Pace Egg

Heptonstall Players
More photos

The Calder High version
More photos

Good Friday, 21st March
Weaver's Square, Heptonstall.
Walk or take the bus please

Egg Us On Again whatever the weather at this year's performances of the Heptonstall Pace Egg Play.

The regular audience know the play as well, if not better, than the performers and are always willing to help out should they stumble over a line or two. Read more

Pace Egg 08

Those regulars to the play will be familiar with Toss Pot kissing some bonny lasses from the audience and giving them an Easter Egg as a symbol of fertility. Well it seems to be working! Two of the young lady who received a kiss and egg from Toss Pot in 2005 were both blessed with new babies.

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 past 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, and now has an enthusiastic following. As a 'combat' version - the most popular variant in the Pennines - it promises to be an action-packed spectacle that shouldn't be missed! To add further excitement to the proceedings, Neil Collins the knife juggler will herald the performance, weather permitting. The Hill Milly’s Lady’s Morris Dancers from the Hebden Bridge area will be dancing traditional Cotswold Morris prior to each performance.

Many people come for the final performances so they can see both the Calder High Midgley Play and then the Heptonstall Play. This attracts a large crowd but the number of people and background chatter make it hard to hear the plays. So why not come to an earlier performance if you wish to hear the play, when the crowds are smaller and the
player voices fresher.

Performance times are as follows in Weaver's Square:

11.15 am
12.45 pm
2.15 pm
3.45 pm

Please note: The Midgley Pace Egg performed by pupils of Calder High School will be at 3.30 pm followed by the Heptonstall version.

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 is:

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
Compere, Juggler - Neil Colins

For further information contact David Burnop on T:01422 846277 M: 0775 1949930 or email

The Calder High Pace-Egg play

The Calder Valley tradition of the Pace-Egg lives on as the students of Calder High School will once again dust off their Pace-Egging Hats to perform throughout the Calder Valley.

The Midgley Pace-Egg play is a tradition within Calder High School, and has been performed by the school for over 50 years now. The Pace-Egg is based on the oldest play in the world, The Mummers Play.

The play is based around Saint George's triumphs, and the whole play boasts his great champion status. Throughout the play three challengers try to defeat Saint George (Bold Slasher, Black Prince of Paradine and Hector), who is a very cocky and mighty character. The play consists of 8 characters, which this year were made available to all ages, due to the schools wide range of performing talent. It is an all boys cast, due to the traditions of this play.

The auditions took place in front of a panel of experienced Pace-Eggers, who had the necessary knowledge to spot the right sort of raw talent for the Pace-Egg, for the auditionee to get the nod from the audition panel they had to read the part of the Doctor as well as an un-scripted performance of their own choosing. The auditionor 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 6 successful auditionees will experience performing the oldest play in the world, performing to wide variety of people throughout the Calder Valley and will get to make the performance their own, by working outside of the box.

This years cast will be - Billy Painter, The Fool, Johnny McQuade, Bold Slasher, Joachim Goddard, The Doctor, Matthew Bladon, King of Egypt, Sam Harris, Black Prince of Paradine, Isaac Rose, Hector, Thomas Deadman, Tosspot and finally Wesley Downs takes the lead role of Saint George.

Fool Billy Painter has told the Hebden Bridge Web, "For those of you reading this article, having not seen the Pace-Egg before, I really do urge you to get to your local area this Easter, and support the Calder High Students, the oldest play in the world and the Calder Valley itself. The play promises to be a fantastic and memorable occasion once again, so do not hesitate come and celebrate Easter in style and experience a real slice of Calder Valley life."

Calder High version itinerary

9:00 Banksfield Estate; 9:30 Mytholmroyd; 10:15 Todmorden; 11:10 Hebden Bridge; 11:40 Hebden Bridge; 1:40 Midgley; 2:15 Luddenden; 3:00 Hebden Bridge; 3:30 Heptonstall

Previously, on the Hebden Bridge Web

  • 2007 - Heptonstall Players

  • 2007 - Calder High

  • 2006 - photo gallery

  • 2005 - photo gallery

  • 2004 - photo gallery

  • 2003 - photo gallery

  • 2002 - photo gallery

  • 2001 - photo gallery

  • 2000 - photos

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