On the subject of fools, naturally, I think of Shakespeare. Like great writers, Shakespeare’s fools comfort, entertain, and dare to tell the truth.
Some claim Shakespeare knew the original Tom Fool (Tom Skelton) of Muncaster Castle. The castle has been owned by the Pennington family for over 800 years, and they continue the tradition of appointing a jester.
Well, beloved fools and jesters, you are in luck. That historic position is open. “Must be able to entertain an audience for 30 minutes.” You will star in the five-day annual Festival of Fools, then retain the title for the following year. You will succeed the vaudeville-style comedian juggler Mr. Spin of Australia who will serve as one of the judges.
Peter Frost-Pennington says, “We need the fool to remind our leaders not to get above themselves, and to remember that they are not greatly important in the grand scheme of things. A fool’s essential to the human spirit.”
The only pay mentioned is a monthly case of ale and a year’s ownership of the title, “Fool of Muncaster.”
I know plenty of likely candidates, but let’s limit that to those claiming professional status. I nominate an entire troop, the Jester’z (who are hilarious even if they can’t punctuate) and who could be our next American Muncaster Fools.
Sky News article announcing the role
Text © Gwyn Nichols 2011, All Rights Reserved.
Photo: YouTube screenshot