne Richmond, Michael Atherton and Barbara Stackpool.
It has established itself as the longest running, regular festival of mediaeval music and poetry in Australia. These festivals have reinforced The Renaissance Players’ long standing association with Sydney University and its Great Hall. In this venue they gave their first concert in September, 1966.
The group has produced over a dozen internationally released and critically acclaimed CD recordings, appeared on TV in hundreds of concerts locally, nationally and internationally.
The current line-up – directed by the legendary Professor Evans – includes Llew Kiek, Tony Lewis, Mathew Greco, Jehan Kanga, Susannah Lawergren and Laura Medway. With Geoff Sirmai as poetry reader (in his 28th year with the group!).