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Pace-eggers get into print 27 April 2001

A new book on pace-egging - the north west version of the mummers play - is to be published in the summer of 2001.

The Lancashire Pace-Egg Play: A Social History, has been written by Dr Eddie Cass of National Centre for English Cultural Tradition, based at the University of Sheffield.

It will be published during the summer by The Folklore Society, Warburg Institute, Woburn Square, London, WC1H 0AB.

Visit The Donkey's Features section for an article by Dr Cass on the resurgence of interest in the tradition.

Pace-eggers break out of their shell
Photographs of this year's performances at Bury, Heptonstall and Midgely - taken by John Frearson of The Morris Ring - can be found at:
English Folk Play Research Page

Brass band duo's fanfare for trad arts

A new web site has been launched in Oxfordshire to promote all kinds of traditional performance arts in the county. Morris sides, bands and other traditional performers - not just from the folk world - are invited to submit details to in the hope of picking up bookings.

Oxtrad is the idea of Sheldon and Mikaela Barwick, who live near Bicester. Their own activity is primarily in brass band music - Sheldon is musical director of Bletchington Brass Band - but they say their interests have grown to embrace various kinds of traditional entertainment.

Their banding experience, they say, has shown them that "many forms of traditional entertainers are not being used to their full potential - often because potential customers do not know how to get in touch with them."

Their aim: "to help traditional entertainers find audiences and to keep the music, dance and other entertainments inherent in our culture alive."

There's no charge for registering with the site.

Gig guide keeps pace with the eggers

Folk play enthusiasts should be heading for the north of England over the Easter period, to see the various pace-eggers doing their stuff. A detailed list of performances in West Yorkshire, Lancashire and Cumbria, has been posted on the internet.

The Traditional Drama Research Group has a wealth of information from both sides of the Atlantic on the web on various kinds of folk play.

Pace-egging performance dates
Traditional Drama Research Group

Jig contest doubles up

A new competition for double jigs is to be introduced at this year's Sidmouth International Festival, in August.

Performers will share the same stage as entrants in the festival's solo jig competition, founded in the late 1980s in memory of John Gasson, a gifted dancer who was killed in a car crash while driving down to Sidmouth.

Each entry in the new doubles category must feature two dancers but only one musician.

The competition, organised by the Seven Champions Molly Dancers, takes place on Sunday, August 5.

Watch The Donkey for further details in the near future.

Sidmouth International Festival

Researchers steer course through Helm archive

Proof-readers are ploughing through a mass of information on morris and related traditions collected by the late Alex Helm.

The collection of around 3,700 records of folk plays, dancing and other forms was deposited in the Manuscripts and Rare Books Room of University College London Library.

An inventory was drawn up in 1984 by Ervin Beck, now of Goshen College, Indiana, and Paul Smith, who has since moved on to the Memorial University of Newfoundland. It was re-formatted ten years later by Peter Millington, who has also created a Web version - but it is said to be still in a rough and ready form.

Eddie Cass and Peter Millington are now co-ordinating a proof-reading project by the Traditional Drama Research Group, aimed at making it available on-line.

The Alex Helm Collection

2001 Simon Pipe, Mark Rogers

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