The Pace-Egg Plays of the Calder Valley
The pace-egg play is similar to other forms of English traditional drama, but uniquely, it occurs at Easter, rather than Christmas. This book supplements Dr Cass’s The Lancashire Pace-Egg Play in that it deals with the one area of west Yorkshire in which this Easter play was widely known. It covers the history of the play in the Calder Valley and outlines the story of the revival of the play. Schools were vital to the revival and continuance of the tradition, notably the Midgley School in the 1930s and in the 1950s, Calder High School. The Midgley pace-egg play, which has traceable, personal links into the nineteenth century, is discussed at length. The book also considers the revival of the play at Heptonstall where, on Good Friday, large crowds come to witness one of west Yorkshire’s most popular calendar customs. Texts of both plays are included.
Dr Eddie Cass, is an Honorary Research Fellow at the National Centre for English Cultural Tradition at the University of Sheffield, part of the James Madison Carpenter Collection Project team, and a member of the Traditional Drama Research Group.