Sleaze, lies and gossip. 17th-century style.

The Carnival Band are bring a colourful cast of 17th-century characters to life presenting ballads and songs from the times of Shakespeare.

But what are ballads? Ballads were the tabloids of the day, peddling sensational stories of scandal, love and murder. It got us wondering what the red tops of the 1600s might look like, so we started digging around and came up with a few sensational 1600s front-page headlines.

You can find out the full story in The Carnival Band’s performance.


 It’s a rocky road for two young lovers in A most excellent Song of the love of young Palmus, and faire Sheldra


  Sometimes though, we like a straightforward love story: knight asks three questions, three correct answers later, they get married in A Noble Riddle

Slide3Straight form the pages of a noughties tabloid, the tale of Susanna is a murky maze of lies and dishonesty in An Excellent Ballad, intituled, The Constancy of Susanna

 Cupid gets everywhere: and here he is again wreaking havoc between a gallant captain and a young Spanish maid in The Spanish Ladies Love


If it’s a happy ending you’re after, you’re out of luck with the woes of Titus Andronicus in The Lamentable and Tragical History of Titus Andronicus

If you want to find out how it all worked out, come to Spitalfields this June for the facts, the inside scoop and the happy endings.

The Carnival Band
Thursday 11 June, 6.30pm
Shoreditch Church (St Leonard’s)
Get behind the headlines >>

Thanks to for their fab templates.


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