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Update: Sunday, 24 April 2011

See photos and video

The Midgley Pace Egg raised a total of £928.48 this year ? over £500 more than in each of the last three years.

The money will be split between three charities; The Alzheimer's Society, Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team and The Great Generation.

Pace Egg 2011

As the Easter Bank Holiday draws ever closer, planning and preparation for the annual performances of the Midgley Pace Egg come to a close. It’s been an especially busy year for the cast, who just a few short weeks ago were left without costumes and props after a flooding incident occurred within their storage space. However, after the good will of local people providing a much needed cash injection and parents of cast members being at hand with their craft skills, the play is all set to take place with brand new costumes and shimmering new swords.


After a recent plea for financial support, the cast were delighted with the amount of people that came forward to help support the cause. Supporting the Pace Eggers with voluntary donations are: The Luddenden Mayor’s Fund, British Recycled Products, Heart Gallery and Pre-Treatment Technologies. Providing the required skill to manufacture the costumes are Vanessa Kay and Sally Kinton, whose sons will be performing this year along with Nerys Rolinson of Blackshaw Head. Mytholmroyd Builders Merchants and Ribbon Circus also supported the Pace Eggers with materials for the props and costumes.


The Midgley Pace Egg play has been performed throughout the Calder Valley for many decades on Good Friday, and never fails to draw large crowds of regular spectators and those from further afield to watch Saint George battle; with added twists and turns.


The story is based around Saint George's triumphs and the whole play boasts his great champion status. Throughout the performance three challengers try to defeat Saint George (Bold Slasher, Black Prince of Paradine and Hector). The play consists of eight players, aged between 13 and 18. As always, it is an all boys cast due to the ancient traditions of the play.


All Pace Eggers, past and present, had to audition in front of a panel in order to nail a part for the 2011 performances. For the auditionee to get the nod, they had to recite the part of Saint George in their own unique style as well as an unscripted performance of their own choosing. The auditionee also had to show their passion and interest in the Pace Egg itself and explain why they would like to be part of it. The lucky auditionees will experience performing the oldest play in the world, performing to a wide variety of people throughout the Calder Valley and will get to make the performance their own by working outside of the usual boundaries.


The cast for 2011 has changed dramatically from last year, with no less than four new faces making their Pace Egg debuts. Jacob Jones and Kieran Bell have both undertaken new projects, whilst Dario Coates has moved on to further his acting career and Pace Egg veteran Thomas Deadman has left for University after almost a decade of performances with the cast. Meanwhile, Clara Collett and Jess Woodhead who have both directed the play for the last few years as well as provide musical acompliment on the day are currently on a gap year travelling.


Entering the Pace Egg fray are some rather younger players than in previous years, with James Kay and Matthew Kinton (both 13) taking the roles of Doctor and Bugler after impressing during the audition process. Also making his first Pace Egg appearance is Thomas Jennings; someone who has really sprung on to the theatrical scene over the last 18 months and become a well known figure, he takes the role of Tosspot. The final new face is Sol Cotton, younger brother of Joe, who will undertake the role of King of Egypt after missing out for two years previously. Finally, returning to the Pace Egg, in what will be his farewell appearance, is Billy Painter. Having missed last year’s performance due to work commitments Billy was determined to perform one last time before ‘hanging up his hat’.


This year’s cast will be: Jack Deighton, The Fool; Sam Harris, Bold Slasher; James Kay, The Doctor; Sol Cotton, King of Egypt; Rowan Carter, Black Prince of Paradine; Joe Cotton, Hector; Thomas Jennings, Tosspot and finally Billy Painter takes on the role of Saint George. Crowds will also be spoilt with the musical brilliance of Matthew Kinton who will be the Bugler.


The play will be performed all day on Good Friday, 22nd April, throughout the Calder Valley and in total there will be ten performances. This is one more than in previous years, as the play will debut at the New Delight Inn, Blackshaw, 12.15; a performance that the players are looking forward to. The performances will commence from 8.45 at Banksfield Estate, Mytholmroyd with the day culminating at Heptonstall at 3.00, which is certain to be a memorable performance.

Do not miss it!

08.45, Banksfield Estate; 9.30, Todmorden; 10.30, Mytholmroyd; 11.00, Holme Street, Hebden Bridge; 11.30, St George’s Square, Hebden Bridge; 12.15, The New Delight Inn, Blackshaw; 13.15, The Marina, Hebden Bridge; 14.00,  Luddenden Village; 14.30, Midgley; 15.00 - Heptonstall

See also

Heptonstall Pace Egg Play

HebWeb Feature on the Pace Egg plays with photos from previous years, background and audio and video clips

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