Pace Egg 2010
Trouble Brewing On Heptonstall’s Cobbles
There’ll be trouble in Heptonstall this Good Friday, as family feuding spills over into the land of Pace Egg. Andy Carter, sometime Black Prince Of Paradise in the Heptonstall Pace Egg Play may have finally met his nemesis in the form of his son Rowan Carter, last year’s last minute stand-in for Heptonstall’s Bold Slasher, and now Calder High Pace Egg’s Black Prince Of Paradine.
Andy and Rowan both maintain that they are each the best Black Prince ever, to the extent that Rowan has thrown the gauntlet down and a clash is set for Good Friday afternoon.
“Its about time these oldies made way for the younger greater generation”, said Rowan.
Andy retorted “That’s enough of that my lad, any more and I’ll stop your pocket money”.
Although the Heptonstall and Calder High versions of the Pace Egg Play are different variants, both follow the exploits of St. George vanquishing his enemies amidst much slashing, bashing and general mayhem. It is not giving away much of the plot to say that the Prince Of Paradise (Heptonstall) and the Prince Of Paradine (Calder High) will both be falling foul of the knight, as well as possibly each other.
The Hill Millies Women’s Morris Dancers from the Hebden Bridge area will be dancing traditional Cotswold Morris(!) between performances.
Performance times are as follows in Weaver’s Square:
11.15 am Heptonstall Pace Egg
12.30 pm Heptonstall Pace Egg
2.00 pm Heptonstall Pace Egg
3.00 pm Midgley Pace Egg (Calder High Players)
4.00 pm Heptonstall Pace Egg
We urge all visitors to use public transport or enjoy the walk up to the village. If you come by car please use Heptonstall Social and Bowling Club Car Park at Acre Lane. Follow the Pace Egg Parking direction signs.
The cast are:
Compere Juggler: Neil Collins (master of ceremonies)
St George: Ray Riches
Bold Slasher: Jimmy Green
The Doctor: David Burnop
Black Prince: Andy Carter
King of Egypt: Sydney Roper
Hector: Stuart Hought
Toss Pot: Dean Gash
We reserve the right to change or amend any of the above details without prior warning.
History: Originally an adult rebirth ceremony for a good new season The Pace Egg Play is perhaps the world’s oldest drama and can be traced back through English and European Mummers’ plays to ancient Egypt and Syria. A mixture of a pagan rebirth ceremony with the later influences of Christianity and the Crusades.
Our performance is a traditional Pennine variant of the play. The text of the Pace Egg has been passed down orally over the years and was at one time performed by the village boys for coppers or eggs at Easter time.
Heptonstall Pace Egg was revived in 1979, for a one off performance, as part of a year of events to celebrating the Centenary Year of Heptonstall School.
After that performance Kevin McAspurn (who played Bold Slasher) and I decided it was part of village tradition and we should keep it going. We would like to thank all the many volunteers that have performed, collected and helped out over the years to make the Pace Egg happen.
The play has built a enthusiastic following, with many people coming back year after year. Children dress up as the characters and the audience know the lines as well as we do. The whole day has become a sort of coming together, re-uniting old friends and family from the area.
Every year and its play are special to us with their own idiosyncrasies. We hope this year is just as unique. As a ‘combat’ version, it is the most popular variant of this type of mummer’s play in the Pennines. It promises to be an action-packed spectacle that shouldn’t be missed.
Thanks to David Burnop for the above news and poster