Cast members from the Hollywood blockbuster Gladiator will descend on Eastbourne’s Redoubt Fortress.
The venue will become a Roman arena on September 6 and 7 as the parade ground welcomes legions of re-enactors.
Performed by the group Britannia, the group of gladiators are set to re-enact the excitement and adrenaline of the Roman Gladiatorial Games, in celebration of Eastbourne’s oldest ancestor – the Beachy Head Lady.
The skeleton, which is currently on display at the Eastbourne Ancestors exhibition, was earlier this year proven to be of Roman and sub-Saharan African descent – a rarity for Britain at that time. With a former Roman villa also known to exist underneath the Pier head, the new ‘Murderous Games’ event will bring Eastbourne back to Roman times at the historic fortress setting.
Eastbourne Borough Council Cabinet Member for Tourism, Leisure Sports Services, Cllr Carolyn Heaps commented “This is set to be a thrilling, educational event for all ages. With a natural amphitheatre, the Redoubt is the perfect setting for what will be a superb celebration of our Roman ancestry here in Eastbourne.”
During the day combatants will be showing off their expert training and giving a vivid picture of what life would have been like for these warriors. Twice a day, the gladiators will fight each other and put their finely honed skills to the test in thrilling combat.
Fans can choose to support the heavily armoured Provacator, the spear wielding Hoplomachus or even the mysterious female Gladiatrix – rarely seen in these far flung lands.
Shadow Cabinet Member for Tourism, Leisure & Sports Services, Cllr Philip Ede said “This re-enactment group have amazing credentials and promise a fun, interactive historical hands-on experience. I would urge people of all ages to go along and cheer on the gladiators and discover more about our Roman history.”
Britannia is the UK’s best known and established Roman re-enactment group having appeared in the film Gladiator, BBC’s Horrible Histories and many TV documentaries. Engaging with the public and appealing to all ages, they are keen to answer any questions that budding young historians may have about life in Roman times.